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Graft Confusion

newdunnenewdunne Posts: 9
I'm a little confused about what to do with the graft point of a plant. In watching Gardeners' World, I've heard it recommended more than once that the graft point should not be buried  when planting. But I could've sworn there was one show where Monty Don said the graft should be buried (maybe for roses?) Is there any plant for which the graft should be buried? If so, when? Thanks!


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    No 'rule of thumb' I'm afraid, each plant is different.  I won't comment on roses as there's a never-ending debate about planting those, but I would say if you aren't sure, keep the graft at the same height as it was in the pot (or where the soil mark is for bare-root plants, trees and shrubs.)  Graft unions are a weak point so I think they are less likely to be infected if kept above soil level.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,977
    edited April 2020
    My understanding is that roses are grafted to speed up propagation of that variety. Therefore it does not matter if the graft is buried and the top growth develops it's own roots.

    Other plants (especially fruit trees) are grafted in order to control their vigour e.g. a pear tree on its own roots will grow very tall and take quite a few years to fruit.  If it is grafted onto a rootstock that will restrict the vigour the resulting top growth will be less vigourous and will fruit earlier.  If that graft is buried the top growth will produce its own roots and behave as if it had not been grafted, growing tall and taking a long while to fruit.  

    It used to be said that the graft of a rose bush should not be buried; however general practice nowadays is to bury the graft, this helps prevent windrock and the development of sucker growth fro the rootstock.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • newdunnenewdunne Posts: 9
    Thanks for the feedback! I'm asking because I've had more than one rose bush revert to some sort of crazy wild root rose instead of the variety it was when I bought it. I guess I was hoping for a hard and fast rule, but thanks all the same :)
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