Gardening tips for December: Take root cuttings

From now on through winter, certain herbaceous perennials can be propagated easily by root cuttings. The sea hollies in the genus Eryngium, are an ideal example. Carefully lift a clump, and you’ll see the pencil-thick, succulent roots hanging down. Prepare a pot of sandy compost. Cut off a root, and slice it into 2in lengths, remembering which is top and bottom of each. Push them into the compost, with the top just below the surface. Label, water and stand somewhere sheltered outdoors, or in a cold frame. In the spring, each will form a new plant.

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