First, my apologies that the past few posts were the products of automatic scheduling. I had to go out of town at the last minute, and was absolutely determined to keep up with Blog-tober. There’s a frost predicted this week, which is a total bummer – but it also means that I’ll finally be able to get some final things done before winter. One of the items on my to-do list was to take some rose cuttings and make more for the future.
Propagating plants is really appealing to me, mainly for the reason that I’m essentially increasing my stock for very little to no cost. The variety I’m using in this post is an unnamed garden rose that had been living at my house long before I moved here. The blooms are a gorgeous dark red and smell strongly of a peppery myrrh – I can’t get enough!
The process isn’t rocket science, in fact, that’s one of the reasons that I love it so much. First, I find stems with new green growth. In my experience, the best stems are those that are still pretty small in diameter. Though I’ve seen online that folks have used cuttings as thick as a pencil, I’ve never had success with anything this large. I stick to cuttings just slightly larger than a spaghetti noodle.
After I’ve made my cuttings, I strip all cut the very top set of leaves and growing point. Ideally, I like to have at least three nodes that I’m able to push down into the soil. This can be done directly into the garden – however, I prefer a nursery pot. Newly rooted cuts will be very small when they resume growth in spring, which means they can be easily lost among grass or weeds.
After I’ve pushed the cuttings down into the soil, the only thing left to do is cover with a mason jar and leave overwinter. Cuttings that I take in October usually have no problems here, as the snow and rain keep things nice and moist. I like making more cuttings than I need so that I have a greater chance of success. Some prefer to use rooting hormone with the cuttings, though most take root for me, even without it.