I got four cutting rooted over the winter using storage boxes

aliska12000(Z5)April 30, 2008

First I built a pvc pipe stand to suspend my cheap shop lights from, timer, etc., from a design I modified that I found on the web. I just used a warm and cool bulb in each fixture, and set the timer for 16 hours.

I stuck about 20 cuttings of several varieties, have only one box going in the photo, later got the second one going, and only got 4 rooted, not a good track record but learned a lot and better than none.

I used plastic cups with two holes in the bottom, used a special mix very similar to what George Mander uses, can't get his exact brand here, and wounded the cuttings, hormone (can't get the rhizopam except in large quanties, think I used rootone). I think half peat and half pearlite would work as well.

My dr table is usually messy like that so please overlook that as my priorities are different.

The photo pretty much tells it all. I put six blocks of quarry tile I got super cheap at Habitat Restore in the bottom of each box which fit nicely, wrong side up and filled with enough water so that the cuttings wouldn't sit in water. I got the lights a little too low and burned a few. Some just rotted on me. Two took about 4 months. If they are still green, don't give up. Those were white albas that had cluster stems.

Anyway, do not make the cuttings too tall because there is more humidity near the bottom of the box. After over two months, I trimmed the 2 albas down, and they rooted. The others rooted pretty fast. It's better if the leaves stay on and the cutting is healthy for faster rooting.

Once I got the failed cuttings out, I set a cool whip carton with more water in it for more humidity. I can use a couple cups next time to make more room.

I found it's better not to use the 16 oz cups but smaller ones because it takes too long for the roots to grow through the bottom holes. One last minute one I stuck in for the heck of it I'd had in a vase for a couple of days. It rooted in about 1 to 2 weeks.

I made no attempt to control the temps which might have helped. I think the key is having enough nodes but cuttings short enough so they get max humidity nearer the bottom.

Next time, I may try to find that no damp stuff.

After they rooted, I filled a gal pot with Miracle Gro potting soil and dug a depression in it soas to keep root disturbance to a minimum. I didn't lose any in the transplanting process and moved to an east window in the sunroom, then after a week or so put them right in the south window.

Now they just need to be hardened off a bit and held in pots outside for awhile or planted in the ground.

Even though I got such a poor track record of successes, I think this method has great promise, and I learn something from each failure.

I started with damaged cuttings because I didn't want to lose a season and that's all people had who let me take them, threw away the leaves with black spot as they fell off, and my plants look nice and healthy. If I had my camera, I'd take some photos. Two have shot up basals. Fatter stems should be better than some of the skinny ones I had to use.

Just thought I'd share my experience. I opted to set it up in the dining room because there is no good spot in the basement, and apart from the clutter, I don't have to run up and down steps to keep checking on things.

Oh, and I sterilized everything in bleach solution and rinsed well before I stuck them.

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bloomorelse(Z4b NB Canada)

Great to read all you detailed step by step instructions. Funny, after reading a bunch of propagating posts here, I bought the same storage container at Superstore with the idea of trying a few this summer myself. I see you have plastic tied with the elastic rope. Did you think the cover was not tight enough?


    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 9:24PM
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Both covers were opaque, one blue and the other white, so I couldn't use them. They would have been snug enough and much easier. Actually I needed to open mine every few days (which is a pain with those bungee cords) to let some fresh air in. They don't have to be totally sealed, just have to keep the humidity as high as possible. I don't know if a translucent one would let enough light through or not. That one poster who put me on to the idea appeared to use the translucent cover that came with his box, and he might have had his lights a lot closer. He also misted his. I did mist a little in the beginning but figured it was just more likely to blow nasty spores around and might do more harm than good.

George Mander uses clear plastic, said it should be heavy. I think mine was too heavy which made it a little harder to work with but otherwise ok.

Talk about a dim bulb lol. One of my lights was very dim, and I thought maybe that's the way they were supposed to be with the warm and cool. Then I got the second set of tubes when I set up the other pair of shop lights, and they both lit up real bright, so I figured something was wrong with that other one. I fiddled with it, and didn't have it screwed in tightly enough. Then it brightened up like it should have been. That could account for some of my losses. Some of my cuttings I left too many leaves on. I forgot one of those did root but I did lose that one in transplanting, a very odd alba with the most unusual leaves I'd ever seen on a rose. I posted photos of it last year.

No matter how well you have thought it out or how carefully you read what somebody else did, I find I always end up having to wing it a little.

The ones I wanted the most were the ones I lost all of them. The lady let me have just 6 cuttings before she trimmed her bushes down. I could kick myself for not asking her to call me and let me come get all the trimmings. Now one has died over the winter, and she isn't going to want to let me have any more until her bushes spring back, if they do. I don't have room for all the roses I attempt anyway so it doesn't matter if I lose a lot. I don't have room for many more, plus I'm still buying some.

I do feel good that I think I saved one old rose. Mine is growing happily in the back yard (I rooted that outside with bottles 2 seasons ago), and it is going to form a colony if it stays healthy. Just slight tip dieback. My Austins took a real beating this winter. I don't like to swipe stuff, but I did this one, and drove by the other day and the bush appears to be history.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 10:34PM
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Interesting, but did you read my threads? I got 72 to root out of 200, and they all rooted within 4 weeks using George Mander
s method, except I just cut them straight across under a bud, and didn't wound except by snapping off the prickles. Fluorescents are a triphospor, and there is no benefit in
"mixing spectrums". Also, after 4 weeks rooting, then I leave my lights on 24/7. Keeping track of temperature is critical.
I've pruned back my cuttings twice, and the bushes all have a nicely branched structure now. Most with 4 or 5 nice branches.
My Austins did beautifully this winter, all 30 of them, and I'm in zone 4b. Maybe your winter was too warm and your snow cover melted.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 8:10AM
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