Guest Author - Charity Armstrong
Roses are incredibly easy to propagate. However, many amateur rose growers have never attempted rooting or propagating roses, assuming that itís complex or difficult. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Rose propagation obviously isnít as fast as purchasing a new rose at the store so youíll want to be choosy with your selection. Many homeowners have a favorite, wonderful, easy to grow rose and would like a few more but arenít sure the name of their rose. This would be an excellent way to fill a whole flower bed, or line a fence, with your own easy to grow rose. Perhaps youíve seen an old variety growing along side the road or planted against a grave stove thatís decades old. Taking a cutting is the easiest way to grow this same rose at home without having to dig up or steal an ďantiqueĒ plant.
A bonus to propagation from cutting is that since youíve taken a cutting from the rose, the new plant will be true to the parent plant. Cuttings will always grow to be the exact same plant the cutting was removed from. Often times with seeds this isnít the case. Seeds produced by a hybrid plant will often be different from the parent plant youíre trying to emulate. With a rose cutting there isnít any guessing. You can be sure your time and effort wonít be spent producing a plant that is different from the one you desire.
Once youíve decided on the rose you want, take a cutting from a cane that is new, green and productive. Youíll want to select a rose cane that has lots of leaves and either has a bud or has produced a flower. The flower can be dried, blooming or yet to bloom. Donít select a very new thin scrawny cane or a cane that is old and woody. Trim the cane to about six inches, and immediately place it into a zippered plastic bag with a damp paper towel. Keeping the cane moist is of the utmost importance. A rose cane that has dried out or wilted will be unlikely to root well.
Roses are easy to root and generally donít requite rooting hormone, but I figure it canít hurt. Once you get the cane home or to your planting area, dip the base of the cane into the rooting hormone and then place it into the pot or container youíve prepared. Rooting hormone is a white dust like product that can be found at most garden supply stores and nurseries. Seeding dirt or potting soil will be adequate to help your new cutting grow. Make sure the soil is moist but not soggy and then place the plastic zippered bag you collected your cutting in over top of the pot. This will help keep the dirt moist and ensure root production. Itís like a miniature, economical terrarium.
Your rose cutting will root best in an area that is warm but not hot. Mostly shade with an hour or two of sun daily will be best. This will keep your plant warm and active, but prevent overheating. Continue to check the moisture of your rose cuttingís soil. The soil should always be moist, donít allow it to dry out or become soggy. After several weeks you can check for root growth by pulling lightly on your cutting. If you get some resistance this means your rose cutting has developed roots!
Your new rose plant is now ready to be placed in a larger pot and given a bit more sun. Donít ignore your new plant though. Several months of attentive care with regular watering will ensure you have a ground ready rose plant in no time.
Propagating roses is easy, fun and economical. What rose grower can resist creating a second or twentieth of their favorite rose, or the potential to have a decades or centuries old antique rose plant of your own? Go ahead and give it a shot. Itís easy, inexpensive and youíve got nothing to loose.