It’s National Gardening week this week and to celebrate I’m planting one of last years rose cuttings!
I didn’t know how to take rose cuttings until I came across a video from a gentlemen in the US who demonstrates in the video how to take cuttings from roses and grow them on into the most fantastic roses . It’s well worth a watch if your interested in growing your own roses. (I’ve included the link at the end of the post)
I’ve had a reasonable amount of success with my rose cuttings in the past … but I have to confess this last winter 3 out of 10 didn’t make it through the winter. Not sure why but the stems turned black and they withered away. 😦
If you’re considering growing your own plants from cuttings you should read this first!
If you’re thinking of growing roses from cuttings then you need to research something called Plant Breeders Rights.
Basically it’s a law that was introduced to protect the rights of plant breeders … a sort of patent for plants if you like. Essentially it made it illegal to propagate plants for profit … but the good news is there are loads of varieties that were around before Plant Breeders Rights were introduced that you can propagate.
My advice is:
1. Always read the label on any plant that you buy. It will clearly state if the plant is subject to Plant Breeders Rights.
2. Look for the older varieties and you should have no problems with propagating them.
3. Propagate these older varieties so other growers can access these unprotected varieties.
The more ‘protected plants’ that are introduced to the market the more demand there will be for the unprotected varieties.
Do rose cuttings need any special treatment?
Not really …. I generally plant my softwood cuttings in sharp sand as a rule, but for my rose cuttings I prepare a slightly richer mix of sharp sand, spent compost and a little bone meal. Reason for the bone meal is to provide a little sustenance for when the roots start to grow away.
Also it means they can stay in the pots longer and I don’t disturb the delicate fibrous roots until they’ve had a chance to grow nice and strong.
After that I take a few stems in June approximately 9-10 inches long and plant them around the outside of a 10″ plant pot and leave them at the back of the polytunnel. The secret is to keep them moist and spray the leaves at least 4 times a day until they show signs of growth.
How can I tell if my cuttings have roots?
I don’t use any particularly scientific methods to be honest. The tell tale signs are the stems remain green and healthy looking and the cuttings show signs of new growth … alternatively carefully turn the pot upside down and ease the contents out and examine the roots. If the roots are bursting to get out of the pot then you know it’s time to transplant it to a bigger pot.
Here’s a picture of my small collection of rose cuttings I took last June still in their pots, in a sheltered spot outside the polytunnel. They cost me virtually nothing to produce and with any luck they should give me some lovely blooms this year. Now how cool is that! 🙂
What potting mix should I use for my rooted cuttings?
Not sure if you can spot it from the picture… but the compost mix I’m using is a light and free draining compost I make up myself just for potting on my cuttings. I’ve been experimenting with composts for a few years and I now feel I have a winning formula.
Do I need to protect them in any way?
Rooted cuttings are not keen on the wind, so best to keep them in a sheltered spot … at least until the worst of the weather has passed.
I plan to post another piece about rose cuttings in June so you can see exactly how I go about it, by which time I hope to have my new home made 5-star mist system installed! 🙂 More on that little baby a little later …
In the mean time if you’d like more information on taking softwood cuttings there are loads of really good content out there, and I’ve also written a post all about taking rosemary cuttings which you might find useful.
Now I’m off to raise a toast to National Gardening Week!
If you’d like to know more about National Gardening week you’ll find loads of information about the scheme and some of the fantastic stuff they’re up to this week at the NGW web site.
By the way here is the video I refered to earlier … Rose propagation video (Just love the beard sir)