Need advice from those who propagate Tea roses. Please

luxrosaOctober 9, 2012

I never loved roses until after I moved to California and saw Tea roses for the first time. I love rooting my own roses, and I am plannning a Tea rose border to surround my property.

But I have only been able to root white 'Maman Cochet'.

I've rooted 90 different roses from a several classes, most of these have been O.G.R's but Tea roses have proved more difficult. None of my Old Garden Tea rose cuttings taken from soft wood this summer rooted, and all of them rotted from the cut end upwards,under conditions where roses from other classes rooted easily.

are evergreen roses more difficult to root?

I've tried to root Rosette Delizy,Lady Hillingdon, Mme. Lombard, Etoille de Lyon, and c. a dozem others.

I've been told that semi-hard wood is great for cuttings because it roots faster and rots less, but where and when do I find it on a Tea rosebush?

Should I look for semi-soft wood cuttings further down than 6 inches below the flowering part of the cane?

The canes that flowered in June on Rosette Delizy are still a lovely hue of green and can be pierced easily with my thumb nail, 3 feet downwards the canes are still green but cannot be so easily pierced.

Thank you,


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Hi, I have done a variety of David Austin, but this year I was having huge difficulty getting Hansa to root (which is a rugosa). Basically Hansa all rotted, similar to what you describe. Time after time, even with totally sterile medium, even with copper-ammonium to inhibit the fungus. My solution, that I finally discovered, was to use "non-permissive" compost- meaning a compost that contains a variety of bacteria that are inhibitory and block the fungus that causes these cuttings to rot. If you search google for new york city leaf compost damping off non-permissive, you should find an article where fresh leaf compost (from this year) was "non-permissive", but stored 10 year old compost, lacked the inhibitory qualities (probably the bacteria had all died). Also look up Allison Jack, the phD student, I think from Cornell, who is studying earth-worm castings, and is studying them to characterize what are the "non-permissive" factors. So despite all the advice that you need sterile medium, the sterile medium was not working with Hansa - all of the cuttings rotted. Then I tried a medium composed of fresh leaf compost from the local place, mixed with garden centre compost enriched with worm castings, with some peat moss, and some hardwood bark, barely damp (must not be wet!) - squeeze it in your hand and it should stick together, it should feel damp, but no water comes out, even if you squeeze it hard. hope this helps - at least see if you can find leaf compost prepared this year, use 50% compost, and see if you can put those beneficial bacteria to work for you.
All of my cuttings with non-permissive compost formed nice callus and roots, but some failed due to the foliage dropping off due to fungus, and the small cutting just did not have enough carbohydrate to send up a shoot. Nevertheless I still have 18 nicely rooted Hansas that are sending up really nice canes thanks to Allison Jack!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 3:52PM
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Thank you Overdrive,

Thanks for the information, the soil may have been too wet.
all the Tea roses that I tried to propagate this summer were in plastic bags,
I have since placed cuttings in a lightly shaded part of my garden, with glass or plastic cloches over them.

I have also thought my Old Garden TEa rose cuttings may have been too slender so this week I started measuring my Tea rose cuttings and found that my summer cuttings may have been too slender, the ones I took this week are all 2. 4 centimeters or more in circumframce,

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:44AM
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Lux, if you get enough rainfall to prevent them from drying out, also try the thicker, longer cuttings planted directly in the ground in a filtered sun spot, without cover. Teas can take forever to callus and root, even under the best of circumstances. It make sense. As immature plants, many, if not most, take forever to grow into mature plants. They are ever green, slowly using up their foliage and requiring being permitted to maintain all their thick, old wood to perform their best.

HTs and other moderns grow much more quickly. Their cellular activity is significantly faster, including root formation and maturation. Putting the better selected cuttings where they can take their time, in more controlled conditions where most of the cutting is under the soil so it doesn't dry out, but without the covering which appears to foster too much moisture and rot, should provide them long conditions over winter, in which to do their thing. It's definitely worth a try. Kim

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Try this method:
Whcih belong to Mr.Karl Bapst (Rosenut)
ARS Master Rosarian. I tried his method and got 100% success.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 8:38PM
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lux, I have decent success with Teas. A cutting for me consists of a lateral with heel wood on one end and a dead flower on the other end. This is a good general indication of semi-hardwood status. Success can be affected by the condition of the mother plant ... make sure that she is well watered for a few days before taking your cuttings. Sometimes this isn't possible (rustling situations come to mind), so I usually take my sneaky cuttings after a good rain, if I have the choice. Summer cuttings are iffy ... late spring (or after first flush where you are) and early fall are the best for me.

I have some Tea cuttings among my fall propagation right now, using my milk jug method (described on the Hartwood Roses web site, under the How To tab.) Put the cuttings in in batches starting a couple of weeks ago. I'll report on success as events warrant. :)


    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 8:29AM
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Thank you Kim,
I took your advice and now have several large cuttings of Rosette Delizy, Mme. Lombard and Lady Hillingdon in my garden in filtered light without covering.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 12:28AM
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I've rooted quite a few teas, including Rosette Delizy with softwood cuttings. What worked for me:

Media--COARSE sand, fine granite gravel, coco fiber. Pots & media get soaked in water with ~tbls of bleach or peroxide. Then water & drain filled pots with plain water. Firm the media well, poke holes for the cuttings & firm them in well, too.

I stick cuttings with Rhizopon AA #3.(I make the 2 light scrapes through the bottom buds, too). They go on the ground on a rack over a saturated scrap of old carpet. Area has high light but only a small amount of dappled sun. If temps are high enough to cause wilting, I mist occasionally with a cheapo "porch cooler" mister from Lowe's--$20. No professional timer or set-up. The tubing is tied to stakes over the rack. I can root stuff until hot summer temps by increasing the misting frequency/time.

No watering after sticking unless the media starts drying, & not until at least 2-3 weeks. Water with water that has a splash of peroxide in it.

Not knocking other methods--but this is what works consistently for me in my climate. I've had more problems with rot than anything else. Starting with clean media & keeping cuttings in the open, as suggested, improved my luck a lot.

Good luck with your cuttings.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 4:01PM
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