Saturday, November 19, 2011

Propogating Roses

      You may have thought that I had fallen off the blogosphere.  No, I just took a break and a little longer one than I had realized.  I've not really felt much like writing.  I noticed that the beginning of my break seemed to correspond to a couple funeral services I conducted for church members.  Even though they had lived very good and long lives, there is an energy used on such occassions that changes routines and rythmns.  Then once you are out of the habit it seems hard to get back into it.  So here I am, back to the blog a couple of months later.  I hope I didn't loose too many readers in the process. 
     I had decided to do this entry (before I flaked out) about some roses that I had propogated from cuttings and planned to plant once the heat of summer broke. They had been potted up and waiting along with my order of Carlin's Rhythm and Dragon's Blood. They have since been planted and are getting established before the winter comes. They were Belinda's Dream, Popcorn, Abraham Darby, Graham Thomas, and Flower Carpet Red. I planted some here at the house and some at the the Prague Rose Garden.

     That was then.  Today I took advantage of a 77 degree day to put 32 cuttings into a propagation bed I keep.  It doesn't work for everybody but I have had good success planting cuttings in the Fall in a simple bed.  I will take cuttings in the Fall, dip them in a rooting hormone, and put them into a recently turned over flower bed.  Over the winter some of them will root and be ready to transplant in the Spring.  After they have been transplanted, I will take Spring cuttings and restock the bed.  I can't say my percentages are fabulous, but if even a third of them take I will have 10 new plants.  It really takes very little work over the winter.  I just make sure the bed stays moist and does not dry out.  I will add some compost or mulch on top of what you see pictured here. 

     My cuttings for the Fall (as always) come from some very different roses:  Red Cascade, F.J. Grootendorst, Sir Thomas Lipton, The Fairy, Popcorn, Maggie, Robin Hood, Golden Celebration, Evelyn, & Tradescant (from the healthy part of my plant that is being taken over by Rose Rosette Disease).  I don't ever label my cuttings so Angie has a good laugh at me months later when I am guessing about what rose is what.  Some are obvious while others are more difficult and you can only be sure once they flower.  It keeps it interesting. 

     I didn't get all of last Spring's cuttings transplanted.  The bed still has two Lavender Lassie's, one Heritage and one Ballerina.  They all have locations picked out for next year but I just didn't get around to transplanting them this Fall.  Too much to do.  Next Spring they will go out to their new homes with the Fall cuttings, just a little bigger.


  1. A very timely and helpful post, Rev. Reading it, I was wishing I had a cutting bed, but my beds are full. I love your system of fall and spring cuttings. My only successes have been cuttings I stuck in the ground rather than in pots. Then it hit me. My winter renovation plans include moving Mme Antoine Rebe to a sunnier spot, leaving her northside bed needy for new occupants. The obligatory azaleas were all set to move in, but I think I will do what you have done and leave some empty space for cuttings. Yes, you were away a long time, but your return is just right. To everything there is a season.

  2. Nice to see you back. Very good post, and good comment by sherry: "to everything there is a season." That is very true for blogging as well as gardening.

    I put a few cuttings here and there in shady spots when I prune, and I get one or two to root every couple of years. It's wonderful to see a little stick come alive and grow, isn't it?

  3. I did wonder where you were. Sorry to hear that you have been feeling down. Loss is hard. I hope all your cuttings take. I have never tried, but I will some day. I especially hope your Tradescant makes it, and that it doesn't show any signs of RRD.

  4. Thanks for the support and returning to the blog. While I have started cuttings other ways(and still do), I get the greatest pleasure from letting nature do its work.

    I tried cutting back all diseased areas of Tradescant but I could not save the plant. I have sure noticed a lot RRD this year. In fact, I have noticed more gardens with it than without it. It is in both the OKC and Tulsa public rose gardens.

  5. Good to see you posting, again! I always admire people, who propagate roses themselves. I myself have never done it so far, but maybe I take some cuttings when I prune my roses this year and just stick them in the ground and see what happens!