There is a long and rich history to Rose propagation. Not much has changed as far as the terms used in Rose propagation since the early 19th century. This is when American settlers rose stems with them into the West. Some may even remember their mothers or grandmothers taking a rose stem and putting it in the ground with a plastic jar over top to make it grow.
The use of a cutting from a rose plant is the most common method of rose propagation. They main people who use seeds in rose propagation are commercial growers and horticulturalists. By using a seed you are never guaranteed that you will get the exact replica of the original rose bush. It is possible that the pollen that was used to fertilize the seeds may not be completely pure, you may actually come out with a mix of different plants.
Using a cutting from an existing bush it is guaranteed that you will get an exact replica of the bush you took it from. Rose propagation is really quite simple. All you need to do is ensure that you give the new cuttings a safe, moist and humid environment so the roots have time to develop. It is natural for any part of the plant to try to establish its own root system so it can stay alive, but it is only through your help that this can happen at all.
The best time to propagate your roses is in the spring when the weather is still cool and the plants are alive and particularly vigorous. When you are selecting the perfect cutting it is best to choose one that is young, the younger ones seem to grow easier and better than the older ones. You should also choose a shoot that does not have a bud on it yet and cut off about six inches off the top. You will want to cut off the leaves at the bottom of the shoot but leave the ones at the top.
The leaves will be able to help provide the food and nutrients while the roots are still establishing themselves. Next you need to clear an area of the garden; it needs to be free of dead leaves and weeds. Before planting your cutting, put a notch in the end of it and dip it into some compost to encourage root growth. Then plant the shoot a few inches into the ground and it is best to be put in a place you want your new rose bush to go so you do not have to transplant it later.
Next you will want to water your shoot and then cover it with either plastic or glass. This will create a green house effect. In other words it will keep the air inside the plastic or class at a higher temperature and moist. You will want the cutting to be exposed to sun light but not too much because you do not want it to overheat. You can plant your shoot in partial shade to avoid direct sun light and keep it from overheating.
You need to check the shoot often to be sure it is staying moist enough. If the ground feels a bit dry you will need to water it. The glass or plastic can be removed if the temperature reaches above 75 degrees but then put it back on come nightfall when the temperatures are likely to drop below 75 degrees. You should not be looking for results right away, the shoot may look like a stick in the ground for a while but what really matters is what is happening in the ground.
If your first shoot does not turn out like expected do not get discouraged, try again. Many first time or inexperienced growers have a little difficulty propagating for the first time. Even though the success rate for new cuttings is low you can improve your odds by planting more than one shoot. If by some chance they all sprout roots and grow, you can always transplant or give them to other gardeners you know.
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Article provided by K Finch