Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wrapping cuttings

If you haven't already discovered it, The Rose Hybridizers Association and its Forum are great places to learn about many things concerning roses. The site is populated by a very nice group of people from across the globe and all have great imagination and experiences. One very interesting "discovery" I've gleaned from the RHA and from Paul Barden's Rose Blog concerns wrapping cuttings to callus.

I formerly lived in a hotter, more arid climate, and I had figured out how to root roses there with little difficulty. I have since moved to a more humid, a bit less hot, area and I have sacrificed MANY cuttings to rot before hitting on this wonderful advance. The initial introduction was made by Simon Voorwinde , an Australian member sharing what George, another Australian member had shared with him.  Rose Hybridizers Association Forum
Photographic instruction and mention of the method was further shared by Paul Barden on his great Rose Blog. Paul Barden's Blog  It looked and sounded simple enough!

I'd discovered part of my problem was it is too humid here to enclose rose cuttings in anything. The air is sufficiently "close" for them to root without rotting as long as they are protected from extreme wind and too hot sunlight. Using this wrapping method further increased my chances of success by keeping them moist while they callus and begin forming roots, greatly shortening the time required for them to actually become plants.

I "streamlined" the proceedure shared on the other two sources and found it worked! I took cuttings as I would normally, removed all the foliage and processed them with my rooting hormone of choice. Several sheets of plain old newspaper were thoroughly soaked then wrung out as dry as I could get them. Here is your first chance of failure. There should be NO dripping wet paper. Wring out as much water as you possibly can. The cuttings are going to be securely wrapped in this paper. Soggy paper WILL cause them to grow mold and turn into slime. You want moisture, dampness, not soggy, so squeeze out as much water as you possibly can so the paper no longer drips when squeezed.

I placed the pile of cuttings all together in the center of the paper, then wrapped them as you would to make a burrito. It looks something like these, though the longer ones shown are actually longer than traditional cuttings. More about those, later.
Instead of wrapping the "burritos" in Saran Wrap and rubber banding them as Simon's method suggests, I found simply wrapping them in plastic shopping bags then tying them tightly, kept them sufficiently damp for the callusing period. As long as the bags are sealed to prevent the loss of the dampness, it will work. I placed the bags in a drawer in a chest in the garage where they remained cool and dark for the required two weeks.


At the end of the two weeks, this is what I found in the "burritos".

I removed them from the "burritos" and potted them individually in 16 oz. foam cups with drainage holes poked through the bottoms and placed them where they would receive half day, morning sun, surrounded by other plants where the humidity remains fairly high. I deliberately planted them deeply, as deep as possible in the cups, to provide them more protection from moisture loss until they rooted.
I kept them watered so the soil remained damp and within a few weeks, new sprouts were growing from most of the cuttings. I had gone from 100% failure, to over 80% success with 135 cuttings. This was with a variety of different rose types, from polyanthas, climbers, species crosses, HTs and floribundas, not just a few varieties which root fairly easily. I am certain pre callusing the cuttings in the dark, damp, cool newspaper before planting them was more than half the key. This was accomplished during our rainy period, so temperatures were lower than "normal" and there was higher humidity, so everything stacked the deck in my favor.


Next installment...Longer wrapped cuttings for standard trunks, and in warmer weather!Paul Barden's Blogspot

23 comments:

  1. Love your new blog, Kim! Thanks for letting me know about it so I can glean from your extensive rose experience in this fun way!
    --sally

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Sally. To experiment further with wrapping, I just put up a large bundle of Mutabilis. We'll see in two weeks how they work this time of the year! Kim

    ReplyDelete
  3. Will be eager to see your results!
    --sally

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, Kim, how timely your new blog is! I had just decided to try to root some cuttings of Mme Abel Chatenay, and now I see your 'burrito' method. I will definitely try it, since my record is only about 50% using band pots or sticking them in a shady garden spot. I'll let you know in a few weeks if this method works in Florida - where humidity is king, but not until next month. :))

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful Sherry! I'm glad it can help! Honestly, the main thing is to make sure the newspaper is wrung out thoroughly. If it's too wet, everything will rot. If you have an old wringer washer, run the wet paper through it to remove any excess. It really does need to be that "dry". I have cuttings in right now to test warmer weather results. I'll post how they do. Good luck! Kim

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kim, I'm so glad to see you have a blog now. I am going to try rooting this way next time. Gean

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Kim, stumbled across your blog via a link on GardenWeb. Tried this "burrito method" this tonight and hoping to have something positive to share in two weeks. I'm very new at gardening but did try propagating roses a couple months ago and it was a complete FAIL. Tried the traditional way, get cutting, dip in rooting hormone and put in soil with pot and plastic bag cover. To be honest, I really don't know if it ever rooted because after a few weeks, I stuck it outside and kind of forgot about it , so it dried out. At least with this "burrito method," I can see two weeks from now if I'm on the right track. Even if my cuttings don't root; getting them to callus would be a big bonus for this newbie!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi DD, welcome! I know the frustration of "sacrificing cuttings"! And, I know the thrill of having the things work. I'm happy this can give so many others the opportunities for success. Just don't forget the 'burritos' in two weeks! If you follow the thread as it unfolds, it will give you suggestions for how and why the method works. I'm sure you'll discover tweaks to it to make it easier and more efficient in your climate and conditions.

