How to - Techniques

Grow new plants from root cuttings

Enjoy more of your favourite specimens with little effort (and at no cost!)

5. Place pots in a bright, warm area out of direct sunlight. Water minimally to avoid rot—just keep the soil barely moist. Within four to six weeks, shoots will begin to appear from the cuttings; however, new roots will not have formed yet, so wait another two to three weeks before watering on a regular basis.

6. Once new plants are actively growing, place them in a sunny window, then harden them off for several weeks before planting in the ground. 

Here are some woody plants and perennials suitable for propagation by root cuttings: 

Shrubs, trees and vines

  • Bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) Zone 4
  • Japanese Angelica-tree (Aralia elata) Zone 4
  • Cross vine (Bignonia capreolata) Zone 6
  • Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) Zone 4 
  • Northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) Zone 4
  • Floweringquince (Chaenomeles spp.) Zone 5
  • Panicled golden­raintree (Koelreuteria paniculata) Zone 6 
  • Blue passion­flower (Passiflora caerulea) Zone 7
  • Royal Paulownia (Paulownia tomentosa) Zone 6
  • Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) Zone 3


  • Bear’s breeches (Acanthus spinosus Spinosissimus Group) Zone 5
  • Alkanet (Anchusa spp.) Zone 5
  • Japanese anem­one (Anemone x hybrida) Zone 5
  • Heron’s bill (Erodium spp.) Zones 4 to 8, depending on spp.
  • Sea holly (Eryngium alpinum) Zone 3 
  • Hardy geranium (Geranium spp.) Zones 3 to 8, depending on spp.
  • Sea lavender (Limonium latifolium) Zone 2 
  • Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale) Zone 3 
  • Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) Zone 4
  • Drumstick primrose (Primula denticulata) Zone 3
  • Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) Zone 4 
  • Mullein (Verbascum spp. and cultivars) Zones 3 to 8, depending on spp.

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