How to Propagate Root Cuttings

Overview

Propagate your favorite plants by taking root cuttings of a parent plant during the cool weather dormant season. Cutting the root section during this time of year is not stressful for the above-ground portion of the plant as energy is stored in the roots during dormancy. Propagation through root cuttings is an easy process and provides a low-cost option for plant production.

Step 1

Disinfect the tools and potting containers that will be used for the root propagation process with a solution that is nine parts water one part bleach. Allow everything to air dry before using.

Step 2

Gently remove the dirt covering one side of the root structure being propagated. Dig close to the base of the plant to ensure you are uncovering the correct root system.

Step 3

Evaluate the root structure and choose roots that are approximately the thickness of a pencil. Do not choose roots that are black in color or dried.

Step 4

Cut a length of root that is 2 to 6 inches. Cut this section into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Make note of which end is the upward portion of the root. The upward portion is closest to the parent plant. Make a slanted cut on the downward end.

Step 5

Cover the parent plant root structure once all cuttings are taken.

Step 6

Plant the root cuttings in a protected outdoor area after the danger of frost is gone. The cuttings will grow well in a deep pot filled with potting soil or in a flower garden with nutrient rich soil.

Step 7

Dig a hole and place a layer of sand at the bottom. Dust the downward end of each cutting with powdered sulfur for fungus prevention.

Step 8

Place the downward end of the cutting one inch into the soil and gently fill the hole. Apply ¼ to ½ inch of course sand around the base of the cutting.

Step 9

Water the cutting only when the top layer of soil becomes dry to prevent root rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Pruning clipper
  • Potting soil
  • Course sand
  • Powdered sulfur

References

  • Propagate Your Own Plants with Root Cuttings
  • Plant Propagation by Leaf, Cane, and Root Cuttings
Keywords: root cuttings, root propagation, plant propagation

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.