rooting rose cuttings

scrungy_doolittleNovember 29, 2011

I've tried many ways, for many years to root rose cuttings. Finally, one day, I stopped by a nursery that I often do, that specializes in self rooted roses. The owner took a hour or so to look over my dead rooting attempts (we had arranged this a trip earlier). I'll never forget his comment "From what you were telling me, I thought you were doing everything right, but you are doing everything wrong." He then proceeded to correct the mistakes. First I had a coarse soil, (Expert potting soil from Walmart). He showed me Berger BM-8, which is what he uses, and sold me a bag. 2 cu ft for 9.99. It is a very fine grained, pearlite, spagnum moss and compost here is the product http://www.jrjohnson.com/images/P/bm%208%20web.jpg . Then he told me the key. The roots need oxygen. I was putting the soil into tofu containers, with a corner snipped off, and jamming a rectangular juice bottle with the bottom cut out, deep into the dirt. This suffocated the cutting. Next he informed me that my cuttings were to big. What you want, is about 1/8 or so. Then he told me I was sticking them to deep. Only stick them in about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch, just enough to hold them. I happened to have some Styrofoam fruit boxes with slots in the side, which he pronounced to be perfect. So here is how I do it, and I have had a huge amount of success. Over a 90% grow on Marilyn Monroe. For cuttings,

use the tips of the bushes, and preferably a shoot that has bloomed. Leave some leaves on it. Look for 1/8 in to 3/8 inch. Much larger, and you will have a difficult time. And certainly not pencil sized as someone told me. Yes, you can make florist roses root using large ones, but it is pretty hard. Second, pull a leaf off the stem and cut 90 degrees across the stem with a bypass shears or razor blade. Cut right on the scar line at the base of where the leave was. Just below the bud. Dip in standard rootone, about 3/8 of an inch and then knock the excess off. USE a twig or similar to make a hole in the rooting media not your finger, (next to a vent in the container.) I use a flat Styrofoam apple tray, with vertical slits in the side. Bury the cutting about 1/8 to 3/8 inch. Lightly set the juice bottle with the bottom cut out, and the lid on, over the cutting and LET IT REST on the surface. Space the plants about 8 inches apart or so. I do 6 to a flat. At this point, I water with GreenLight root stimulator solution. Leave the trays under partial shade and water them lightly every day. (keep them moist, not to wet).

These are essentially what I have but shallower and with longer vertical openings. http://image.made-in-china.com/2f0j00KCYQugZjZmbR/EPS-Machine-EPS-Fruit-Box.jpg http://www.eps-block-machine.com/EPS-Production-Line/EPS%20Machinery/eps%20automatic%20vacuum%20block%20molding%20machine/EPS%20box%20Vegetable%20Package.jpg these would actually be better.

I have been using gatorade bottles, but still prefer the juice bottles. My favorite bottles.

http://onefrugalchick.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/old-orchard-juice.jpg

I hope this gives you a good shot at rooting roses.

I even got Rio Samba to take, which is a HARD one to get to root. When I get a rose, the first thing I do is take cuttings and stick them, cause grafted roses have a short life.

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seil zone 6b MI

I do some of that but not all. But I don't understand your comment about the length of the cuttings. How long do you make them? My cuttings are usually 8 to 10 inches long with at least 2 bud eyes below the soil. And yes, freshly bloomed canes seem to work best. I use clear plastic cups with holes in the bottom for drainage with seed starting soil not regular potting soil. And I do not cover them with anything. They go outside with all the rest of my roses and seedlings in the sun. This has been my most successful method of rooting cuttings.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 7:40PM
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dan_keil_cr Keil(Illinois z5)

I have been rooting roses for 20 years or so now. I bring cuttings home from the June Rose Shows and the September Shows.
I take a marker and write the name on the leaf. When i get them home I cut the bloom off, strip the bottom sets of leaves.
I then cut the stem right down the middle on the bottom part of the stem. I put the stem into a rooting hormone mix.
When i have all of my cuttings prepped, I take them to a flower bed right up by the house. I use a dibble stick to make a hole to put the cutting in. I then press the dirt around the stem. I use plastic jugs that I got from a Deli. They have removable lids. I cut the bottom off and mark it as to what the rose is. This is then placed over the cutting.
I unscrew the lid and fill the jar with water. I repeat this once a week. With my system I have 95 percent take. Right now I have over 30 cutting out. In the spring i will remove the lid if it is a warm day. The jar doesn't come off till all danger of freezing is past. I usually let the cutting grow in place till fall when I transplant it. I have acquired a lot of hard to get roses this way.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 6:12PM
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alameda/zone 8

scrungydoolittle, do you happen to have any photos of the styrofoam fruit boxes? I wasnt able to pull up your photos. Not sure what kind you are referring to and would really like to see some photos. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 3:40AM
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