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I know that grapevines can be propagated using hardwood cuttings, softwood cuttings, and even single buds with the right equipment.

I was wondering if I could do the same using root cuttings in order to propagate the rootstock.

That is, cut a few strong roots and bury them exposing the part that was closest to the leaves.

I've found some anecdotal reports of grapevines growing back from roots but they were mostly interested in killing the plant rather than helping it.

Is it possible to propagate grapevines this way?

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I've experimented with it and unfortunately, even under 'intensive care', the root cuttings weren't a success. I got 1 or 2 plants from all the sections I planted.

That, and there's a good chance they will be rootstock plants. Here in the US, Many American grape varieties are grown on there own roots, so if you have American grapes (there are a few species, each of which with plenty of varieties), not Vitis vinifera (the European wine grape), you will likely (but not necessarily) be growing on your own roots.

As another thing for you to try, I've found that hardwood cuttings take quite readily without special equipment. Layering is also quite easy.

  • So it should be theoretically possible then? Could you describe the intensive care and add how many times you tried? I'm interested in the resistant rootstock as vitis vinifera and hybrids are easy to come by but rootstock only comes attached to the former. – user10810 Feb 21 '15 at 22:08
  • @jbcreix In early spring, I took root sections 12-14" long, and around the diameter of a new vine. This was when I was removing a mature plant, so there were plenty to come by. The root sections were dipped in hormone rooting powder/fungicide, and lain on their sides in moist, peaty mix in a deep bed. One part of the bed with bottom heat (provided by cable) and one without. – J. Musser Feb 21 '15 at 22:41
  • I put a used a moisture meter to sense the moisture level, and an automated mister to alter it, if it would go too low. The temperature of the one bed was not altered, and the temperature of the other bed was kept between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. The first time I did this, I got no results. The second time (one year later), I got a couple starts in the hot bed, out of the whole batch (20 something, iirc). – J. Musser Feb 21 '15 at 22:41
  • So yes, theoretically possible. If you want rootstock plants, the easy way to go about that would be to order grape rootstocks. Vitis californica is commonly used for vitis vinifera. – J. Musser Feb 21 '15 at 22:43
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Depends on the vine you've already got - many grapevines are grafted onto a basic root stock, that is, not growing on their own roots, which means any root cuttings you take and which grow won't be what's growing already, but will simply be off the rootstock. Vines can be grafted onto different rootstocks for different reasons - some may confer resistance to a local infection or infestation, some provide more vigour to the grafted vine, or are more drought resistant. And it's anybody's guess which rootstock has been used...

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