    I have a bundle to check tomorrow. I look forward to your reports of how it's worked for you. Thanks! Kim

    ReplyDelete
  9. Any updates as far as rooting in warmer weather (Florida here)? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kim, just a quick question---I love this method and will try it when we prune our roses. Do you cut the thorns off and do you put rooting powder all over the cuttings or just at the bottom? Please enjoy the roses in my garden--I have Brandy, JFK, Gemini, St. Patrick,Barbra Streisand and Leonides. Just do a search for them at www.mysisterdalesgarden.com Look forward to your reply so I can root these roses.

    Thanks,
    Miriam

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Miriam, I guess it's time to do a little refresher. I'll try to answer all the questions in a new post I'll do today. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This method does work really well. Plus, I've found the rooting hormone to be optional. I don't use any hormones and last season I got 175 plants out of one shoebox full of 'burritos.' Thanks for the blog, Kim.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You're welcome Jude! I'm glad it's helped and folks have enjoyed it. It's been great fun taking something shared with me and offering it to others for their successes. I'm glad there are so many roads to success with roses and that I've been able to help share one of them! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, congratulations on your successes! It's a great rush, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  15. what time of year do you cut for rootings?
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Cindy. I find in my climate, waiting until the end of "winter", any period where the roses have shut down as much as can be expected so they have the greatest chances of actually storing nutrients instead of using them as they are generated, works best. I can get them to callus any time I can maintain them at the proper temperature range, but they often fail after being potted. What seems most logical to me is unless they have gone through a recent period of storing resources, they don't contain enough to carry them through the callus period in the wraps. While wrapped, they are using stored nutrients to maintain themselves and accomplish the callusing. Too late or too early here and they appear to simply run out of stored nutrients before they can put out the roots. Of course, this needs to be explored in YOUR climate as it could vary greatly (or, not at all). Here, it is so hot, so dry and the sun so intense, the plants may well use as many resources as they can absorb and generate. In milder climates they may actually be able to reserve some while they use the excess. That might permit you to succeed with the wraps for longer periods than I've been able to here. Please experiement with it and add to the knowledge base. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I live in a tropical country will it work here?

    ReplyDelete
  18. In my experience, which, of course, does not include tropical climates and their effects on rose growing, if you can replicate the temperatures which have demonstrated themselves to be appropriate for callusing and if you can obtain rose cuttings in the appropriate condition to enable them to callus while rapped, I guess it could work. The only way to know would be to try it and see whether it works and how well.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have reread with great interest this burrito method and have with great results so far TAUSENSCHOEN cuttings from Aug.28th.Checked them again today after 23 days ! seen some nice callousing :-) happy about that ! I have large Plastic cups with a dome( hole in the top ) should I plant them in sand or a mixture of perlite/peat ? we live in Maine zone 5a.Is there a chance to even keep some of them in a very large Terranium in the house ?
    Thank you in advance for any help,
    Brigitte

    ReplyDelete
  20. Would like to add I DID use Rooting Hormone !

    ReplyDelete
  21. Congratulations, Brigitte! I'm glad it's working for you! Climate and the specific rose you're working with play tremendous parts with this, and any method of rooting or even just growing roses. I would plant them in whatever potting soil works well for the amount of water you receive. I hesitate to suggest any brand or type as you get TREMENDOUSLY greater rainfall and even snow compared to my beach-side, California climate. If you're seeing roots, the plant is going to require some "food", so I would use a potting soil, which would provide a little nutrients to it as it breaks down. Plain sand or a perlite mixture would have no nutrients so the plant would have to continue living off the stored nutrients until it is either replanted in a rich soil or artificially fertilized. Here, as long as I see callus (even without roots) I pot them in potting soil to continue rooting. As long as the mix stays moist and drains well, you should be good to go! As for trying to maintain them indoors...I have never had success growing any rose in the house. The light is too dim; the air is too dry; the conditions are perfect for aphids and spider mites and those nasties come inside the house on YOU, the dog, even on the plants themselves. Protect them as you would any other rose in your garden and you should be just fine.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank You for your prompt response! Yes,we will gets lots of snow in our area,I also have large bags of Pro-Mix on hand.However I still don't know if I should plant the cuttings in 4-5 inch pots or even into the large 16oz cups with a dome ? Do I have to plant them before frost or just heel them in ? Hopefully someone with our zone 5 a could share some information /
    Thank You in advance,
    Brigitte

    ReplyDelete
  23. You're welcome, Brigitte. I wish I could give you an idea which might work better, but "winter" here means it MIGHT drop below forty degrees F for a night or two, or on the even rarer occasion, perhaps it might freeze (32 F), but that is quite rare. For the cuttings, I imagine planting them so they will continue rooting then do what you have to with them to winter protect is likely what they need. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete