How to propagate Rose plants?

Gardening Basics
// January 20, 2017

Growing roses

Roses are not that finicky that they are made out to be, with some basic steps they are easy to take care of. Rose care is easier than most flowering plants and anyone can grow them and enjoy their beauty. The basic requirement is to keep the soil moist and give it at least 5-6 hours of sun daily and prune smartly to promote more bud formation. It is also important to understand that rose plants are bushes and will always grow better in the ground. As far as plant issues go, watch out for powdery mildew, spider mites, and black spot.

Most roses are simple to grow and easy to propagate by every home gardener. In growing plants from seeds there is a chance that the new plant is not an exact replica of the mother plant. Whereas in the case of propagating plants from cuttings, the new plant is an exact replica of the mother plant. You don’t have to be a professional gardener to propagate and grow your own rose bushes.

Different types of rose stem cuttings

Cuttings are parts of plant stem that is taken to create a new plant via the process of rooting. The cuttings can be taken at different stages of maturity. Roses are not picky about the maturity of the stem cuttings and with proper care will root properly. The cuttings can be taken from a rose plant at three stages:

  1. Softwood rose cuttings: These are the cuttings of the most flexible parts of the stem taken in late spring or early summer. They are the easiest to root and are taken from just below the flowers once the flower has shed all its petals.
  2. Semi-hardwood rose cuttings: These new stems are partially matured; they are still green but not flexible and the cuttings are taken late summer or early fall.
  3. Hardwood rose cuttings: These are the most mature parts of the stem, they have hardened and become woody. The cuttings are taken late fall or early winter and are the most difficult to root. They need root hormone to aid in the root forming process.

Where to plant cuttings

The cuttings need to be planted as soon as the cuttings are taken so prep your planting spots in advance. Follow these steps for the successful rooting of cuttings

  1. Root your cuttings in small planters (4 to 6 inch deep) before transferring them to larger pots or soil beds.
  2. Choose a spot that receives plenty of indirect light but no direct sunlight.
  3. Use a well-draining soil mix and keep it moist but not soggy.

Tools you need to take cuttings

It is important to use sharp shears or scissors to take cuttings from your rose plant. This is essential because it is important to minimise the damage to the cutting for a higher chance at rooting. The cuttings should be taken at a 45 degree angle and should be at least 10 inches long.

Taking cuttings from rose plant

  1. Cutting: The cuttings should be taken at a 45 degree angle and should be at least 10 inches long.
  2. Removing leaves: Carefully pinch or cut away any flowers or flower buds on the stem and retain only the top two pairs of leaves.
  3. Prepare stem for rooting: Make a fresh cut on the stem just below the leaf node (1 cm) and slice the stem longitudinally into four just till the node.
  4. Rooting hormone: While softwood cuttings can root without rooting hormone powder, the chance of success increases drastically with the use of rooting hormone. To apply the rooting hormone, slightly moisten the cut edge and dip it in rooting hormone.
  5. Plant the cutting: Fill a small pot, at least 6 inches depth, with a well-draining potting mix and plant your cutting straight in the middle of it. Take care not to dislodge the rooting hormone and press the soil around it.
  6. Cover the cutting: Loosely cover the pot with cutting with a transparent plastic bag to help retain moisture. Be sure the plastic does not touch the cutting and ensure that the bag is vented to help escape condensation. Also, do not secure the bag tightly, rather just use it as a cover to avoid rot.

Caring for the new cuttings

Keep the soil moist until roots form. You can check for roots by gently trying to move the stems, if the stem seems firmly lodged, the roots have started forming. The cuttings can be transplanted into a bigger pot or ground when you see new growth or new leaf sprouts begin to appear along the stem.

Caring for your rose plants

  1. The right site: For the biggest and showiest flowers your rose bush needs at least 6-8 hours sunlight daily in its growing season.
  2. Timing of planting roses: Roses are best planted in spring or late summers.
  3. Pot size: Roses send deep roots, so the taller the container, the better.
  4. Fertilise regularly: Rose plants should be fertilised with phosphorus rich fertiliser. Give it a well-balanced fertiliser too. A slurry of onion peels is also a good fertiliser.
  5. Water wisely: The soil needs to be moist at all times but not soggy. Let the topsoil dry out in between watering cycles. Don’t wet the foliage and keep the plant well-ventilated.
  6. Prune like a pro: Do heavy pruning every spring and light pruning through the year. Remove dead flowers and prune branches to promote more branching and give it a bushier appearance. This then results in the formation of more budding and more flowers.
  7. Pest control: Spray your rose with neem oil every 15 to 20 days. Don’t wet the foliage and keep the plant well-ventilated and in bright direct sunlight for most part of the day.

 

How to show off the roses

Roses have long been the most prized cut flowers. They stay fresh for a long time if the following things are kept in mind:

  1. Roses that are harvested for cut flowers as soon as they bloom
  2. Use sharp shears to minimise damage to plant tissue
  3. Cut the roses either early morning or late evening
  4. Ensure that the stem is cut at a 45 degree angle before putting it in a vase
  5. Strip off all the leaves from the flower stalk
  6. Change the water frequently to remove any bacteria. Also recut the stems from the bottom if they seems to get slimy.

FAQs

  1. How to grow roses successfully at home?

Roses are easy to grow once a few of their basic requirements are met. The rose plants need at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight and loves a rich but well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist but neve wet the foliage and give the plant good ventilation. Fertilise every couple of weeks for a good growth.

  1. How do I make my roses bushy?

The only way to make you rose plant dense and bushy is by regular and judicious pruning. Always prune the spent flowers and give it a good pruning every spring to promote new growth. Give it a good amount of sun and proper ventilation. Fertilise regularly form spring to fall.

  1. What is the best month to plant roses?

Roses are best planted in spring when the season is pleasant and it is easier to root cuttings.

  1. What is the best fertiliser for rose plant?

The best fertiliser for rose plant is a generic indoor plant fertiliser that promotes overall plant health. NPK of Plan-tonic is a great option.

  1. How to get more flowers from your rose plant?

To get a lot of flowers from your rose plant give it regular fertilisers – either NPK, Onion peel slurry or Banana peel slurry. Prune regularly to create flowering heads and give it proper sunlight.

Happy Gardening !!!

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