Roses forum: Propagating rose cuttings

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Flowerpetal
Jul 6, 2013 8:24 PM CST
Has anyone tried rooting roses by sticking the cutting into a potato? I saw it on Pinterest, and wondered if anyone has tried it. I know the settlers did it, and brought (Harrisons Yellow) the yellow rose of Texas across the Prarie safely growing in a potato!
I'm going to try it with a few of my older bushes. I'll keep you posted as to how it works! Hopefully tomorrow I'll take a picture of my progress, and post it here.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Jul 6, 2013 8:39 PM CST
Sounds neat! I will be anxious to follow your progress.
Porkpal
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jul 6, 2013 9:13 PM CST

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I had almost forgotten about this old method, which I once tried. It was a miserable failure. Crying As I recall, you were supposed to plunge the cutting into a potato and plant the potato in the ground. It might have worked if I hadn't planted the potatoes, I suppose, and had just used the potato as a temporary growing medium, but I ended up with lots of big potato plants growing in the middle of my rose beds. No trace remained of the roses that had been planted in them.

What are the instructions for the method you'll be trying, Flowerpetal?
Name: Gloria Levely
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glevely
Jul 7, 2013 6:32 AM CST
Zuzu thats what I thought would happen when I read that !! Will be watching too
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 7, 2013 7:55 AM CST
I didn't use the potato method, but one spring I pruned my daughter's rose bushes, then used the cuttings stuck in the ground to help keep her dogs from walking through a newly planted perennial bed. Guess what? At least 4 of those cuttings rooted! I'm crediting that we had a microsprinkler watering the new bed every day, and had a run of cool weather as well. Still, amazing in that terrible clay soil, and low humidity.

Sadly, they were next to a walkway so the rose bushes would have been grabbing everyone's legs if we'd left them. So we tried to transplant them, probably too soon, and I don't know if any of them survived. They would have been 'own root' bushes of hybrid teas so probably very wimpy in any case.
Elaine

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Flowerpetal
Jul 7, 2013 5:00 PM CST
The instructions say to plunge the cutting into a potato, and then plant the potato with the cutting. The potato is suppose to keep the cutting moist until it grows, but I didn't think about the potato growing! I guess if it does, the growth is easy enough to remove.
I'll let you know.......
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jul 7, 2013 5:10 PM CST

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I love the story about the settlers growing roses in potatoes to transport them to a new location, and I agree that this was an ingenious way of supplying the rose with moisture on the trip, but I can't get excited about using potatoes as a rooting medium in the garden. It seems to me that even if you removed the potato plant growth, the potato itself would prevent, or at least complicate, the growth of the rose roots. If we're not traveling to a new location and are just staying put in our gardens, it's simple enough to keep the soil around a cutting moist without the aid of a potato.

Maybe there's some other benefit to the potato? Extra potassium, perhaps?
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
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RoseBlush1
Jul 7, 2013 11:33 PM CST
On another site when this method of propagation was suggested, another site user said it would probably not work with a potato purchased at the market because these potatoes are rinsed with a solution to inhibit root growth so that the potatoes have a longer "shelf life" in the market and at home.

I just thought I'd pass the info along.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jul 7, 2013 11:42 PM CST

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Did anyone on the other site report success with this method?

roseseek
Jul 8, 2013 12:28 AM CST
Find a certified organic potato. Those would not have been treated to inhibit sprouting. Inorganic potatoes are now frequently treated to inhibit them from sprouting.

Flowerpetal
Jul 8, 2013 7:01 PM CST
I guess your right, except the ones I tried to root last year dried up....... (always looking for an easier way!)

roseseek
Jul 9, 2013 12:17 AM CST
Wait until "winter" when your roses are less actively growing, then see if this looks like something you might be able to do. Start at the beginning here...

http://pushingtheroseenvelope.blogspot.com/2011/05/wrapping-...

