How Do I know When Roots Have Developed?

bunny6(7 AR)June 28, 2008

I planted my rose clippings into pots filled with compost. I have been watering everyday. Do I keep them in the shade, and how do I know when the plants have started to develop roots?

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cannabisgrower

?compost - not the best choice, you need something kind of sterile, like peat based soil less potting mix and sand. Watering every day will just make your medium soggy and the base will rot. You need to keep the cuttings covered with something that keeps humidity in, and lets some light in as well. You cannot put the in the sun or they will cook.
Use google, look up George Mander, rose cuttings, and Cheryl Netter, rose cuttings. Also look for object16 nice thread he started last fall. This will tell you the answer to ur question. Sativa.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 1:47AM
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rosyone(z8 north Louisiana)

bunny6, the compost you are using may or may not have the right properties to make a good rooting medium. Time will tell. To answer your original question, the surest and safest way to determine whether or not your cuttings have roots is to watch for them to start growing. It's possible that you'll see some premature top growth in the first week or so after the cuttings are started, and that's a bad sign because it happens at the expense of root growth when it starts that early. But any top growth after the second week is nearly always a good sign.

Sativa, composted pine bark is among the very best rooting media I've found, as good as coconut coir and a lot better than peat based potting soil. And a friend of mine who lives in a cotton growing region gets near perfect results with composted cotton seed hulls. A good rooting medium doesn't need to be sterile, it needs to have good drainage and not be spongy. You don't have to worry so much about over watering when you use something that doesn't soak up and hold a lot of water.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 10:39AM
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bunny6(7 AR)

Thanks Sativa and rosyone thank you for your advice! "Sativa", I need to do more research before I root any more cuttings. If theses cuttings do not grow, I know for sure that I neeed sterile medium. "Rosyone", my composite is made up of pine chunks, oak leaves and grass clippings. It drains well, so I know to check for moisture of the soil before watering. Something I thought would be so simple, turned into a complex process.
Thanks
Ann

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 1:22PM
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cannabisgrower

I definitely agree with the composted pine bark. We even have composted shredded christmas tree mulch available here locally almost for free, and that would probably do a beautiful job as well. I was thinking more like composted sheep manure or something. I think the different composts have different microbiological flora in them, and if you find one that works, then let us know. The most standard way of starting off though is peat based soil-less mix, which is also
NOT sterile, but due to the composition, has a very limited microbiological flora. Sativa.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 1:30PM
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rosyone(z8 north Louisiana)

Bunny6, your compost sounds like a good bet, assuming the texture is suitable.

Sativa, I've often used bagged composted steer manure as a component in rooting media, though never for roses. I used to routinely root hydrangeas and gardenias in 25% manure in Miracle-Gro potting mix plus some extra perlite. Rot was never a problem. I never tried the mix with roses, though, because the dominant voices in this forum around the time I was starting out were pushing play sand or turkey grit (with or without a little peat) and cautioning against using anything too rich. You don't hear much about sand anymore, but if you watch this forum long enough you'll see just about every rooting medium imaginable being promoted as the best.

The soil-less potting mix George Mander uses (or at least used to use) is Sun Gro's Sunshine Mix #4, which is formulated for fast drainage and high air capacity. This is the product the company recommends to professionals for rooting cuttings, but unfortunately, they don't distribute in this region and no one else around here markets anything equivalent. I tried just about every brand of "regular" peat moss based potting mix I could find and none of them yielded much better than mediocre results. Maybe it's because the water supply is exceptionally soft in this area, causing peat moss to soak up more water than it ordinarily would, but I didn't seem to be able to add enough sand or perlite to eliminate a high risk of rot. Forest byproduct based potting mixes like Miracle-Gro work better in my hands, even for roses, though not as well as coir or composted pine bark fines. In the end I settled on a "standard" rooting medium based as much on economy as efficacy. Pine bark is a local product and dirt cheap.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 1:46PM
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cannabisgrower

