Sunday, August 10, 2014

It's Been A Good Year For Budding!

I consciously rooted both long and short root stock pieces of Virus Indexed IXL, Virus Indexed Fortuniana, Cardinal Hume and Pink Clouds last year and this, using the "Burrito Method" detailed here in earlier posts. I intended to create patio standards of polyanthas and some of my seedlings using the longer whips of the IXL and Cardinal Hume. A few of these have been budded this summer, but several have been used to maximize my chances of success budding varieties I wanted to make sure I succeeded in adding to my breeding stable. I inserted up to fifteen buds of the same variety on a long whip in hopes several would take. It has worked! The goal wasn't to create a garden plant from the longer whip, but to establish the variety and generate more propagation material from the initial buds. Once they are well grown, I also intend to cut the longer whips apart and attempt rooting them with the scions already successfully budded to each shorter piece of root stock. 

I decided to only use The Chip Budding Method Burling Leong of Burlington Roses uses as it is the fastest and easiest budding/grafting method I've seen. It has been remarkably successful this summer! Several varieties were budded on both Pink Clouds as well as the Fortuniana so I can plant them near each other and compare their performance. 

I thought it would be fun to share some of the more dramatic results here. So, here goes!

This is a crested seedling a fellow member of the Rose Hybriders Association raised from Tournament of Roses and Crested Jewel. This was budded to both Fortuniana and Pink Clouds on June 4, 2014.

This is the Fortuniana plant. 

It expresses a significant amount of cresting which I hope to mine for further breeding.

The same crested seedling also budded on June 4 to Pink Clouds.
I realized in the twenty-one years of her life, I'd never attempted to bud Annie Laurie McDowell, a failure I needed to remedy. Annie Laurie McDowell, budded on June 16 to Pink Clouds.

Annie Laurie McDowell budded on June 16 to Fortuniana. 
Ironically, the foliage of the young, budded plants aren't quite as deep green as the own roots. Perhaps the extra push the stocks provide requires heavier feeding than the own roots demand?

Not all pushed as quickly, as this Annie Laurie McDowell bud on Pink Clouds, also from June 16, demonstrates.
 This Annie Laurie McDowell on Pink Clouds wasted no time in pushing. 

 I also tried buds in several different stages of development to determine how they might react. This is a quite immature bud of Annie Laurie McDowell on Pink Clouds from June 16. It has successfully knit to the stock, but will require more time to mature before it begins to swell and grow. 
 A more mature, slightly swollen bud of Annie Laurie McDowell wasted no time developing on Pink Clouds. (June 16)
 C04, a crested Moore hybrid, which isn't a very vigorous growing plant, budded to Pink Clouds on April 28. I didn't head the stock back until just a few weeks ago, worrying perhaps the buds may not have knit, but they all took and are now pushing growth. Many of the stocks healed themselves and stopped "bleeding", but several refused. I attempted sealing them with Elmer's Glue, which did work on a few, but those which pushed high sap pressure, dissolved the glue and continued weeping. A few drops of wax from a cool melt candle, not hot enough to damage the plant nor burn my fingers which I accidentally dripped the melted wax on them, took care of the problem on all but two or three. More wax is obviously required to seal the wounds from the tops being removed above the buds. 

 Golden Angel X CA Nana is a Moore species hybrid I wanted to test as a budded plant. Several buds were inserted in this longer IXL whip. It seems all have taken but this one really took off! This is the growth since the buds were inserted on June 19! This flowering branch would be called a "maiden" if it was the single bud grafted to the stock. To produce the branched bare root we're all used to, this initial stem would be pruned back to encourage the two guard buds (one on each side of the primary bud) to begin growing, producing the branches we expect to find. 

Centre Stage is an extremely prickly, crawling, creeping "shrub", I thought might make an interesting shorter weeping standard. Here are it buds on a three foot Cardinal Hume whip, budded on June 17.

 A dear friend had lost her Noisette, Cinderella to gophers. I knew one person who still grows the variety, so I begged some bud wood year before last and created a budded plant for my friend, which I delivered to her last month. She felt quite a bit of pressure knowing there weren't any back-up plants in case something happened to the one I propagated for her. I budded five Cinderella buds to this IXL whip on July 8. All five have succeeded with three already pushing growth. 

 Not all the insertions are as elegant as some and not all are as eager to grow, but at least they are alive. This is Climbing Columbia, inserted into Pink Clouds on June 14.

I promised another friend I would try budding Eugene de Beauharnais to Fortuniana for her. That can take a while! First, the stock has to be rooted, then the budding occurs. It's already been over a year since I made the promise. I hope to be able to pass the plant on to her later this year. This was budded on June 19. You may notice I inserted two buds into this stock. If only one had taken, the plant would be fine. Since two succeeded, it should become fuller, faster, or I could cut them apart this winter/spring and try rooting the top bud individually. 

Eyes for You budded to Pink Clouds on June 7. This wasted NO time in pushing new growth! I wanted to bud Eyes for You on Fortuniana, but I was limited by the gauge, the thickness of the material I had to use for stocks. You can put a smaller (narrower) bud on a thicker stock, but not vice versa. I had pieces of Pink Clouds greater than thumb thickness while Fortuniana failed to generate anything thicker than a # 2 pencil. 
My final budded Grey Pearl has threatened to commit suicide for the past two years, so I figured it was now or never. This is Grey Pearl budded to Fortuniana on June 7.

