|I am an avid flower lover and have now decided to grow my own roses rather than buying them, I have purchased a floribunda and a hybrid tea, what advice can you give me, to make the best of my roses, including necessary tools etc?|
|You can propagate roses from cuttings but there are two things for you to consider: most roses are grafted onto a hardy rootstocks rather than grown on their own roots, which gives them a better chance of surviving the winter weather; and roses still under patent cannot be legally propagated without paying a royalty to the breeder.
With this in mind, here's what you'll need:
Pruning shears, garden gloves, sharp knife, peat pots or small plastic pots ( 3 to 3 1/2 inch ), sterile potting soil, rooting hormone, clear plastic cups ( 16- inch size ) or plastic bags and twist ties.
Here's how to propagate your roses: The easiest part of the the rose to root is the tip of a stem that has recently bloomed. Ideally the stems should have withered flowers or hips beginning to form. The flower heads or hips should be removed down to the first set of healthy leaves. Propagation cuttings should be six to eight inches long, and should be cut from the rose bush with a sharp knife or pruning shears, at an angle of about 45 degrees.
Press your gloved thumb against each thorn to remove it ( if the thorns don't pop off easily, the cane wood probably isn't ripe enough ).
Remove all but the topmost one or two leaves; be careful not to damage any of the buds. Scrape off the bark at the bottom of the cutting, making a narrow 1 inch long wound, one on each side.
Once you've taken your cuttings, fill a round, 3 to 3 1/2 inch peat pot with sterile potting medium. Soak the the pot in warm water, and allow it to drain. Peat pots are good, because they allow you to see the roots as they push through the pots.
That's the sign it's time to repot. You can transplant a rooted cutting, peat pot and all, to a larger container without disturbing the young fragile root system
Punch a hole in the center of the potting medium in the peat pot. Dip the bottom of the wet cutting in rooting hormone powder, and tap off the excess. Insert the cutting in the hole, and gently firm the soil.
Punch holes through the bottom of a plastic cup. Label it with the roses names, the date, and the source. Rose cuttings need constant moisture and humidity. Set a clear plastic cup over each peat pot (or cover with a plastic bag, making sure there's plenty of space between the cutting and the bag.
Place the cuttings in a warm place with bright light but not in direct sunlight. Each cutting will develop differently.
You may notice a flush of new growth as the first sign that roots are forming. Or you may see roots push through the sides or bottom of the peat pot. It may take as little as two weeks or as much as six months for roots to develop.
Transfer the rooted cutting to an 8 inch or larger pot. Add organic potting soil, completely burying the peat pot. Do not expose any part of the peat pot, it must be totally buried. Sprinkle a teaspoon of a slow release, balanced fertilizer with trace elements over the soil.
Place the container in cool shade, and keep it well watered. Over the next ten days to two weeks, gradually move it until it gets direct sunlight for at least six hours a day.
Transplant vigorous cuttings into the garden during the first fall in milder climates, and mound soil 4-6 inches high around the canes.
After the ground freezes, surround the plant with wire mesh, and fill it with mulch. This will provide all the winter protection your new roses need.
Best wishes with your project!