Hardening off rose without wilting or rotting

NVL4May 28, 2014

Hi - I have a florist rose that I am trying to root. I enjoyed them and as I was discarding them when they were done I noticed new growth between a little branch with leaves and the stem. I cut it a few little branches below the new growth and took off those leaves, then I dipped it in rooting hormone and stuck it in a pot with a soda bottle over it. This is my first attempt at rooting a rose. I did this about 3 weeks ago and the new growth has increased and the old leaves still look good green and supple. However, several other cuttings have rotted. I have had them outside in bright shade in various little 'greenhouses'; most have rotted.

I have tried pulling the soda bottle off and the rose looks wilty almost right away. Even removing the lid seems to annoy this rose. If it has rooted and the new growth does wilt, will it still be OK since the old leaves seem viable? Should I just remove the cap and let it adjust, then tilt the lid for a week? I am worried because I have found some fungus in the pot and I think it might rot. Should I buy some new soil and repot and hope it survives that? I have it planted in sandy soil.


This post was edited by NVL4 on Wed, May 28, 14 at 11:15

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I would not water it as much and give it a week then leav the cap off in the cooler parts of the day and slowly invrease the cap off time till u thonk its strong enough to go top off.. but that just my opinion and i am new to rooting but i do have pretty good luck with it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 12:06PM
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I had lavender cuttings that did the same thing, wilting really quickly once I moved the covering. I had gallon size ziplock bags over them. I just hardened them off slowly and gradually, 1/2 hour one day, a little longer each day for several days. They finally seemed okay and are now growing great out in the garden.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 12:15AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

You have to harden them off gradually. also 3 weeks time may not be enough to have established a root system for that rose. Can you tell if there are any roots yet? Paul Barden has a great page on rooting cuttings.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Rose Rustler's Toolkit

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 8:29AM
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seil zone 6b MI

For future reference here are a couple of tips on rooting cuttings that work for me.

I use clear plastic cups so I can SEE when there are roots forming with out disturbing the cutting. Make sure you put in a good drainage hole. Any type of potting soil will work. I know some people who have great luck with just coir and others who use sand or perlite. I like to use seed starting soil myself. Scrape the green outer skin off the bottom of the cane before you dip it in the rooting hormone. The white layer under the skin is where the roots will come from so that gives the hormone contact with that layer. Use a pencil to poke a hole in the soil before inserting the cane so you don't rub off all the hormone inserting it. I also don't use any kind of "greenhouse" cover. They go outside in the sun with all of my seedlings right from the start. It eliminates any need for hardening off. They get watered only when the soil surface looks dry. I think over watering kills more cuttings than anything else. I found all the covers did was keep them too wet and they rotted or too hot and they fried.

Don't be fooled into thinking it's got roots by that leaf growth on the stem. Roses store energy in the cane itself and will sometimes start to grow leaves by using up that stored energy. It does not necessarily mean there are roots yet. As long as the cane itself stays green and plump it is still viable and may root but if it starts to turn brown or black or look shriveled or dry it's a goner.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 12:43PM
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Thank you all for the responses. I kept reading everything and realized that I was trying to root them when the temperature was in the 80's and 90's. It developed callouses but not roots. I brought it in, cleaned them -no roots -even little bitty ones, cut the bottom and applied more rooting hormone ( I hadn't seen the post above or I would have stripped done green off the sides) and replanted and set them in a very bright north facing window. We keep the AC between 72 and 74. The bathroom stays even colder. One died if black rot but one us holding it's own and the bud is swelling. It's my last chance to get a baby off these bday roses. I think they are just done unnamed bicolor roses from Colombia ( according to SAMs) so I may never be able to get another one if I lose this last cane. It is in a ziplock. Fingers crossed. Thank you all so much for the advice. I moved the ziplock to a clear cup so I could stop futzing with it. I had it sitting in a pot and was picking it up every now and then hoping for roots.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 12:49PM
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seil zone 6b MI

The worst thing you can do when trying to root something is to keep disturbing it. Every time you take it out you disturb it and expose it to air and possible damage. Patience is very important!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:01PM
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Thank you -yes -that is the hardest part. Now I am leaving it alone in the clear cup. I need a hand that pops out and slaps me if I get too close to it. I am hoping the cool air and bright indirect light help. It's on front if one if those faux glass block windows, 3 feet square with a huge mirror reflecting all that light back at it and a second smaller window on the west wall.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:17PM
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