Grafted Plants Suck!

bob_in_coloradoJuly 14, 2011

That's being very blunt, but it's how I feel. I've planted many a grape vine and many a rose bush and BLAM!, the graft gets zapped by one thing or another. (Yes I planted my hybrid tea grafts at or below the surface like it says to).

Then the roots are great and send up a plant I didn't want. I have since replanted own-root grape vines, roses and fruit trees where I can find them. When I take out the root stock from a honkin grafted plant, it's doing great, but I'd rather have roots of the true species plant!

Why graft roses? Mass production very quickly?

Grafted grape vines in CO aren't really necessary because of phloxera, or specifically, the lack thereof.

Why graft trees?

Save your plants! Save your $$$! If you must by grafted stuff, tip in, take cuttings or do what you have to in order to get own root stuff going. You'll be happier in the long run!


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dsieber(z5 (Lakewood CO))

???? That is broad claim. Probably 200 years of horticulture is based on grafting. If you are getting things from the root just cut them back. It is just not set it and forget it!!!! Grafting is a major break through.
You can live with huge trees that take may years to become productive going the non-grafted route, it is your time!!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 9:43PM
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Dan Staley

You'll be happier in the long run!

More than a century of practice with positive outcomes, billions of dollars worth of material sold every year, and almost all of the tree fruit we eat: gone with one forum post. Graftageddon.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:39PM
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david52 Zone 6

Has anyone tried grafting tomatoes yet? Johnny's was selling seeds for the root stock at some exorbitant price, and it didn't seem worth the effort.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 9:59AM
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My parents bought a red maple from a magazine once. The top died and sent up a green maple rootstock. It's been the largest and best maple tree ever! Good thing the top died. :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 11:02AM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

Bob_In_Colorado says:
"Why graft roses? Mass production very quickly? "

Actually, this is exactly why roses are grafted. I elaborated on it in a previous post, but yes. The rootstock is easy to grow to size quickly and only a single bud eye of the desirable rose is needed per plant.

As for grapes, I root my own. I haven't seen an advantage in Colorado in growing grafted grapes as opposed to non-grafted. Own root grapes appear to be just as vigorous.

I have a few own root fruit trees as well, but that was also my own doing.

In general, grafting seems to be the most economical way to produce plenty of desirable varieties of plants such as roses, grapes, trees, etc., that would not come true from seed and would be labor intensive to root from cuttings.

I know of some local nurseries that do specialize in own root roses.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 4:18PM
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david52 Zone 6

I can definitely see the argument for own-root roses, particularly with harsh winters where the die back is so severe.

I have also had a lot more luck with own-root plum trees - well, shrubs - than the grafted tree.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 5:42PM
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I partially agree, Bob.

I prefer own-root plants but maybe that is because winters can be harsh up here.

But, and I think you'll agree with me here, I love apples and I would not want to think how hard it would be to grow an apple from seed only to find out it produces awful, inedible fruit. I guess more farmers could try growing from cuttings but that seems like it would bring up the price of apples quite a bit!

Oh, my, thank you CNetter for the shared knowledge!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 9:59AM
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There are pros and cons to each method. I ended up going with own root roses but my apple trees are grafts. Like Netter says on roses mass production is a major factor. Economics is the deciding factor in private enterprise unlike in Washington. Like mentioned with the die back we have here I like own root roses. They will sprout back and your are fine. Hardly ever do the roots die or suffer damage.

Now for tomatoes I see advantages to grafting and started this year experimenting with it. This year was more perfecting the grafting technique. I have witnessed a growing vigor that offers promise. It will be 2-3 years before I will feel comfortable releasing results. Here in Kansas we are fortunate to have a young man who did graduate studies on grafting working for the state extension service now. If bought in bulk the seeds can be bought some cheaper. Mine cost around 15-20 cents a piece as I bought smaller amounts till I decide which varieties will work best for me. But at that if they offer a big increase in production and survivability I feel they are worth it. Around here plants in pots run from 2-5 dollars. At 20 cents that is a small amount of the total. And if I can increase my production by 1 pound I have more than covered the cost of the seed and my time grafting. I know growers who I chat/talk/exchange info with who are seeing average increases in total production of 20-30%. I know a few who have went to all grafted plants on in ground and greenhouse plants. Only time will tell how they do here for me and if it is worth while for the home gardener. If you have little disease problems and get good production then it may not be worth the increased expense. Something each grower will have to determine. I plant to plant around 50% grafted plants next season for side by side comparisons. I will post some results maybe after the 2012 season. Jay

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 1:09PM
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Dan Staley

I have witnessed a growing vigor that offers promise.

I agree. I was supposed to start this year and didn't. Next year hopefully for sure & local sales shortly thereafter.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 5:52PM
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mtny(SW MT zn 3)

more grafting ...less genetic engineering

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 10:25AM
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