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Root Cuttings – What Plants Can Be Propagated Using This Method ? (A lot)


Root cuttings make it possible to multiply the plants easily whether it is inside or outside. Here is a list of the 15 most popular plants to propagate by root cutting:

  • Geranium
  • Hydrangea
  • Boxwood
  • Camellia
  • Begonia
  • Rosier
  • Fig Tree
  • Lavender
  • Read
  • Honeysuckle
  • Cist
  • Mint
  • Willow
  • Elderberry
  • Laurier-rose


Material for root cuttings

To practice root cutting correctly, here are the necessary tools:

  • a pot for indoor plants: choose a pot proportional to the size of the plant.
  • a potting soil: choose a potting soil adapted to the plant.
  • a pruning shears or a knife: sharpening it makes it possible to cut with precision.
  • a planter: if it is optional, it can be useful, especially for cuttings of outdoor plants.
  • a pencil: it allows you to create a hole in the soil beforehand, thus avoiding damaging the growth.
  • a greenhouse or mini greenhouse: ideal for plants that like heat and humidity.


How to root cut a plant ?


Choose a healthy cutting, free of insects, without flowers and proliferates.

Cut the 10-15 cm branch with a very clean (disinfected) pruning shears so as not to contaminate the cutting.

Remove the leaves and side shoots on the part that will go into the ground.

If necessary, dip the base in a hormone powder sold in garden centers.

Plant the cutting in a special cutting soil or a mixture of white peat and sand.

Water generously.

Maintain a good level of humidity until the cutting is in place.


When to take cuttings ?


Stem cuttings → stems of the year: chrysanthemums, antemies, carnations, St. John’s wort, etc…


Semi-hardy cuttings → The base is hard and the tip still soft: Geraniums, fuchsia, evergreen shrubs.


Dry cuttings → hard wood: deciduous trees and shrubs.

Cutting leaves → Some species such as begonias and saint-paulias as well as most house plants require this particular method.




Different cutting techniques

The simple cutting of stem

Stem cutting consists in planting a section of stem, stripped of leaves at its base and cut under a knot.

When is it done? Stem cuttings are classified according to the maturity of the tissues: herbaceous, semi-arched (semi-woody) and aroused (woody) cuttings. The first ones are made in spring or early summer, the second ones in late summer, and the last ones in autumn.

For which plants ? The single cutting is suitable for most perennials and annuals, shrubs and trees.

The root cutting

Cuttings are taken from young, woody roots, i.e. those that can produce buds. This cutting technique is simple and does not require special care. It does not, however, allow to obtain many cuttings (at the risk of weakening the mother plant) and just requires… to get the plant out of the ground!

For which plants? The perennial species with rather thick fleshy roots (mullein, poppies, phlox…) and some suckering shrubs.

When? Winter.


Cutting in water

Some plants emit roots very easily when one of their green stems is placed in a glass of water. The method is simple and playful and is appreciated by children. But the recovery of the plant, once planted, is sometimes more difficult than for a classic cuttings.

Who is it for? Houseplants, such as begonia, dieffenbachia, misery or philodendron, but also oleander, ivy, papyrus, willow?

When? Spring/Summer.


Leaf cutting

There are several ways to do this (incised sheets, cut sheets): read Cutting Sheets.

For which plants? This technique is used on plants with fleshy leaves of houseplants, but also on fuchsias, purslane, sedums…

When is it used ? All year round for evergreens.



The cutting is a little delicate and is carried out in April-May. Cut at 10 cm the ends of herbaceous stems. remove the leaves from the base.

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