A rootstock is the root system of a common or hardy plant that will accept a graft of a less resilient variety. By grafting the stronger root a more fragile plant will gain strength. Often used on roses (particularly standard forms) and fruit trees, grafting with rootstocks allows us to grow a wider range of desirable plants. Sometimes when a grafted plant dies, it will sprout anew from the stronger root, but don’t be surprised when the resulting plant is nothing like what you expect. The new growth is only that of the original, less desirable variety of the rootstock.
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