First time at cuttings....success?

johnydogwoodNovember 7, 2011

About 3 weeks ago I took cuttings from an old rose bush outside my rental, applied root hormone and stuck them in a sterile perlite/potting soil mix in little plastic pots inside of gallon-sized zip lock bags. A few turned black so I threw them out.

Today I noticed that 6 of the cuttings had new little green buds! Does this mean they are rooted? If so, what next? Next time I'm going to try sticking them in clear containers so I can see roots.



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It could mean roots, or it could mean they are using the stored food in the wood to push growth. Leave them alone and watch. If they are rooted, they'll produce foliage and growth without collapsing. It's common for them to even flower quickly, then drop dead. Don't uproot them to check for roots or you'll kill them. Leaving them alone, letting them do what they want until it's obvious they are rooted and growing is the safest course of action. Kim

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 10:59AM
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thanks Kim :) Will do.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 12:32PM
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Oh one more thing...if they do produce foliage and growth without collapsing, what's next? When do I take them out of their bags? Do I leave them indoors all winter or harden them outside? If I keep them indoors will they be okay in on a window sill?

Thanks for your time :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 10:17AM
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I can't tell you the best things to do in YOUR climate, but here, I would let them develop their foliage a bit, then carefully remove them from the baggies, and very carefully attempt to tip them from their pots. You can safely do this if you can keep the soil balls intact. You might see roots in the balls. If you do, they can be transplanted to larger pots, probably all together, and allowed to continue developing.

Right now, they are used to the greenhouse like conditions in the baggies. If you know they have roots, you can begin hardening them off to the harsher elements outside the baggies. Gradually open the baggies to let them acclimate to the drier, colder air so the foliage isn't burned off them by the sudden shock. Once they are used to the conditions outside the bag, they can be safely removed and planted in the larger pots to grow on until you are ready to separate them into individual pots. If they're already individually planted, great! Carefully check for the roots in the soil balls so you'll know whether you can begin hardening them off. If there are roots, go for it. If not, close the bags and wait.

Once they begin growing, if there are no roots, I've never succeeded in salvaging them. The cuttings have what they need to grow, not to callus and root.

After you've hardened them off and can remove them from their baggies, allowing them to grow on together (presuming they're planted several to each pot), wait until the worst of your winter weather is finished to separate them from each other. You want them as dormant as possible before disturbing their roots. If they have roots and removal and separation can be done before a long rain, that's the best time. Rain, not a hard gully washed, but a gentler longer rain, can make up for a multitude of sins. That steady, gentle bath of rain will prevent the plants from drying out; it can help the foliage and new growth harden off without collapsing; and can settle the soil around the new, softer roots perfectly.

I hope that wasn't too rambling and it helps. Kim

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 12:23PM
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Very helpful. Thanks again Kim :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 5:19PM
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You're welcome! It's been fun reading this thread. I'm originally from Birmingham. My great grandmother's house was the third built in Homewood, over on Woodland Ave. She was the first lady truant officer in Alabama, back during The Depression. I spent many summers there at 307 and 309 Woodland Ave. at my great grandmother's and grandmother's homes and gardens. The only "old" roses I remember the names of from those gardens are Mlle Cecile Brunner, which 307 had a hedge dividing the drive of 309 from her front lawn; Silver Moon which my grandfather planted for my grandmother in the twenties and Talisman, my grandmother's favorite. You should be able to grow many things there. You'll have to post photos so we can all enjoy your choices and successes. Good luck! Kim

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 12:10AM
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In my experience the more developed they are before you disturb them, the better. Sometimes when they only have tiny roots, they can't take the stress of being transplanted and the roots break off or rot.

When they are a little bigger, it's OK if some of the roots break while being moved into pots; more will grow.

After they have a healthy amount of leaves, open the bag to expose them to dry air so they harden. Then put them in pots in a sheltered place, like a windowsill. Soon they'll be fully acclimated to growing in air that is not artificially humid and at this stage they are basically whole plants.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 3:33AM
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