Roses forum→Rooting florist roses

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Name: Beth
Northern California (Zone 9b)
Roses Enjoys or suffers hot summers Container Gardener Clematis Garden Photography Birds
Irises Keeper of Poultry Region: California Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies
Jun 9, 2021 2:50 PM CST
Some of you have asked what I do to get the florist roses to root, so here's my method that has worked well so far!! I started this in April, and so far have gotten 8 out of 9 varieties to root. I pot up 24 stems per variety and I end up with at least 5 that make it and as many as 16 (so far). One of them I got none to root, but I think I accidentally got an older bunch. If they are not fresh, they won't root well. It's nearly impossible to get 100%. But I figure if I get even ONE to make it, at least I have one to take future cuttings from! I still have 8 more varieties in the wings and will add more once in awhile...

Rooting Florist Roses:

I've been trying to root florist roses for several yrs. I've rooted all sorts of other roses with little effort, but the florist roses are notoriously difficult. I read (somewhere) a few yrs ago that most of them come from South America, and the growers often treat the stems with herbicides to prevent the budeyes from sprouting. I guess if they look like actively growing plant material, they have to be quarantined before entry into the US. So if this is the case, I imagine the herbicides would inhibit the rooting process. After trying for yrs, with only a handful of successes, I finally have found a method that seems to be working very well. It can also be used on all other roses, of course.

People ask how I know the names of the florist roses. I purchase mine at Safeway Market. I don't know if it's a CA only market or if it's elsewhere in the country. Whoever they order their roses from, they put labels with the name of the rose on the cellophane "cone" that they wrap the dozen bundles in. The Safeways around here get orders in every Mon, Wed and Fri. I go and pick out bundles that I like and make sure they are fresh that day. If you get ones that have been sitting there for a few days, they often don't root.. or at least you may only get a couple to root. You can order roses or go to florist shops and get stems, etc also. I love Safeway because the roses are so inexpensive. They sell them for $9.99 a dozen.

When I get them home, I snip the ends off, place the entire dozen in a jar of water with about ½ Tsp or so of molasses. Soak them overnight. Next day, I pot them up. As for now I am potting them up in batches of 6 stems in a one gallon nursery pot. As I use up my pots I will start using either 24 or 32oz clear drink cups with holes poked in the bottom. Probably do 2-3 stems per cup. Or you can even do 8oz cups and only put one stem per cup. This is really fun because you will be able to see the roots developing inside the cups. The soil mix I use is approximately 1 part plain potting soil with NO fertilizer mixed with 2 parts perlite. Fill the pots or cups with the soil mix, water well, let drain. I use large zip-lock type plastic bags (from Amazon) as their little "greenhouse" and I place the pot inside the bag and push it down til I get the stems put in. If you put the pots inside the baggie after potting them up, you can risk pulling the stems out. It's easier to just set the pot inside and carefully pull the bag up once the stems are placed in the pots. Also make labels with the rose's name and put the date you are potting them up so you can keep track of how long it's taking to root.

Take the stems and snip the blooms off at the first leaf. You can float them in a bowl to enjoy indoors. Place the stems in a new container of water with a pinch of epsom salts. (You can also put the epsom salts in the overnight soak if you prefer.) Cut the stems in half, leaving on as many leaves as possible, and keep them in the water til you get them potted up. I use a bamboo stake (or use a pencil) to poke tunnels into the soil mix. Poke as far down as you can. Take the stems and using your pruners, scrape off the outer layer up about 1" and down to the cambium layer (the white part). Dip that end into Hormex #8 rooting hormone powder mixed 50/50 with cinnamon (helps prevent rot). Place the stem in the tunnel in the pot. Once the stems are all in, use the bamboo stake to tamp the soil mix nice and tightly around each stem. Mist the stems and the inside of the baggie. Carefully pull the baggie up and zip it shut. Place them in a cool, shaded area. Leave them alone for a week, unless you experience hot weather. Then check every other day.

