How to Graft Cuttings


Grafting is the process of taking a piece of one plant and joining it to another for the purpose of propagating a plant asexually. The potential benefit of grafting is passing over the best qualities of one plant to another plant, or joining two plants together to reduce their weaknesses. Grafting is a difficult process that may require several attempts to succeed. Whip grafting is one of the easiest methods of taking a cutting and attaching it to another plant.

Step 1

Cut a scion from the parent plant when it is dormant. Remove a long branch from the previous season that is 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter, recommends Ohio State University Extension. Cut the scion at a 45-degree angle to seal the wound.

Step 2

Wrap the scion in a wet paper towel and store it in the refrigerator until the spring when the weather is warm enough that there is no more frost. The University of Minnesota recommends covering the cut edge of the scion cutting with asphalt water emulsion to protect the wound.

Step 3

Remove 1 inch of wood from each end of the scion when it is ready for grafting. End growth is too succulent for grafting, says Ohio State University. Cut the ends the night before the grafting.

Step 4

Cut the plant the grafting is being attached to at the stem, cutting at a 45-degree angle, matching the angle of the scion wood.

Step 5

Make a tongue cut on the scion by cutting about one-third of the distance from the lip of the scion.

Step 6

Stick the tongue of the scion wood onto the cut angle of the rootstock until they fit together like a puzzle. Wrap the wound with a piece of grafting tape. Remove the tape after three or four months, once the graft is healed.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Scion wood cutting
  • Grafting tape
  • Sharp knife
  • Asphalt water emulsion


  • Ohio State University Extension: Plant Propagation
  • University of Minnesota: Grafting and Budding Fruit Trees
  • University of Texas A & M: Whip Grafting
Keywords: plant propagation, plant grafting, grafting scion cutting

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.