How to Graft Wax

Written by d.c. winston
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How to Graft Wax
Rosa Corymbifera on the Rhine in Germany (Manfred Heyde, April 28, 2007)

Most commonly associated with grafting roses, grafting wax is an important tool in sealing and protecting the cut wounds of a wide variety of newly grafted trees and plants. While proprietary formulations vary, most grafting wax is made up of natural or synthetic beeswax, rosin and animal tallow. It comes in a semi-soft form that is easily warmed by your hands and malleable enough to seal the wound from air and water penetration. Grafting wax can also be melted with heat into a thin consistency and painted onto the graft in successive layers to form a seal.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Grafting wax
  • Wax paper or parchment paper
  • Double boiler to melt wax
  • Small new paint brush

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    Grafting Small Cuts

  1. 1

    Secure the graft and scions in final position before preparing the grafting wax.

  2. 2

    Melt the grafting wax in a double boiler over low heat until it is just liquid but not scorching hot.

  3. 3

    Paint the melted grafting wax all over every cut edge of the graft with a new clean paintbrush used only for grafting wax (you do not want any other chemicals mixed in here). Paint the wax on in successive layers, allowing the wax to become semisolid on the graft site between coats.

    Grafting Large Cuts

  1. 1

    Secure the graft and scions in final position before preparing the grafting wax.

  2. 2

    Hold and mould the grafting wax in your hands to soften until pliable. Form into thin sheets or strings. Lay these on wax paper or parchment in the sun to further soften the wax.

  3. 3

    Apply the sheets of softened wax to your grafts and press to seal.

Tips and warnings

  • Never heat the grafting wax more than is necessary; just bring it to a thick liquid and slightly flowing state. If the wax is too hot, it will kill the tissues of the graft.

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