Saddle Grafting

This is a method used primarily to propagate evergreen rhododendron species.


  1. The rootstock (usually Rhododendron ponticum) is cut back to approximately 5 cm (2 in) above the roots, and then cut into an upside-down 'V' shape using two angled cuts. The top of the 'V' should be slightly flattened.
  2. The scion should be a vigorous non-flowering shoot from the previous year's growth, of similar diameter to the stock (about pencil-thickness). It is trimmed to about 5-13 cm (2-5 in) with an angled cut at its base to match the stock.
  3. The cut scion is then placed on top of the rootstock and bound in place using clear plastic tape.
  4. The grafted plant is then placed in a propagator and the tape removed when the two pieces have successfully grafted - usually after about five weeks.
  5. The newly formed plant may then gradually hardened off.