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Save Money with Root Cuttings





Pussy Willow

Crape Myrtles

Everyone wants to have a yard full of beautiful plants. But, that can get expensive. Did you know you can save a lot of money by rooting the plants you already have? You can and it's quick and easy with just four steps.

Step One

The best time to take root cuttings is between November and February when the roots are dormant. The plants aren’t actively growing and have a lot of stored energy in their roots.

For woody plants like trees and shrubs, remove some dirt around the roots on one side of the plant. Dig close to the base of the plant so you can be sure you're getting the roots from the right plant. Choose a root that's living, about a thick as a pencil, and appears healthy.

For perennials, lift up the entire plant. Look for the thickest roots.

Step Two

Clip 1/3 of the root off. Don’t take more than this or it might damage the parent plant.

Cut the roots into 2" to 3" sections. Be sure to note which part of the root grows up and which part grows down. You don’t want to root your plant upside down. You can keep this straight by making a flat cut for the top and a slanted cut for the bottom.

Cover up the roots of the parent plant and water.

Step Three

Decide where you're going to root your cuttings. You can use a deep pot or a planter bed as long as it isn't exposed to frost. Dig a hole in your planter for each cutting, put a little sand in the bottom of the hole, and coat the bottom of each cutting with sulfur to keep fungi from growing. Make sure the soil is moist and about 1" of the roots are above the soil. Cover with 1/2" of soil or small gravel. Water when the soil gets dry. Keeping the soil too wet can rot the roots.

Step Four

Your cutting should start growing roots in 3 to 4 weeks. When you see new shoots growing off your roots, feed them with some liquid fertilizer. When the plants are established, you can plant them in pots or in the garden once freezing weather has passed. When you plant your root cuttings, make sure the top of the cutting is about 2" below the soil with the shoots sticking out of the soil.

That's all there is to it! Rooting, or propagating plants is easy to do. Follow these easy steps and you can fill your flowerbeds and yards with beautiful plants, shrubs and flowers.

All of the plants and flowers pictured on this page are easy to root and grow well in North Alabama. If you  don't already have these plants in your yard, check with family and friends and ask to take root cuttings from their plants. Swap root cuttings of plants you have that they would like as a very inexpensive way to fill your yard with blooms.

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