And to Pink Clouds on the same date. 
 Lilac Charm grows OK own root, but nothing to write home about. Here is a double budded Lilac Charm on Pink Clouds, budded on June 16.

 Manhattan Blue is one of several varieties of bud wood I received later this summer. Several buds were inserted into this IXL whip on July 1. Nearly all are already pushing!
 MORcrest is the first of Ralph Moore's crested breeding roses. It is not a strong plant own root. The plant from which this is budded is own root and hasn't put out more than two inches of growth per year the past several years. It had one flower on it this year. The multiple buds inserted into this stock were budded on June 17. There is far more growth from these two buds than from the entire own root plant in the past two years. No exaggeration! 

 MORsoul is a Soulieana x mini cross Ralph Moore created and never released. Its other name is String of Pearls. It grows like a ground cover, making it another interesting candidate for a shorter weeping standard. This is about a three foot whip of Cardinal Hume into which several buds of MORsoul were inserted on June 20.

Moser Striped is the possible Rainbow, the striped sport of Papa Gontier, though a more vigorous version, from The Sacramento Cemetery. I'm not happy with its meager growth as an own root plant in my conditions. This is the more vigorously growing budded plant on Pink Clouds, budded on June 14. Particularly for standards and weaker growing types, using multiple buds can more quickly result in a fuller plant. And, should one not make it, can save the stock and prevent having to attempt re budding it. I only put the same variety on the stock used for it previously if I have to attempt re budding. The chances are many of these roses are already virus infected. By only using the same variety on the stock upon which it was previously budded, I don't run the risk of passing any potential virus infections around. 

I've tried rooting R. Primula before, unsuccessfully, but the multiple buds I inserted into this IXL whip on June 19 have all succeeded with four already pushing new growth. 
My own root Tom Brown has generated almost six inches of growth and put out six flowers this year. I hope these buds on Pink Clouds from June 7 will perform significantly better!

 Yann Arthus-Bertrand, another variety I obtained this summer, also with multiple buds inserted into a longer IXL whip on July 1 and beginning to push. 
There are quite a few more which were budded three weeks later, I'm waiting to see perform, as well as many from earlier budding that are green but not doing much yet. 

The "tricks" have been keeping the stocks well watered so they keep pushing a strong, steady flow of sap and making sure to match at least one point of cambium on the bud to that on the stock. Out of a bit over 140 buds since June, only 17 have absolutely failed. That's an almost 88% success rate at this point. Not bad for being rusty at budding and the weather extremes and severe drought we're experiencing. I can vouch for Chip Budding being the easiest, fastest method of grafting I've ever encountered! If you've been considering trying budding, start rooting your stocks now so when summer hits next year, you are all set. It's much easier than you think!


  1. Thanks Kim, that's not bad averages for a "rusty' budder. When you strike your rootstock, do you leave one eye or two above the site of your bud ? As always Kim very informative.
    Regards David.

  2. Thanks, David. I make it a practice to leave two to three buds at the tops of the longer stocks, and one or two on the shorter ones in case something happens to one (or more) of them. I've been known to accidentally damage a bud or two...

  3. Hi Roseseek. I have read the wonderful method of wrapping the cuttings. I tried it and my cuttings are callusing successfully. And it's time to pot the cuttings. Here it's cold outside between -5 to 10 °c and it is going to get colder.
    How should I take care of the cuttings after potting? What is the minimum temperature the potted cuttings can survive? What about light? Can I use sand?
    Thank you so much for sharing these great posts about rose propagation and allowing others to know your experiences.

  4. Hi Hesam, you're welcome and congratulations! You're entering temperature zones I am not familiar with. I live outside Los Angeles, California. "Cold" here means about 4.44 C, perhaps a few degrees colder, but very seldom as low as -5 C. The optimum time for me to propagate seldom sees temperatures lower than 10 C. "Winter protection" for me means keeping the plants sufficiently watered in case the rains don't happen, and perhaps trimming their height to reduce any wind loosening, so I am not experienced in protecting newly propagated roses against hard freezes.

    With all of that said, I would suggest you use a potting soil you feel would remain appropriately moist, as you would for any potted rose. Sand doesn't hold moisture very well and probably wouldn't be sufficient unless they are placed somewhere they will receive regular rain to keep them appropriately watered. It is often quite arid here, and I have found a moisture control potting soil very helpful as it contains coir, ground cocount fiber, which holds about a third more moisture than peat or ground wood types and helps prevent over watering by not becoming too soggy. Of course, the cuttings, as other plants, will slow their growth with the types of cold you're experiencing, but they do require enough moisture to prevent any hard freeze damage.

    I plant the newly callused cuttings very deep to prevent them from drying out while they continue callusing. Usually, only an inch or so of the very top is left exposed out of the soil. Keeping them encased in damp soil prevents them from drying out before forming enough roots to support themselves. Sand might help prevent them from rotting if it is extremely wet there, but once they begin rooting, they need some sort of available nutrition to feed them as they develop.

    If you traditionally move potted roses inside a garage, shed or green house to prevent them from freezing, I would also place the cuttings in similar protection. During extreme cold for any long periods, they won't require a lot of light, and you don't want to trigger any growth prematurely which might get freeze killed. Once the chances of hard freezes pass, they will need brighter light so they can begin feeding themselves through photosynthesis accomplished by any green portions of cane protruding from the soil.

    I guess the best course would be to protect them the same way you protect any other potted roses, using whatever soil you pot other roses in. Good luck!