potatos as a way to propagate roses

whitejade(z5 MI)September 19, 2005

You all are going to think I grow nothing but roses and that couldn't be farther from the truth ! But I ran across this idea in the spring that some people propagate roses by taking a potato, making a slit in it, sticking the rose cutting in and then burying the potato (with the cutting sticking out to get light of course). I had to try that when I read about it and instead of new roses I have new potatoes :)

It was fun and the potatoes are a bonus but my question is, what botanical science may there be behind this idea?? I will try it again next year if there is real merit in this. Certainly it's easy to do!

thanks much,


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Did you dip your rose cutting in rooting hormone before sticking it in the potato? I don't imagine the potato does anything more than provide moisture. Last year there was a thread on the Plant Propagation Forum about using florist's Oasis in much the same way. Same idea; different medium.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
whitejade(z5 MI)

No I didn't use rooting hormone - the technique didn't say one needed to. I was under the impression that the starch or something in the potato contributed to the rose rooting somehow.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Old folk tales often have a shread of wisdom in them. I never got around to testing it when I had a greenhouse but I'm guessing it is mostly coincidence. Under ideal conditions the rose would root anyway.

My plan was to compare potatoes and a couple of others that we propagate with underground parts, perhaps iris and something else.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 1:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My mother-in-law recently passed away and I found a 1953
edition of Godchaux Sugars Famous Recipes from old New Orleans. Under useful household hints, it states " if you
wish to slip a rose bush cut off your slip and then stick the stem into a white potato. You will find that the slip will take root. This is the surest way to make it root."
I found this interesting, and I assume it is because potatoes are rich in potassium and B vitamins, plus hold mositure. I just tried a few slips to see if it works.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 9:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancyanne_2010(Z 8 / WA)

I read a long time ago - and tried - cut a hole in thepotato, fill with dirt, and plant a tomato seed in it and plant that- suppose to get potatoes and tomatoes. I forget what results I had.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brandon7 TN_zone(7)

In my unscientific trials of this method, I found traditional propagation techniques to work much better. There have been threads about the potato rooting method in the Plant Propagation Forum and just about everyone who had tried it found it less helpful than often claimed.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 9:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
keking(z6 TN)

The story I heard was that sticking a rose cutting in a potato was a useful way to keep the cutting alive during shipment (in the days before airmail and overnight delivery). Presumably, the cuttings were then removed and either rooted or used for bud wood.

Willow water has been recommended by some rose "rustlers". Cut switches from willows, place them in the water over night, then put in the rose cuttings as they are collected.


Here is a link that might be useful: Willow Water for Roses

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 12:05PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What are they?
Hi gardeners, I just went to empty the scrap bucket...
Can Plants Absorb Water Through Their Leaves?
Forgot what they taught me in school years ago! Sometimes...
have you seen Coppertone loquat?
I recently purchased some "Coppertone loquat"...
Franklinia alatamaha
Maybe this query should go in the Propagation or Native...
Cannabis regeneration technique
I'm looking to get some opinions on the below questions...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™