The key to getting them to root is keeping the stems misted and keeping the bags closed so they don't dry out. As you check, you will find some may fail within a week or so. If the stem begins to turn black just above the soil line, pull it out and toss it. I tried saving some that were still a little green down inside the soil, but none of them make it. If it's turning black on top, carefully snip it off well below the black spot, but know that it may not make it either. I have found that the lower halves of the stems do not root nearly as well as the upper halves that still have leaves on them. Also, carefully remove any leaves that have turned brown or yellow or gotten moldy, only if they have fallen off. Don't try to pull them off, as you can accidentally yank the stem up sometimes. Make sure to re-tamp the soil around the stems. They need to be nice and tight… no wiggling!!

You should begin to see growth within a week or so, but don't get too excited about it. The stems have stored energy that pushes the budeyes to sprout. However, I am finding that if they do start pushing growth early, they likely will be rooting soon! Some varieties will root within 4-5 weeks, while others may take a few more weeks. By 8 weeks you can pretty well be sure they have rooted. I have had roots come out the holes in the one gallon pots at 4 weeks! At the point where you think they have rooted, carefully shake the soil/perlite mix out. I reuse mine, so I put it in an old plastic tote that I use to mix it all up in. If a stem has not rooted and has turned black under the soil line, toss it. I have not had any make it by cutting it off and repotting. Once they start turning black, they're done for! If you have more than one stem in the pot or cup, carefully separate their roots. They shake apart pretty easily. Now repot the rooted stems in plain potting soil and water well. Keep them in a sheltered area for a few days before placing out in the open or in the sun! They need to get hardened off and get used to their new soil. I would not fertilize for at least a few months, and then only lightly.

One thing I have found with the florist roses I've been rooting is that they grow and bloom rather quickly, compared to the garden ones. So, I'm thinking it's the molasses that's helping. I'm not really sure what it does, but it's a sugar, so I guess it helps with growth! (I know pot growers use it!!) I'm going to start soaking the garden ones with it to see if it makes a difference with them.

Hopefully this helps for those of you who want to try rooting roses yourself. I'm finding it to be a very fun and rewarding new hobby! When you see those roots… OMG it's such a cool feeling!!

Well, good luck you guys!! Here's a few pics of some of the process... I thought I had pics of the roots on the stems, but can't find them now!

Bagged up pots of cuttings
Thumb of 2021-06-09/Beth_NorCal/220e5b

Some of the rooted cuttings
Thumb of 2021-06-09/Beth_NorCal/ed40c1

Here's a few of the rooted roses with their buds and blooms... Just know that some start out with off-colored blooms until the plant gets bigger.
Thumb of 2021-06-09/Beth_NorCal/efcd7d
DARK LULU - She bloomed more like her mama LULU. Supposed to be a dark burgundy with white undertones.
Thumb of 2021-06-09/Beth_NorCal/b22a24
GREY KNIGHTS - This one is taking a loooong time to open up.
Thumb of 2021-06-09/Beth_NorCal/51b21e
VIOLET - This one is waaaay off colorwise! It's a mauve-purple on the underside and chartreuse green on top!!
Thumb of 2021-06-09/Beth_NorCal/b51b21
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
Jun 10, 2021 7:38 PM CST
Beth, I'm seriously impressed by your successful efforts! Thank you for sharing your technique in such detail.
Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Jun 11, 2021 7:16 PM CST
Thank you, thank you Beth!!!! I have a grafted Judy Garland that sent up a huge DR. Huey and I want to try this so if I lose her I'll have a replacement.
Name: Beth
Northern California (Zone 9b)
Roses Enjoys or suffers hot summers Container Gardener Clematis Garden Photography Birds
Irises Keeper of Poultry Region: California Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies
Jun 12, 2021 9:28 AM CST
Sandsock said:Thank you, thank you Beth!!!! I have a grafted Judy Garland that sent up a huge DR. Huey and I want to try this so if I lose her I'll have a replacement.

You should find it very easy to root your own garden roses with this method. They root much easier than the florist ones. But even those are really impressing me with their ability to do so. I think it's the combo of scraping off that outer green layer of the stem and the cinnamon mixed with the Hormex that's working. I never scraped them in the past. Always just smashed the end of the stem. But the roots come from the cambium layer, and exposing it like that really works. I'll try to get a pic of what they look like next time I repot some. Good luck!!
Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Jun 12, 2021 9:50 PM CST
Northland sells Judy own root, so it should work and I will use that scraping and cinnamon. Right now I am behind on everything.

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