Best Method for Rooting Cuttings?

Desertgarden- Las Vegas, Z8b @ 2800 ft.April 29, 2014

With Vintage nearing the end, it is important to preserve some of the very special roses they offered. I have purchased a couple of these beauties but have never taken cuttings nor attempted to root anything. Is there a place that has great instructions for this practice, including the time of year that is best to do it?


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ffff(Calif. 9)

The best I know is Dip n'Grow, damp newspaper and a plastic bag. Kim Rupert's done an excellent job of documenting this method: (and elsewhere)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 1:57PM
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seil zone 6b MI

There are several methods detailed on GradenWeb's Propagation forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagation and Exchange forum

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 7:02PM
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(Thank you, ffff!) There is no one, universal "best". Every method works...somewhere, at some time of year, with some roses. To become proficient at propagation, you have to sacrifice a lot of cuttings exploring which methods are going to work best for your conditions and the roses you wish to propagate. Each method has a favored period of the year and not all work in all parts of the country in all conditions. Kim

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 7:19PM
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I had great success with coir. I also have used birth control pills and aspirin water.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 5:50AM
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Layering, if you have the original plant.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 11:35AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Gold Coast Heritage Roses Group offers a variety of propagation information, under "Articles."

In your dry conditions, I would give the "Terrarium" method a try -- using a translucent plastic storage crate with an air tight lid. (See below)

Here is a link that might be useful: Gold Coast Heritage Roses Group

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 5:20PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Jeri, is all willow good or just curly willows? I found normal willows a short walk away and have a box set and ready for once it cools off and the roses have a few days to regroup after the heat.

The heat cooked my clear plastic cups just sitting in the box, they look like they went through the dishwasher dryer, so I think I will look for a cooler bright shady spot for my summer experimenting :) They were tucked under a bush under a tree but guess that was not enough. I did have one in the box but it was cooked.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 5:39PM
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Desertgarden- Las Vegas, Z8b @ 2800 ft.

Thank you all for the information. I will look up the protocols.

Jeri, thank you for the information and the image; visuals are helpful.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 9:48PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Kippy -- ANY willow, I think.

We just use curly willow because we have it. It's pretty in the garden, but you have to cut it back periodically ... so taking cuttings to make willow tea is a natural.

And -- I don't think I'd even try it, in the sort of weather your and my bits of the SoCal coast have been having.

For those who haven't experienced its "loveliness" () Santa Ana conditions push hot, dry, inland air out here to the coast. There, the East winds meet the west winds, and compression occurs. The result is higher temperatures at the coast than inland. That's what we've had this week. And we're not acclimated to it -- nor are our animals, or our plants.

My dogs love to sunbathe during the day -- but in these conditions, they don't do it for very long at a time. (No, she's not dead.)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 12:06PM
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vettin(z6b Northern VA)

The burrito method described by Kim on his blog is the only one that worked for me.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:13AM
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I'm glad it's helped, Vettin. It continues to be the only method I've succeeded with here.

That's funny, Jeri! The two Terrors here are definitely reptilian. Every time they go out, it's to fry on the hot front brick steps. Indoors, they curl up like pill bugs, but out where you can fry eggs, they maximize skin contact with the heat source!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:54PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Today is better. Temporarily, at least, the heatwave has broken. :-)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 1:47PM
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ms. violet grey

Regarding placing cutting directly in potting soil w/ root hormone:
Do I still need to cover cuttings with a plastic bag for the greenhouse effect if I live in a hot and humid climate (Houston)?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:04AM
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Well, this works for me but it might not work if the conditions are WAY too dry:

1. Make sure cuttings are from a dormant part of the plant.
2. Cutting no bigger than 6-9 inches.
3. Use small plastic pots with shallow trays under them.
4. Place cutting about halfway into in potting medium. (I just use whatever well-rotted mulch-soil we have).
5. Place in morning sun only, water only when tray is empty. (Deeper trays might work better in very dry areas??)
6. No rooting hormone or chems added.

This might not work in the dead of summer- haven't tried it then.

I found this method by trial and error and serendipity. I hope that it works for someone else other than myself!

good luck to all who propagate,


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 10:46AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

And, if you are in Southern California, keep in mind that the arrival of more extremely hot weather is predicted for next weekend.

(That would be the weekend of May 10-11, 2014.)

So, if you are planning to take cuttings, keep in mind the need to protect them from intense heat and very low humidity. IMHO, this is a situation in which the "Terrarium" method may shine -- tho only if it is protected from the sun.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Desertgarden- Las Vegas, Z8b @ 2800 ft.

I think that I will try rooting cuttings in the Fall. While I tend to go for the least fussy protocols, I think I will try two or three.

I have read that a cutting should be taken from a stem that has just bloomed. Above someone wrote to take the cutting from a dormant stem. "Dormant"??? Warm climate.....Can someone please clarify?


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:34PM
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Hi Lynn,

My roses are never actually dormant, not like the dormancy they get "up North". What I mean by dormant is a stem that has just bloomed or isn't showing any soft, new growth. That's as dormant as mine ever get.

Also, I have been told that all of the leaves should be removed to reduce moisture loss through transpiration. It doesn't seem to make much difference for me here, but with folks in very dry places it might be a reasonable step to take.

wishing you luck,


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 2:20PM
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There are three terms you might benefit from understanding. "Dormant", "soft wood", "hard wood". Dormant in my climate means wood which is removed in late winter/early spring BEFORE the plant begins pushing foliage and flowers. Some years that period seems not to occur, most years, it does. Hard wood is the growth BENEATH that which has most recently flowered. Sometimes it has older foliage on it, others, it doesn't. Sometimes that can be "dormant". Soft wood are the most recent flowering stems, usually those which have recently shed their petals.

Wrapping, or "The Burrito Method", traditionally works most successfully with dormant material, though it CAN work wtih hard wood cuttings under optimum conditions. Most often, methods such as the "baggie", "terarium", mist, etc., require soft wood material, that which has recently borne a flower after the bloom has fallen.

Dormant and hard wood material is "harder", it won't wilt easily and is usually more durable against harsher conditions. Its buds are more "dormant", requiring more time to mature before being stimulated into growing. Soft wood wilts rather easily as it is "softer", more juvenile. It usually contains more readily available nutrients, hormones, auxins, etc. which push new foliage and flowers. Under ideal conditions, it can often root very quickly. When I volunteered at The Huntington Library, propagating for the sales and gardens, I used soft wood material under their mist propagation set up. A flowering stem which had recently shed its petals could root under the usual summer conditions in the mist table in seven to ten days. Hard wood took several weeks under mist. Hard wood and dormant cuttings over winter in the green houses required three to four months.

What is optimum for you to use depends upon a wide range of variables. You can study suggestions from other climates for each method, but you have to experiment with them where you are to determine which works best for you and at what times of the year. A rose breeder friend in Rancho Mirage has his best success in November using soft wood, if that helps. Kim

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 2:45PM
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ms. violet grey

So, if I live in humid heat, do I need to cover cuttings?
Or will it provoke rot in the cutting...

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 3:10PM
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