What Is Rooting Medium?

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Rooting mediums, such as soil, sand and peat moss, help a plant stem, leaf or root cutting to grow roots, creating a new, viable plant. Many plants may also require a growth hormone, and an additional heat source to root properly. Though some plants root easily in water, the resulting roots are often fragile and do not allow the plant to grow as strongly as other mediums do.

Also known as the propagation technique, rooting creates a plant identical to the parent plant, unless grafting is employed. Grafting joins two different plants together, creating a more desired plant. For example, a desired plant may not reproduce or root easily. In that case, a gardener grafts an easily rooted stock plant on the bottom of a cutting with the desired plant on top. One must be sure to capture a growth node when taking a cutting, with typical cuttings being between 2 and 8 inches long.

Conditions must be right for the cutting to root, including the right soil with good drainage, partial shade, moistness and warmth. A pot in a greenhouse's controlled environment is ideal. Every plant has a best time of year for taking cuttings that root well, most during early spring. Younger adult plants produce better rooting stock than older plants.