Grafting Shoots


Grafting shoots, or scions, is a method of propagating plants using tissue from a donor plant, which is attached to another and allowed to heal. This tissue becomes one with the plant it has been grafted to. This is used often with cultivars that do not produce true seed, or those plants that are difficult to reproduce using other propagation techniques such as cuttings, says the University of Missouri Extension service. Grafting may take several tries before the shoot takes to the other plant. Grafting is best accomplished during the later winter or early spring, after severe cold has passed and intense heat has yet to begin.

Step 1

Cut a shoot from the donor plant that is from the previous season's growth, having at least three buds and at a length of one foot, suggests the University of Minnesota. The scion should be the same size, or slightly smaller, than the root stock used for the graft.

Step 2

Cut the shoot at a 45 degree angle, making the cut as smooth as possible. The length of the cut is 1 1/2 inches. Cut the roots stock at the same angle, so that the two pieces fit together. The University of Minnesota suggests using one stroke over a very sharp knife to make the cut, guiding the cut with the thumb behind the shoot.

Step 3

Cut the shoot in the center of the first cut to make a small tongue, says the University of Missouri. Make an identical cut on the root stock.

Step 4

Cover the graft with grafting wax to keep the cut from drying out, then wrap it using grafting tape, suggests the University of Missouri. The graft will require several weeks to heal, so remove the tape after a three-month period.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Grafting wax
  • Grafting tape
  • Nails
  • Root stock


  • University of Missouri Extension: Methods of Grafting
  • University of Missouri Extension: Grafting
  • Government of Sri Lanka: Preparation of Budded Plants

Who Can Help

  • Cornell University: Reasons for Grafting and Budding
Keywords: grafting shoots, shoot propagation, grafting plants

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.