Is there a "secret" to propagating Fortuniana?

g-in-fl(9a Florida)January 9, 2013

I've been growing roses for less than a year, and rooting cuttings less than that. I had some absolutely beautiful HEALTHY cuttings of Fortuniana, and I killed every last one of them. They seemed to rot. The stems started turning brown from the bottom up. I prepared them the same way I do my OGR, but with very different results. I then tried to root Cherokee cuttings, thinking they seem very similar, but killed them too.. I'm going to try again in the spring, varying the dampness of the pearlite.
Has anyone got any advice for me?

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The wrapping method I've outlined on my blog originated with an Australian nurseryman who started his Fortuniana using the method. They callused and he would take them out in his fields, shove the callused end into the soil and the blamed things root in place. This is the time of year to use this method and it's already been shown to work on Fortuniana. Please feel free to give it a try if you'd like. Reading it through from start to the most recent post will bring you up to date on all the experiences and tweaks. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Wrapping cuttings

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 8:34PM
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g-in-fl(9a Florida)

Thank you , Kim. I'm off to ready some newspaper. Will let you know how I do.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 10:22AM
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You're welcome Gracin. You'll probably want to use material at least #2 pencil thickness (if available) so they'd be ready for budding this season. You should disbud them before wrapping, leaving only the top one or two buds per cutting. Using material further down the cane than the growing end should also help with your success as it is harder, more dormant. Watch the moisture level in the paper. If you can squeeze out any more water, it's too wet. And, watch the temperatures you hold the wraps under. My initial ones this winter were too cold. The cuttings were in perfect shape, absolutely no deterioration at all, but there was very little callus. I potted them anyway as they'd been in the wraps for the full two weeks. So far, nearly two weeks in soil and partial day sun, they all still look fresh. The newer wraps I'm holding in the sunken living room where the temps shouldn't exceed 68 (thermostat setting and lowest part of the house). Last year, our evening temps seldom dipped below fifty. This year, we've gotten nearly to freezing with many nights in the low forties, so the traditional place in the garage remained too cool for callus formation. It really does generate more efficiently in the 60's F range. I know Fortuniana works with the wraps as they were some of the first I tried two years ago when I first read the method on the RHA. Good luck! Kim

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:06PM
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You might also try tip layering. The most "fool proof" way for me in St. Pete Fl.
Andrew Grover

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 2:49PM
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g-in-fl(9a Florida)

Only 4 more days to wait to check the cuttings in the
newspaper wrap.

It's like having to wait for Christmas morning, isn't it?

I looked up tip layering, and I think that's a great idea.
I planted a really pretty rambler, Mel's Heritage, about 6 weeks ago. When I watered it last, I noticed that a cane was under the mulch instead of on the fence. You guessed it, it had rooted on its' own! I did not make the connection between that and the possibility of rooting Fortuniana until you suggested tip layering - so I'm very grateful for your suggestion.

I'm sure it's just a matter of time before I have a good supply of fortuniana rootstock to graft onto! :>)

Thanks to you both!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 9:29AM
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Good luck Gracin! My first wraps of the year were obviously too cold, so nothing callused. They all looked as fresh as when cut, so I potted them anyway and to date, three weeks later, most appear as fresh as they did when I potted them. We'll see. The second batch I wrapped were for demonstration at a local rose society day before yesterday. They were held warmer, but not quite warm enough. Most had varying degrees of callus and were suitable for the demonstration.

I agree with Andrew that layering can be a very successful method of propagation, particularly with anything bred from Wichurana or Multiflora as both are extremely easy to root. Both often do it themselves, whether we desire it or not. But, for producing a suitable root stock without any growth buds which will lead to suckers in the future, layering isn't a desirable method. You have to disbud the cutting, leaving only the top few growth buds and you want roots only at the bottom of the cutting. Everywhere there are roots, presents a potential site of new plant growth which can easily lead to suckers. You don't care about that if you are simply seeking to create another Fortuniana, but if you want to use it to be budded on to, you won't be happy! Kim

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 12:26PM
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Mel's Heritage is a rose on my buy list. Kim, I had not thought about budding the plants down the line. Thank you for bringing that up!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:27PM
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g-in-fl(9a Florida)

Thanks, Kim for the clarification on root stock rooting.
My first attempt on the newpaper wrap is a mixed success.
I have beautiful callous growth, but I also have mold. I stuck the cuttings anyway. I just have to do a better job at getting the extra water removed from the newpaper. But all in all, its a cool method. I am also going to try my normal fish tank greenhouse method using dip and grow at the 10%
concentration that Malcolm's students had so much success with. But I'm going to incorporate the knowledge that fortuniana seems to need less humidity. I guess everybody needs to tweek for their conditions.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:08AM
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You're welcome Gracin. Congratulations! I don't know if you saw my latest blog entry about the quality of news paper, but I recently discovered there are various weights and fiber content to news print. The local newspaper some brought to a society meeting simply turned into mush when wet, no matter how many sheets were put together. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today both use heavier, more durable paper (the two which I have friends save for me) which permits you to wring it out tightly without turning to mush in your hands. If your paper is turning into slime in your hands, you may want to either buy one of the others or see if friends read them and will save them for you. I had no thought this might have been an issue until I witnessed it. That makes an enormous difference! Good luck tweaking it to your conditions. Kim

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 3:21PM
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I've only tried this a few times so far, with great results (thanks for sharing the info!)

It's been helpful to moisten the newspaper with a spray bottle to control the degree of saturation. You can spray the whole pile, discard the top sheet if it's too wet, etc.

I might try moistened cloth sometime--will report

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:42AM
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