October 4, 2011

Rose cuttings - 2 trials

My second rose cuttings taken from Mary Rose plant seem to be doing fine – look at the photo, do you think they will survive? I think there is a big chance.

In one of my last posts I was writing about my problematic Mary Rose producing lots of suckers, which sometimes pop up 2 meters away from the original plant! Then I have to rip off 2 meters of already established soil, which is something I shouldn’t do and also you shouldn’t do as well. Turning the soil means bringing new weed seeds from the deeper soil levels to the top. The less you turn the soil, the better for you – less weeding, less work.

Suckers are weakening the original plant, especially these style of suckers, which can be spotted after the plant took the effort of growing 2 meters of them. I can see clearly on my roses, how weak they are – they seem to be half dead, blooming, right, but only few flowers in a season.

Mary Rose is the only rose I have with this kind of problem – others are fine. So, I decided to give a try and propagate my Mary Rose from cutting, to see the difference because I believe she can bloom much more profuse.

I took first rose cuttings 5 weeks ago. From all info I’ve read, it says take the stem, which just finished blooming. Deadhead and divide in few 12-15 cm pieces, leaving 1 pair of leaves on the top of each cutting. The bottom part of each cutting should be cut at about 45 degree angle, leaving long nice cut. To this instruction I’ve added one my own invention – I shortened the rose leaves to only last 1 pair. Then I used hormone and sticked the cuttings in the pot, keeping the soil damp. I have not covered them what so ever and the pot was standing on the northern windowsill.

Very soon – 7-10 days - I’ve noticed stems were getting brown and died in 14 days. I decided to not give up so easy and try again.

After removing dead rose cuttings from the pot, I sticked fresh ones. I only made one change – I didn’t touch the left 1 leaf.

Very soon – in about one week – I noticed there is no browning, but rather positive change on the stems – buds started to grow! This time none of the cuttings died, all are green. Only the leaves started to wilt and fall, but this seems to not disturb the process. Now, as you can see on the photo – only one leaf is left.

Notice please that stems are not sticked in the soil up to the neck (LOL), only half. So far so good.
Cross your fingers for Mary Rose! And for me! (eeeeh, why not?!), please....

What is your experience with rose softwood propagation?


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I have had successes and failures with rose cuttings, any cuttings actually. I hope these will survive and grow for you.


Lona said...

I am so please for you. I have tried for a couple of years to get a cutting to start from my Crimson Bouquet rose. This summer I finally got one that grew. So my record is not too good. LOL! Now if I can get it transplanted into the ground and live.???

Ivy Clad said...

I have my fingers crossed for you. :) I have never tried rose cuttings & have had about 50/50 success with other cuttings. When I have to try multiple times on a gardening project, I just remind myself of something I heard a gardener say once, "Gardeners don't make mistakes; we just try different things." Good luck!

stadtgarten said...

I think your rose cuttings look very good at the moment - but I think you will have to wait until next year if everything is okay. I tried this last year with three roses and was very happy that one survivied the winter and looked very good in springtime, but then it decided to give up ;(
I wish you will have more luck - I know it works - a friend of mine has lots of roses from cuttings in her garden and they are blooming very good.

Ewa said...

Monika, thank you so much for this piece of information - that will make me more cautious next year, if the little things will survive.

hopflower said...

It usually depends upon when you take them. Where I live, it is still too warm; you usually take them in late December or January when they are pruned. I have taken cuttings for many years, and never had one fail. However, there are some roses that are rather resistant to it. Most are not.

Ewa said...

Hi Hopflower, where are you living?

hopflower said...

Sorry; I just saw this today. Rather late, but better than never. I live in northern California.

hopflower said...

The ideal time to take softwood cuttings is just as the wood begins to harden off. If you take hardwood cuttings, take them in winter. You always need a leaf, although a small one; because it gains nourishment through photosynthesis without using it up as a bud or thorn would to further develop. Take off any and all buds or thorns from your cutting; and always take a cutting at least 6-8 inches long.

Putting your cuttings under glass or plastic for a couple of weeks helps, too. You must raise the glass or plastic for an hour or two each day to air and prevent mould. Place the cuttings in semi-shade; and once they root, usually in about 6 weeks' time, you can move them to a sunnier area. Misting them can be helpful as well, with some plain water. Do not keep your cuttings in soil that is too wet; but do not let them dry out completely, either. Never fertilize a new cutting. Wait until they have rooted firmly, which you can tell by gently giving them a tug and feeling the resistance.

Ewa said...

Hopflower, thank you for extensive advice! Very helpful.
Do you have any experience in transplanting 7-10 years old roses - will it survive?

hopflower said...

It does not really matter how old the rose is; what matters is the time of year and the care you take in transplanting it. Also, if you have any kind of fear about transplanting you can always take a cutting (or two) off of the parent plant and ensure that the rose will go on!

The easiest time to transplant roses is during dormancy; weather is cooler and damper then, making the job more enjoyable for you and less stressful on the plant. After the annual pruning, the plant is smaller and much easier to move around. Dormant plants don’t go into transplant shock since they aren’t growing or transpiring at this time, so the demands on their roots are minimal.

Get as much water as possible into the plant beforehand by watering deeply the day before transplanting. You don't want to have to deal with mud.

Take as big a root ball as you can possibly manage. Carefully dig around the circumference of the rose, and take as many roots as you can. But you will not be able to take them all. Don't worry. If the rose is too large, cut the top of it down to about 24 inches high or so.

Minimize time out of the ground by getting the new planting place ready for the rose beforehand. If
the plant will be out of the ground more than a few minutes, cover the roots with a damp piece of burlap. Or you can soak it in a bucket of water for a few minutes while you perfect the planting place.

Again, do not fertilize until after new growth starts in spring and it has taken root.

Make sure you water well until it is settled in. At first, your rose will want more water than usual. If you see any sign of wilting, water again. Usually, a new transplant will settle in quite easily with a good, deep watering after you have planted it the same day.

After that, monitor your rose the first few weeks and make sure you keep it well watered and do not allow it to dry out.

I belong to a rose society and used to work in a nursery. I would still be there if my boss had not sold it and retired.

Ewa said...

Dear hopflower :) what is your name?
Thank you so much for enlightning in rose transpantation subject.
It looks that in our 6 zone and cold winter, the best time will be end of February or beginning of March, since this is the time we prune roses and remove frost damages.
May the force be with you!