Can I bud a scion , or chip bud, upon a wild rose sucker?

luxrosaAugust 11, 2014

I have two possibilities for budding, I think:

two small (8" tall and 11" tall 'Gloire des Rosomanes' that bloomed for the first time July 2014, are they too old to bud 'Sutters Gold' upon them?
I also have several suckers of Rosa californica, that are several inches tall, have not yet flowered and are about the thickness of a #2 pencil, would it be possible to bud roses upon them? I'm thinking of budding 'Westside Road Cream Tea'.


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While it should be possible to bud to either of your choices, the Gloire des Rosomanes would likely be the better choice. I don't know if the Tea and Californica would be genetically compatible. There can arise an incompatibility issue where the buds simply won't knit because they are genetically unsuitable for each other. Judge Henry Fonda who operated a small nursery in his retirement in Mar Vista, CA, by Santa Monica, tried unsuccessfully for many years to use his huge Cl. Cecile Brunner for standard stocks. The thing refused every scion he tried on it. He was skilled at budding, but Cecile was more obstinate than he was skilled, leading him to theorize she was just genetically incompatible with anything slid under her skin.

You don't have to have "young" stocks for budding. I have successfully budded to three year old stocks this summer. Ones I had intended to use for other ideas, but never got around to them, so they sat there, waiting for the need. As long as it's possible to easily slice into the bark to expose the cambium, it's possible to use. When they become so "barky" you can't easily work them, that might possibly be too old.

Another reason you probably don't want to mess with the Californica is it suckers MADLY, all over. Rose producers in very cold climates tried Rugosa stocks for cold hardy standards decades ago. They worked, but they also colonized the gardens in which they were unleashed. Ragged Robin won't do that...or won't anywhere nearly as as badly.

You'll want to de bud your Glorie des Rosomanes cuttings, all but the top one or two growth buds. You may leave the growth tip on them as one of the upper buds. You want the stock to continue pushing foliage on top to keep the sap flowing and feed the plant. After that, it's a simple matter of inserting the buds and tying them in. If you're using Parafilm, you may want to wrap it over the bud several times to keep it tightly in contact with the cambium of the stock. Sealing the bud in with the Parafilm also can help prevent it from drying out as quickly until it knits and begins absorbing sap from the stock. Parafilm will split as the bud swells, so you don't have to worry about it girdling the stock or strangling the bud.

A couple of hints about bud can use almost any bud you wish, but selecting those closer to actually growing will often result in faster growth. This is probably the most elegant job of budding I have ever accomplished, but the danged bud is dormant and will probably take until next season to mature sufficiently to grow. Notice how flat it is against the shield (the portion of wood sliced from the bud stick or plant stem). It will work, but it isn't going to push any new growth this year.

Selecting buds which are closer to growth, such as these,

will result in much faster response after you cut the top of the stock off above the bud or buds. You can even use them about to this stage of development, but they are more likely to fail due to water stress because of the developing leaves.
As long as the growth is still tightly contained within the bud, water stress isn't as easy to encounter. Once they start forming thin foliage tissue, they can dry out quite quickly as there is thinner tissue and greater surface area to transpire water from.

It takes about three weeks for the buds to knit to the stocks. Keep them well watered all that time to keep forcing sap up the stocks to keep the buds irrigated and the growth pushing. From more swollen buds as I've shown above, you could easily see them begin to push out like this...
as early as about the time you "head them back", cut off the top of the stock above the bud. This image is of a bud I inserted on July 1 and cut back a week or so ago. It was when I was posting about not being able to stop the stocks from 'bleeding'. This one wouldn't stop with the Elmer's Glue, so it is sealed with a cool melt candle dripped over the wound. Pruning sealer or grafting wax will probably work, too. From July 1 to August 13 is all it's taken from a bud stick to this amount of growth. Good luck and have a ball with them! Kim

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:30PM
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Ragged Robin is working well for me, Lux.

Last summer I budded Talisman, such a wimpy own-root, onto a potted RR cutting, perhaps 8-12" tall.

Within a a couple of months, the Talisman bud shot up into shoot a foot long or more.

It's wonderful to have a healthy, reserve Talisman. The shoot is much longer now, is nice & thick, & has bloomed . repeatedly. It will provide many more shoots for cuttings or buds for budding. It's much larger than the own-root plant the single tiny bud was harvested from.

Try it--it's grand! Now I wish I had a forest of rooted RR. I'm working, with generous help (see above;) to get budding down well, to root a bunch of good stocks, & to get my feeble stuff budded.

You can get Parafilm from Amazon for ~$2.50 per roll. It's very easy to handle & makes a good seal. I like the 1/2" width. I'm chip budding & wrapping over the bud itself, besides taping the bud to the stock. You gently stretch the film while wrapping & "heat seal" the tape with pressure from your fingers--it's not a sticky-backed plastic tape, just a thin wax tape.

Get started now, in hot weather--that's when the sap is running & some of these buds grow at astonishing rates. I have one ~ 6 weeks old that's 18"! It's on an old HT, Pink Favorite. HTs aren't recommended as long-lived for budding (I didn't know any better & was just fooling around practicing) but it just shows what good roots on a healthy plant can do to a tiny bud in the right season. I'm starting to harvest the shoots off of that plant & will ultimately put them on proper rootstock, but WOW!

It's fun, satisfying & the best way to preserve some roses.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:31PM
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Roseseek, thank you so much for your reply, and photos, you're always so generous with your time, and you're so knowledgeable. You've saved me a lot of work and frustration by warning me about the suckering ability of R. californnica.
Bluegirl, thanks for the tip about the Parafilm and where to buy it, I've not heard about it before.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 5:59PM
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