February gardening diary: take root cuttings

It’s not too late to take root cuttings of herbaceous perennials, perhaps when the plant is being moved. Sea hollies are ideal for this treatment. Lift the plant with care and put it on a bench. Work some of the soil away and admire the thick, whitish roots. Remove two or three of these. Cut them into 2in lengths, remembering which end is which, and insert them the right way up into pots of sandy compost. Label and place outside. In due course, new shoots will appear and they can be potted up. The same goes for oriental poppies. SCD

* Follow Country Life on Twitter

* Subscribe to Country Life and save