Tony201600
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Trouble with Propagating Roses from Cuttings

Hi there,

I am in Sydney, Australia and took a challenge to propagate roses using cuttings.

I obtained a handful of lush cuttings from my parent's garden after they sold their property some weeks ago. It would have been a sin not to take the cuttings knowing how much love, patience and dedication went into growing them.

The cuttings were submerged into a bucket full of water for almost 2 weeks. The bucket was not covered and being in Sydney the heat and moisture helped in producing some humidity. I kept a regular check on them and they looked in impeccable health. No sign of 'death' or decay. After about 2 weeks I took them out and stripped them off their leaves etc... ready to transfer them into a garden pot filled with rose grade soil. Each cutting was inserted into its pencil deep hole in the same pot. The pot is under a tree where the cuttings do bathe in sunlight for about half a day. I regularly watered and fertilsed them as well but didn't use any root hormone or the like nor any other technique or strategy.

Four weeks later and to my heart sinking despair the once healthy green stems have now turned into a dark brown stick. I pulled one out today to inspect and it seems that it has almost decayed. The full length of the cutting is a dark brown almost black color. I doubt there is any form of life left in it. The other cuttings are also showing some signs of irreversible damage.

I have attached a photo or two to show the extent of damage. I am really grief stricken to see them dying away. These were really exquisite plants. Can someone please advise what I need to do. I may have a cutting or two that appears to look ok but I am not going to risk them dying as well.

Thanks and kind regards,
Tony
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Trouble with Propagating Roses from Cuttings

Roses are not the easiest thing to propagate from cuttings, although it can be done.

The trouble with cuttings is that they have no root system for taking up moisture and they lose moisture from the leaves, so they dry out and die. To make it work, you need to try to prevent that.

Rooting hormone is a really important step in the process. You need your cutting to develop some roots as soon as possible or it will die.

Then the only thing that has worked for me to start cuttings is using a humidity dome, aka a 2 liter soda bottle with the bottom cut off. The humidity dome helps keep a humid atmosphere around the plant, so it doesn't lose so much water.

Also I note you said " bathed in sunshine." Not what you want for a poor rootless cutting. It needs to be protected from sun, in some location with only indirect light. Especially if you do use a humidity dome, you could cook it in there. But with or without the dome, it still needs to be protected from direct sun, which just accelerates the drying process.

Don't fertilize your cutting until it has roots and is putting out new leaves.

I think your rose cuttings are goners and you will need to start over with new ones. I would only put them in water for no more than 24 hours, just enough to be sure it is well hydrated. You don't want it starting roots in the water. Those are water roots and they don't help it once moved into soil.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
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Re: Trouble with Propagating Roses from Cuttings

I can't propagate hybrid teas but I do o.k. with cuttings from roses on their own roots. You want to take semi ripe cuttings. Usually the one where a rose has finished blooming. 4-6 inches long. I like at least a 1/4 inch stem. Thinner ones don't have a lot of stored reserves. cut just below at a 45 degree angle just below a node with a very clean and sharp pruner. You can use rooting hormone. Dip n grow works a little better than powdered hormones on semi hardwood cuttings. I do this within 30 minutes or less from the time I take the cutting. I don't leave the cuttings in water for a couple of weeks, since the rose is not getting any nourishment and it does not help establish a root system. Some people do root roses in water, I haven't had any luck that way.

I root everything pretty much in perlite about 3 inches deep. I remove all the leaves. Tenting or mini greenhouse has worked for me lately. You just have to make sure you take the bag off at the right time. I root cuttings in the shade but they do get some indirect light so it is not dark. Remove any cuttings that start to look bad. If they stay green after 3 weeks they usually make it. They will root in a couple of months in the Spring. They root slower when it is cold and I don't like to do rose cuttings in summer since it needs more water but there is more condensation in the bag which is not a good thing.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Tony201600
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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:12 pm

Re: Trouble with Propagating Roses from Cuttings

rainbowgardener wrote:Roses are not the easiest thing to propagate from cuttings, although it can be done.

The trouble with cuttings is that they have no root system for taking up moisture and they lose moisture from the leaves, so they dry out and die. To make it work, you need to try to prevent that.

Rooting hormone is a really important step in the process. You need your cutting to develop some roots as soon as possible or it will die.

Then the only thing that has worked for me to start cuttings is using a humidity dome, aka a 2 liter soda bottle with the bottom cut off. The humidity dome helps keep a humid atmosphere around the plant, so it doesn't lose so much water.

Also I note you said " bathed in sunshine." Not what you want for a poor rootless cutting. It needs to be protected from sun, in some location with only indirect light. Especially if you do use a humidity dome, you could cook it in there. But with or without the dome, it still needs to be protected from direct sun, which just accelerates the drying process.

Don't fertilize your cutting until it has roots and is putting out new leaves.

I think your rose cuttings are goners and you will need to start over with new ones. I would only put them in water for no more than 24 hours, just enough to be sure it is well hydrated. You don't want it starting roots in the water. Those are water roots and they don't help it once moved into soil.
Thank you for your invaluable advise rainbowgardener. I have since used a strategy to check my skills. Similar to your humidity dome I am using the baggie method. The cuttings have been removed from their original pot and replanted into a smaller one. Before inserting them into their allocated holes I dipped them in cinnamon (an idea I got from another post). I planted about 4 cuttings in a pot. They vary in length from the soil level up. The whole pot is then enclosed in a plastic bag and the top tied with a string. The pot is then placed in a shade where little sunlight is reaching. The cuttings are not doing too well again but they are not dying either. What I did notice was that most of the cuttings are showing signs of white mildew at the top. I have read in another forum that this may be a result of the humid environment the cuttings are currently in and also the state they were in prior to setting them up in this environment. In your situation where you are using the soda bottle did you happen to notice the white mildew.

Any hints you can provide please.

Thanks

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Trouble with Propagating Roses from Cuttings

You may need to make a couple very small holes in your baggy. Let's a little excess moisture out , while still maintaining a humid environment.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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