rose propagation

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by sarahb, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. sarahb

    sarahb Member

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    In an attempt to save the exquisite smelling rose at my old house (soon to be demolished), I took cuttings during the summer, and planted them in a compost/soil/sand mix. I kept them covered with clear plastic bags to retain moisture, and kept the soil moist. They all leafed out beautifully, but now I am finding that some leaves are withering. I had removed the plastic bags once a few leaves were out, and substantial in size, in order to minimize the chances of fungal growth. My books give little to no advice on rose care post-rooting. What should I be doing? It feels so awful to see the bare stems finally leaf out, and then die!
    Any insight appreciated. Thanks
    sarah b
     
  2. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    Look at the roots on one of the cuttings. Are they substanial? If not. the cuttings need the high humigity for a while longer.

    Sometimes the leaves will grow, but the roots don't form. Did you use a rooting hormone? Did you try to root the cuttings in the spring when the plant wants to make leaves not roots? Better to do it in late July or August.

    It's best to reduce the humidity gradually by opening the bottom of the bag a little at a time or by removing the bag and replacing it to give gradually longer periods of low humidity.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I second the nominations: may not be enough, if any roots yet to be throwing open bags.
     
  4. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    For instructions on rose propagation from cuttings, there is none better than this article by Mel Hulse.

    Once rooted, rose cuttings usually do well. But I need to ask you one question - inspite of the fact that the cuttings "leaved out", do you know if there are any roots formed at the same time? A cutting can produce leaves without producing roots. The leaves are produced, drawing on the nutrient reserves in the cuttings. What you may find at the bottom end of the cutting is not roots but just a callus. These cuttings with wilt unless the humidity around the cuttings remain high. If the percentage of rooted cuttings is low, you likely can improve your chances next time by applying rooting hormones. But don't give up on your current crop of cuttings. As long as they still look healthy, and not yellow or black, there remains potential for success. You could give a gently tug at the cuttings and see if they are firmly in the soil (rooted) or comes up easily (not rooted). For those cuttings that are not rooted, examine the bottom end of the cuttings. If there is a callus, "wound" the callus by making superficial slits in the callus with a sharp edge - a knife. Apply rooting hormone (I prefer the gel to the powder) to the freshly wounded callus and reinsert into the media. Then, wait and see.

    If you don't succeed this time, you can always try again, following Mel Hulse's instructions.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2007
  5. sarahb

    sarahb Member

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    Well thank you all for your helpful responses!
    I have read the suggested website, and it is great.

    Of the 4 rose cuttings I had left, I'm now down to 2.
    The stems of 2 of them turned brown, and when I pulled them up to check for roots - no action! You were right - they put their energy into leaves, not roots. I took the cuttings at the end of June... and I did not use rooting hormone.

    Also, the portion of the stem in the soil (on both sick cuttings) were spotted with white - it looks more like a fungus than eggs, but i do not know for sure.

    I will keep trying until I have some success - this rose is so spectacular, you can smell if from across the street.

    Again, thanks for your insight!

    sarah
     
  6. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    If your current crop of cuttings succumbed to rot, the next question I would pose to you is what was actually in your compost/soil/sand mix. If you had used garden soil, it would have been teeming with microorganisms, as any good garden soil should. That, unfortunately, increased the risk of your cuttings being infected and rot. I would suggest to try using a "soil-less" media next time, ideally one which has not been fully charged with fertiliser. There are ready mixed media out in the market that you can get for a few bucks. Or else, if you are so inclined, there are a number of "recipes" which some folks swear by. Examples of these include 50:50 sand and peat, 50:50 perlite and peat. There had been some reports (annecdotal, mind you) of better root formation with coir (by product of the copra industry - i.e. coconuts husk). Coir used to be expensive, but not any more. You can buy dried compacted slabs of it for the equivalent price of peat moss. The advantage is that it is a renewal resource. One gardening "expert" advised just coarse sand alone!

    I try and keep my life simple, and adapt my bale of Sunshine #4 mix for everything, including cuttings (it does have a small charge of fertiliser, but this doesn't seem to be a problem for rose cuttings.). However, I plan to start experimenting with coir next year.
     

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