Reading the successive posts for updates and tweaks which helped others fine tune it for their situations and climate. It may now work the first time you try it, but there is sufficient information there for you to understand why and how it works for you to be able to massage the method to fit your climate and conditions.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jul 9, 2013 2:34 AM CST

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That's an intriguing method, Kim. I wonder whether it would work on some roses I've never succeeded in propagating.

I've always had fairly good luck with rooting cuttings either in potting soil in containers or directly in the ground close to the mother plant. There are a couple of roses, however, that I've never been able to grow this way. One is First Kiss, Warriner's floribunda. I know fragrance preferences are highly subjective, but everyone who smells First Kiss in my garden wants the rose. It has a delicious scent. The other is English Elegance, an Austin rose that's almost impossible to find these days. It's another one that visitors to my garden want. I've tried numerous times to root cuttings of both roses and I've failed every time.

Both of these roses in my garden are grafted, so I suppose the reason could be quite simple: Perhaps they just don't want to grow on their own roots. Their absence from the usual offerings of own-root nurseries certainly suggests this. It seems odd, though. Why would one Austin rose be so temperamental when all the others root so easily? And what makes First Kiss so different from Warriner's other floribundas?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Jul 9, 2013 7:04 AM CST
Since I have the same rotting problem in our high humidity, I should try that system! (I am also intrigued by the potato method, though.)
Porkpal

roseseek
Jul 9, 2013 4:37 PM CST
English Elegance I know roots and grows splendidly here own root. First Kiss I haven't tried. It is entirely possible for one rose to root like a weed, yet its sibling from the same hip may not root worth squat. Raising a batch of sibling seedlings from the same cross, much less same hip, you find some are horses, ready to explode into growth right off the bat. Others germinate, but never grow or give begrudging inches and usually with some sort of heavy fungal infection. Most often, here, it's mildew. I've investigated why some are so rudely healthy while other siblings aren't and the constant has been the root system. Healthy, vigorous seedlings make healthy, extensive, vigorous roots. Sickly, weak seedlings do not. You find many roses which are just terrible own root, though budded they are at least "acceptable". If there aren't vigorous, healthy roots under it, there can't be anything decent above ground.

For easily 75 years, American roses were selected for the novelty and "quality" of the flower, little more. No one cared IF they rooted, nor if they would grow as own root plants because everything was budded. You can easily take a rather marginal rose and make it acceptable by budding it. That's why so many which seemed as good as our memories of them are, perform so badly now as own root plants. Some believe it is due to "over propagation" or improper bud selection and there may be a grain of truth there. But, in my opinion, much more is highly likely due to the plants simply not making decent specimen own root (compared to budded) and more of us now do not spray compared to those who grew these roses thirty, forty or more years ago.

You still see examples of this in more current roses. J&P, toward the end, introduced their "New Generation Roses", own root plants of recent and new introductions. One year, they announced Henry Fonda would be offered as a New Generation the following year. It wasn't. They had to back peddle because Henry Fonda WILL root, but it will NOT perform acceptably own root. Week's tried selling Midnight Blue as a "Shrublet", their own root plants. That didn't last long. Midnight Blue is an excellent plant here, but it is miserable own root and often flat out refuses to root. Ebb Tide is marginal, at best, budded. Own root, it is a train wreck, usually resulting in "one cane wonders" where the budded plants are at least two cane wonders.

Wrapping cuttings CAN help with difficult to root types, but just because something CAN be done, doesn't always mean it SHOULD be.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jul 9, 2013 10:05 PM CST
Very interesting information, Roseseek, where are you located?
Porkpal

roseseek
Jul 9, 2013 10:15 PM CST
Just north of Los Angeles.

Flowerpetal
Jul 18, 2013 6:08 AM CST
Well, I have two cuttings of Zephrine Drouhine stuck in my potato, (we will see what happens). I thought I might help them along by first using a rooting hormone, just for a little extra insurance. So, thats what I've done.....
I'm at work now, but when I get home later today, I'll try posting a pic..
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jul 18, 2013 6:50 AM CST
Cool!
Porkpal
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Aug 16, 2014 11:37 AM CST
@Flowerpetal What happened with the rose-cutting-in-potato experiment?
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