Is there any reason I can't grow my rootstock in a pot until I'm ready to graft

I don’t want to heel them in because it could be a bit. Is there any reason I can’t or shouldn’t put my new rootstock in a pot with dirt, like a “regular” tree, until I can use it for grafting. G214 if it matters. 7b.


I can think of two obvious reasons. A potted tree would need another transplant later on if you intend to grow it in native soil. Also a potted tree can outgrow its pot.

1 Like


No reason not to that besides those mentioned. Keep in mind many people only grow fruit trees in pots.

1 Like

there isen’t a reason to suspect “absolute doom and misery” from potting up rootstocks. So you can do that just fine.

There usually are far better options though. I found rootstock or grafted tree’s, all of them do better in ground.

If the spot where you want the tree to be is free of weeds and easy to reach (watering etc) i would just plant the rootstock there and graft later.

If the “final spot” is unknown or still needs some work. I would make a small “nursery spot” somewhere where i grow all my rootstock or young tree’s for 1-2 year before transplanting in winter.

1 Like

No, not at all! Actually, I pot many of mine and put them in my greenhouse to advance their emergence from dormancy allowing me to graft them many weeks earlier than outdoors! A potted plant also makes grafting so much easier for beginners.
Kent, wa


Please don’t use ‘regular dirt’ in a pot. You csn have drainage problems and the tree won’t be happy.


I pot all my benchgrafts every year. This way, I can plant them at my leisure throughout spring, summer and fall.


Regular dirt is also very heavy so may be impractical in sufficiently large enough pots.

I still have root stock in a grow bags 6 years later. Got to keep them watered.


I’ve done it, and there’s no reason to think it isn’t a good idea if you’re not ready to use the rootstocks.

1 Like

That may be true, but probably not in areas of less rainfall.

(I;ve lost plants to rot in pots, and I’ve lost plants from getting too dry. It’s really about your supplemental irrigation or the timely rains in your area…or lack of them).

I grow all my rootstock in fabric pots. I only graft stuff I really want, and it helps increase success. Rootstock in pots makes for a comfortable grafting experience and climate/shade control after the fact.


Interesting, thank you. I wish to try growing my LILAC BUSH transplants, as mentioned above.
Rabbits or moles, get them if ground transplanted.
Last week, I lost 4 raspberry plants in a day, just purchased and planted with fence (1-inch diamond) wire, did not stop).


Well considering all the trees that get sold in pots that are waaaaay too small for them you can certainly get away with using pots for a year or two.

Heck I just re grafted two rootstocks from last year whose scion didn’t take. They have been in bags since then.

1 Like

Regular dirt may be heavy, and depends on the amount of clay in it if it drains or not.
But, I like some ‘real dirt’ in my pots, mixed into ‘topsoil’ from the big box store that is nothing but finely ground tree bark usually these days, and maybe some compost if I have any. I avoid ‘potting soil’ like the plague in potting up my grafts unless it’s just a handfull tossed into a bin of my custom mix.
Pine fines and river sand mixed into real dirt makes a nice soil for potted trees.

After bench grafting I put some Gen30 sticks in pots, left 'em in the shade to see if they would make roots. About 50% did. Then I grafted to 'em the following spring. That’s how one of my whips got started, which was planted in its permanent spot last year, adding mycorrhizal inoculant then. It more than doubled in height & pushed a branch which is too low but ideal for a scion to give away.