35 yr old rose bushes - Knowledgebase Question

Sylmar, Ca
Question by msetsukon
July 6, 2010
Can I dig out rose bushes that are over 30 yrs old? They are very healthy and sentimental to me. They were my mother's pride and she has passed and our family would like to continue to own her rose bushes. Could you advise me if this is oossible? They are going to die and be taken out anyways by the new owners.


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Answer from NGA
July 6, 2010

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If the plants are going to be removed anyway, you can certainly try to transplant it into your own garden. There are other ways of propagating a rose bush, though, and it may be that you can take cuttings or root one of the lower growing canes and end up with new plants. These will be exact duplicates of the parent plant but they will be new rather than 50 years old. The easiest way to take cuttings is to find stem tips that are rigid (not floppy), that have not flowered. Cut 4-6" inches of stem and strip off the lower leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and set it in a container of moistened potting soil. You can put many cuttings in a single nursery pot. After all the cuttings are in the container, put 3-4 sticks or bamboo skewers along the inside rim of the pot, spaced equally, and drape a plastic bag over them to make a tent. The tent will help keep the cuttings from drying out too much. Every 3-4 days lift the tent to let in fresh air or the cuttings will become moldy. Place the container of cuttings in a shady place outdoors and make sure the soil remains moist but not soggy wet. In 3-4 weeks the cuttings will have rooted and you'll see new leaves beginning to develop. At that time remove the plastic tent so fresh air circulates all around the cuttings. Leave the cuttings in the container until this fall and then pot them up in their own containers or plant them in the ground. Best wishes with your project.

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