|I inherited a sick miniature rose plant that has been nursed back to health but has some lanky branches that could be cut to encourage bushiness.I would like to cut back some of these branches but don't know if this is the proper time to do it(middle of winter).If I do cut off the tops of some of the branches what is the best way to root them to eventually replant them in the current pot.
|You can prune your miniature rose back now. Not all of the prunings will make good candidates for propagation but some may so you'll need to carefully select those that you'd like to try to root. Start by giving your plant an overall haircut to give it an attractive, symmetrical appearance. Then reach inside the rose and remove any gray colored stems and branches. Of the prunings, take the top 3-4 inches of the healthiest stems to use for cuttings. Strip the lower leaves off the stem but leave the topmost leaves. Dip the cut ends into rooting hormone and place each cutting into moistened potting soil so that at least one leaf scar or node is buried in the potting soil (this is where new roots will develop). Once you've planted all your cuttings in the potting soil, place 3-4 sticks (I use bamboo skewers) around the inside of the pot and drape plastic wrap over the sticks. This tent will serve as a little greenhouse to keep moisture in. Keep the potting soil moist but not soggy and remove the plastic every few days for a few minutes to allow fresh air to enter. You'll know your cuttings have rooted when you see new leaves develop on the stems. At that time remove the plastic from the top of the container. In 3-4 weeks time the cuttings will have developed sufficient root systems that they can be potted up individually. Best wishes with your project!|