Root cuttings

Plants that produce shoots directly from their roots—for example, acanthus (Acanthus) and sumac (Rhus)—can he increased by taking root cuttings. These cuttings are normally taken in late autumn or during early winter while the plant is dormant.
11 o w v o u deal with the cuttings depends on the type of root system of the plant. Thicker roots should normally he cut into sections 2-3 in. long, while thinner roots should he cut into longer sections up to 4 in. long. It is important that you make a different cut at each end of thick roots so that you know which way up to plant them: make a straight cut at the top of the root (nearest the stem) and a slanted cut at the other end.
Prepare a tray or pots of compost containing a mixture of peat and venniculite. Insert the slanting ends of the roots into the compost. Cover with grit and then water well. Alternatively, use sand to cover the cuttings.
With thin roots that are too delicate to insert upright, lay the roots on the surface of the compost. Cover with grit, as before, and then water well.
Hoot cuttings can he propagated in a cold frame and potted when new shoots appear in spring.
TAKING ROOT CUTTINGS
Some plants produce very short stems and shoots, which can make taking cuttings very awkward,
so another part of the plant has to be used. The roots of many herbaceous plants and alpines,
and a number of trees, shrubs, and climbers, can be used for propagation.
1
After carefully digging up the wots of the plant that is to he propagated, wash them to remove as much soil as possible before you begin.
2
Cut thick roots into sections 2—3 in. long with a flat cut at I he top and a slanted cut at the bottom tihis will become the planted end.
3
Insert the root cuttings by gently pushing the slanted ends into a pot of compost so that the top of each cutting is level with the surface.
4
Cover with grit, which allows air to reach the top of each cutting without letting them dry out and also ensures good drainage.

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