By root cutting, you can grow more plants and the primary benefit of it is that the process is quite simple. All you have to do is follow four easy steps and start growing plants by root cutting without requiring any fancy equipment. In a calendar year, this method can be done twice to get the best result, i.e. the early spring and the very late autumn. The following growing season will ensure your plant’s growth and by fall they will be all set to take their place in your garden landscape.
Before you begin do ensure that the species of plant you want to grow by root cutting is suitable for it or not since all plants do not grow from this process. Some plants that thrive well by root cutting are roses, rosemary, basil, mint, tomatoes, Chinese evergreen, English ivy, and red and yellow dogwood to name a few.
When to cut the root?
The best time to cut the root is when the plant is dormant, i.e. between November and February. During this time the parent plant will have less stress for cutting the root while the root has the maximum stored energy. Avoid cutting a root when there is a bud or during the budding season as the energy from the root shifts to the bud and the effectiveness of the roots reduce. Also, ensure that the parent plant is well hydrated during the period of root cutting.
Which root to cut?
For shrubs, the best ones are the pencil size thick roots and with the perennial roots go for the thicker ones. As these roots are young they will produce more shoots rapidly. Cut the root closest to the parent plant and make a straight cut. On the far end make a diagonal cut. But do avoid cutting more than one-third of the root, as it will reduce the stored energy of the plant. Try to cut 3 to 6 inches long as that size is best for the stored energy of the roots.
Replant the mother plant properly and water it completely so that there are no air pockets near the root.
How to put the cuts in the soil?
For best result treat the woody and the perennial roots differently and separately.
Woody plant roots: You can tie them in a loose bundle together and put them in a hole that you have dug that should be below the frost level. Put a couple of inches of sand at the bottom of the hole so that there is proper drainage and the roots do not rot from the excess stored water. Put the slanted ends of the roots facing down and refill the hole.
Perennial roots: It is better to put these roots in a flatbed of moist soil horizontally, half an inch deep in the soil. Perennials need humidity and moisture so wrap the flatbed with a plastic bag. Perennials tend to form shoots quickly along with some buds.
Within 3 to 4 weeks the cuttings would be ready to be planted in the ground but do ensure that the weather is right for them to be planted outside. Try to plant them 12 to 18 inches apart with the top 2 inches below the soil surface.
These steps you follow and you will be ready to grow plants by roots in ample numbers for your garden.