That's very interesting. It may be that the microbial population is producing natural antibiotics, just like the pennicilium mold makes penicillin, it is possible the bacteria in the compost are INHIBITING molds, or actually EATING the fungal spores. Just as with the human, a "normal flora" is required for health, and loss of the normal flora, due to antibiotic treatment, leads to fungal overgrowth, then maybe a "sterile" medium is a bad thing. This is definitely a reason to deliberately ADD composted steer manure to the rooting medium. Also, for sure I will be experimenting with composted Christmas trees, because that is free around here, and I would expect it to behave similar to pine bark. And I will also experiment with composted Christmas tree with added composted manure.
It is possible that this may be optimum, because callus forms within a week, and is capable of absorbing nutrients, and I expect this mixture to be extremely nutritious for root growth. Usually my cuttings "eat" or "cannibalize" the leaves for nutrients, in order to grow roots. The leaves lose their green around the edges, go yellow, and I interpret this as internal movement of nutrients, metabolizing the leaf in order to have the nutrient supply to grow roots. A nutritious medium would allow the plant to keep its leaves, and keep using them for photosynthesis. Sativa.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 5:02PM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

bunny6,

Look up air layering on the American Rose Society's website. They have instructions. It works almost 100% of the time. You don't need a mister or other expensive equipment.

I air layered this awesome Mini Rose I bought. It's ready to pot up 3 weeks later.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 7:59AM
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rjinga

I'm still wondering WHERE you will see roots? That may sound like a stupid question...but I've got a dozen cuttings in perlite and some have healthy looking leaves others have dried and fallen off. I've never seen "new growth"

I pulled some up and could see very small little strands, but I really didnt' know where to expect the roots to come from. This is not the area that was "wounded" so was it an illusion? wishful thinking?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 8:38AM
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cannabisgrower

You should have cut off your cutting just below a bud. This is where most of the "stem cells" reside, and this is where roots will come off first, if you are doing everything right.
If the medium is too wet and there is no oxygen down there, roots might come out higher up, even from just below the soil level, in which case digging down gently with your finger will reveal them. However, I refrain from any digging and pulling, and concentrate on reading the instructions (George Mander, Cheryl Netter, on google, and object16 in the propagation forum on this site). The plant will definitely and obviously put new vigorous growth out at 4-6 weeks. This will be unmistakeable. Also, I don't wound anymore, because the roots did not come up from the wound for me. Lots and lots of roots came out from the end, and the plant ended up with a very nice root ball. I find that wounding just leads to disease and rot invading the stem.
Sativa.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:20AM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

bunny6,

Try air layering. You can actually see the roses when they come through. You can also get almost 100% success. I have included a link with instructions and photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: Works For Me!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:00PM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

bunny6,

With air layering, you can actually see the "roots" when they come through!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:21PM
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bunny6(7 AR)

Thanks for telling me to mist. I appreciate everyones' advice! The clippings are still alive, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I have had wonderful luck with my composite. I grew other plants for years before I began growing roses, and my plants grow very well. Have a Great Day!
Ann

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 12:30PM
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belleville_rose_gr

air layering does work but has a drawback. I like to get different varieties other then my own.So doing this at a local park or a neighbors rose makes this difficult.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 3:00PM
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rosyone(z8 north Louisiana)

Sativa, I also had problems with leaves turning yellow in peat moss based potting mix, worse with some brands than with others. I don't think it had anything to do with nutrients, though. I think it was triggered by stress caused by the depletion of oxygen in a rooting medium that retained too much water.

I tested that theory by layering potting mix over pure coarse perlite, without mixing, then sticking the cuttings such that their ends were either touching the interface between the two media or were some distance above it. The cuttings that were at or near the interface remained a healthy shade of green and rooted vigorously into the perlite layer, while those that were most distant from the interface yellowed and rooted poorly, if at all.

When I designed the experiment I thought the perlite might allow the potting mix to drain more efficiently, but that didn't seem to be the case. What it did do was provide a source of oxygen that diffused into the bottom of the potting mix layer and kept the cuttings healthy if they were close enough to take advantage of it. At least that was my interpretation.

I did all of my cuttings that way for several weeks while I searched around for an alternative rooting medium that didn't require so much fiddling. The method wasn't difficult, but it was tedious and time consuming when I had several dozen cuttings to process.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 7:35AM
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