Saturday, July 23, 2011

China rose update...

These cuttings were unwrapped June 11 after being held for their two week callus period. I'd wrapped two different China roses and Shadow Dancer. All of the Shadow Dancer hung on until it got hot, then they collapsed. All but two of the one variety of China rose have turned black and failed. Of the remaining two, one is beginning to push a few small leaves. The other is just sitting there....

The second variety of China rose has had about a 50% success rate. These photos were shot about an hour ago.

I know part of the reason for such a failure rate is the very high heat we've experienced since the cuttings were unwrapped. I don't have a greenhouse, nor have I attempted to create anything special for them to mature in. I wanted to determine if this was a viable method of propagation for anyone to use without any special equipment. Though it appears to be one most suited for those which are easier to root, at least when the weather is hotter, I think it's shown itself to be very worthwhile. It is easy, straight forward, requires nothing special and really only requires special tweaking to make carrying them on from the unwrapping to rooted plant possible for your specific climate and situation variables.

It DOES work better when the weather is cooler, though it CAN also work when it's hotter. Definitely worth a try and some experimenting to make it fit your situation.


  1. I'm not having any callus development in my refrigerated cuttings. Might be too chilly. I haven't seen any decay or blackening, so I think I'll bury the canes in a cool and shady spot in my garden, sans plastic, WITH paper. I had some apple and plum twigs root accidentally that way.

    Might be worth a try.

    I need to get this figured out ASAP. I have a dozen seedling roses I need to get propagated and shared.

  2. Your suggestion that your crisper is too cool for callusing is probably right on, Jedediah. Bud wood is usually wrapped in damp paper and kept just above freezing. Guess that's why it doesn't callus and root before being budded?

    Burying them in the garden may do the trick. Usually, the soil stays in the proper temperature range if kept shaded. I'd also wrap some rope or plant tape around the bundle so you can leave the ends out of the ground to make the bundle easier to find! I have a friend who used to bury his bare roots if received at the wrong time to plant. He forgot a number of them and never found them, UNTIL he hit on the idea of tying them together with rope and leaving the ends out of the ground so he could find both ends of the bundles! LOL!

    But, I would leave them wrapped in plastic. Under ground, they are at the mercy of irrigation, soil moisture. It could dry out too much or even flood and rot. The soil has bacteria, fungi and insects which are programmed to attach such things to return them to their elements for recycling. If they're either left in the plastic wrapping, or stuck in a clean water proof container to prevent contamination from soil borne pathogens, you're success would probably be greater. They remain damp enough above ground wrapped in plastic. Why wouldn't they do the same below soil?

    Good luck and please keep us up to date with your success! Thanks! Kim

  3. Thanks for the update, Kim. I tried removing the cuttings from the crisper. They were in excellent condition, even putting out some new growth from the leaf axils. Unfortunately, once out of the chill, the stems all began to blacken. I'm going to try again with some new cuttings, this time burying the cuttings out in the garden, bundled and labeled.
    What kind of rooting compound do you like? I get notices from a wholesale garden equipment company monthly. They list a liquid compound in varying strengths. Better than Rootone?

  4. Hi Jedediah, sorry to hear of your crisper results. Perhaps the burying them in your "mini root cellar" will work better. It will be interesting hearing the results.

    I prefer Dip'n Grow liquid. You mix it to the strength you prefer and I've found my best results about half way between the 10X and 15X concentration. I left Rootone because it can get waterlogged like wet bread and cause the cuttings to rot. The liquid absorbs into the tissue without the rotting issues. I don't know if I'd go with a single strength liquid. How would you know which is better (other than their advertising, which may or may not work best for YOU where you are)? If you can't find Dip'n Grow, Google it or just liquid rooting hormones as there are a number of them out there. I'd imagine the mixable ones are similar. Dip'n Grow is the only liquid I've tried and I like the results.