How to Root Shrub Cuttings


Propagate new shrubs by taking cuttings from existing, or parent plants. Take the cutting in the late spring or early summer, looking for new growth on the plant. Cut a 5 to 7 inch healthy looking stem from the bush, cutting a half-inch below a leaf joint, using a sharp, clean knife. If the cuttings are properly prepared and rooted, plant in your garden. If you don't prepare the cuttings immediately, spray them with water, wrap in damp burlap and keep moist.

Step 1

Remove all leaves, buds or growth from the lower third of the cutting.

Step 2

Cut each individual leaf on the cutting in half, leaving half of each leaf still attached to the stem.

Step 3

Dip the cut end in water and then in rooting hormone, covering about a half-inch of the cut end in the solution.

Step 4

Fill a small pot with equal amounts coarse sand and peat moss.

Step 5

Plant the cutting straight down in the soil mixture, about 2 inches deep. Plant more than one cutting in the container, if desired, spacing each about 3 inches apart.

Step 6

Water thoroughly, drain and place a clear plastic bag over the pot, to create a greenhouse to retain the moisture. Insert the sticks at the outer corners of the pot, to help support the bag.

Step 7

Set in a shaded area outside. If leaves appear in the fall, it is a sign the cuttings have root growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Cuttings
  • Scissors
  • Pot
  • Coarse sand
  • Peat moss
  • Four sticks, 12 inches each
  • Plastic bag


  • "Flowering Shrubs"; James Crocket; 1972
  • Colorado State University: Propagating Trees and Shrubs
  • AgriLife Extension: Shrubs
Keywords: shrub cuttings, root shrub cuttings, plant shrub cutting

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University of Fullerton.