> Shoot, I made my rose stem cuttings without leaves. Some of them seem to
> still be alive, so maybe there's still hope. Martha Stewart kept talking
> about a powdered root hormone, but I used some liquid root starter I found in
> the shed. Now I am watering with Miracle-Gro. Am I on the right track here?
> Does anyone know how long it should take before your stem cuttings produce new
> growth? Is two weeks too short a time to give up? Also, why do the
> instructions say to put a plastic bag over your pot?
> Many thanks.
NO leaves? well, maybe you'll get incredibly lucky, presuming you
actually have a couple or three nodes where the leaves normally spring
from. i wouldn't be exceedingly optimistic, though. the plant uses
leaves for its primary photosynthesis (using the chemical energy
generated from sunlight, via chlorophyll (the green stuff) to generate
usable plant sugars to feed the plant). without leaves, you're limiting
the plant's ability to survive. a small amount of photosynthesis
will occur in the green of the stems/canes, but not anything like the
amount that goes on with the broad surface area provided by leaves.
but, too weeks is too short a time ... depending on the maturity of the
cutting you took, it can take 3-5 weeks before the roots are established,
and top growth might not begin until after that occurs. and that's under
normal circumstances. with no leaves, the process will probably take longer,
presuming the plant can hold out long enough without adequate means to
nourish itself initially.
the plastic bag provides a closed "terrarium" or "hothouse" environment
to keep things more than usually moist and warm ... a environment that
encourages new growth ... kinder for a new cutting to get started in.
Almost all of this wisdom came from Cheryl Netter, who has
had almost 100 percent success with this method for
miniatures, old world Garden roses, and english roses.
I've just rearranged some info and added a few hints.
MAKING THE CUTTING:
*) Preferably take a cutting on which the bloom is spent, so that
all the petals have just dropped off. It is okay to take a
cutting earlier, but at least make sure color is showing in the bud.
These are indications of the maturity of the wood in the stem --
you want something in between the extremes of greenwood and hardwood.
*) Have at least four separate leafsets under the bloom, and a five-leaflet
set at the bottom of the cutting. (Each spot where the leafsets
meet the stem forms a "node," from which roots can form. Hybrid
teas tend to have fewer "nodes" spaced farther apart than Old World
roses, and thus require a longer cutting, generally speaking).
*) Keep your cuttings fresh in water while you gather more,
until you're ready to plant them.
PLANTING THE CUTTING:
*) Fill a 1-gallon zip lock baggie 1/4 to 1/3 full with STERILE
loose potting mix. (e.g., 1/2 peter's potting soil and 1/2 perlite)
(A 2-gallon ziplock baggie may be better since it will give the
leaves more room, but use the same depth of soil you'd use in a
1-gallon baggie, since you'll be watching for roots growing
through it, later.)
*) Moisten the mix but do not make it extremely wet. Use 1 tsp.
miracle gro per 1 quart of water, to provide some initial
nutrients (which may help avoid yellowing and leaf-drop).
*) Snip off the stem a little above the top-most leaf set
(i.e., remove the flowering part).
*) Strip off the bottom two sets of leaves (where the stem
will be pushed into the soil).
*) Score the bottom part of the stem along its length (vertically)
for an inch or so. (An exacto-knife works nicely for this
purpose, but fingernails will do fine.) Roots will form
along this score.
*) Dip scored end of cutting into rooting compound, a couple inches
deep. Knock off the excess (you can get too thick a layer).
Stick the cutting a couple of inches into the soil.
*) Sprinkle a very small amount of diazinon or other insecticide on
the soil surface (optional -- to avoid chomped-up leaves).
*) Mist the cutting and the interior surfaces of the baggie with
a spray bottle filled with the following mix (to avoid fungus
and mildew growth in the closed "terrarium" environment):
1 quart water
1 tsp. miracle gro
1 tsp. baking soda (no more!)
2-3 drops dishwashing liquid (to make it cling)
*) Zip baggie almost shut. Breathe into it 'til it expands
kinda like a balloon, and zip the rest of the way closed.
(Keep it closed unless it deflates enough to warrant
breathing into it again.)
*) Put in bright, INDIRECT light -
(e.g., behind sheers in a southeast-facing window)
WARNING!!! if it gets direct sun it will scorch and likely die!
POTTING THE CUTTING:
*) Look for roots along the bottom of the baggie in two or three
weeks (a few real stubborn ones may take six weeks).
*) When you see some top growth, unzip the baggie a little.
Unzip a little more every day for about a week, then
transplant to a pot.
*) Keep the same lighting (protected from too much direct sun)
for a few days, leaving the cutting unmolested to give its
disturbed roots a chance to heal.
*) After they have spent a few days in their pots, put them in
as bright a window as you can. (Open those sheers.)
(Note: Gro-lights don't normally put out nearly enough
light for roses, though it can probably be done.)
*) Keep them inside for their first winter, especially in zones
5 and below. (When planted outside in the same summer they were
rooted, even with a heavy mulch, many more will be lost to winter
kill since the new little roses won't always have enough roots to
carry them through. Also, chinooks (intense, warm winds) do
their damage too. By keeping them inside for their first winter,
and planting them in the spring, they will be better-established
by the next fall.)
*) Plant late enough to avoid those *** springs that get warm,
causing the roses to break dormancy, only to follow up with
a hard freeze!
: Karen Baldwin, Intergraph :: The Peter Murphy Principle -- :
: uunet!ingr!klbaldwi :: -- Scott Jonas :
: (303) 581-2367 :: 6101 Lookout Road, Suite A ^ ^ :