Rose propagation: my method Part II

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

we came from here:

after 228 replies, & 4,240 views, Bluespiral has requested a part 2

here it is!

Please post your trials, successes and failures, and by all means your own method that has worked for you!!


This message was edited Aug 9, 2009 6:13 PM

Thumbnail by seedpicker_TX
Denton, TX(Zone 7a)

I use coir...I take a cutting about 4 inches long and put it to where at least 1 of the bud eyes is under the surface of the coir and at least one is above the surface of the coir...I talk to the cutting and tell it how gorgeous it is...I try to keep it moist and I wait. Summer seems to be the worst time to root roses..Fall and spring are the best. My success rate is about 75%

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

I've heard talking to them helps, and have also heard classical music, and bird chirps.

North of Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

then I have the perfect CD for you... :)

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)


Baton Rouge, LA

Maybe you should read them bedtime stories... ??? ;-)

This message was edited Aug 9, 2009 11:39 PM

Denton, TX(Zone 7a)

That is a good idea...I think they would prefer French novels.

North of Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

Oh, but Dr. Suess rhymes.

Sebastopol, CA(Zone 9a)

I think Dr. Seuss is appropriate only for the miniature roses.

Baton Rouge, LA

I would suggest Jack and the Beanstalk so they get big and strong... but then the stalk gets cut down, so perhaps that wouldn't be very motivational for them!

North of Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

The Secret Garden is one of my fav.

Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

They have to think they are in peril for their lives, so they put down good roots, so read them some Stephen King...

Denton, TX(Zone 7a)

or Dean Koontz

Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

There ya go

North of Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

no, it will scare them to "death"!

Bend, OR(Zone 5a)

How about the heirloom catalog? Inspiration....?


Hastings, MI(Zone 5b)

I tried this summer with cuttings and only one or two have lived out of 16. sigh.

the rest just blackened and died.

I think next time I am going to try sand with some peat, and a plastic ventilated cover,
some fungal spray and regular mistings. I think the coir was too wet for these little guys.


Denton, TX(Zone 7a)

Coir, works great for me.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

I have noticed that coir can sometimes hold too much water, also, but it seems to depend on what time of year I use it.

It has been my observation that it stays wetter than most medium in the winter(as does peat moss), but dries out faster than other mediums in summer.

I've also noticed it depends on how compacted it is. I surround my cuttings with the medium, give the container a quick tap or two to settle, and then water. I don't ever "press" the soil down around the cuttings. This will remove a lot of the little air pockets you actually want to keep in there.

If you have anything other than the small air pockets, the water will take care of shifting those.

In the ongoing quest for the perfect medium, I discovered this by
Prof. Mark Laing, Professor of plant pathology at University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg.

"If you mix media with different particle sizes, the result is called a matrix. What happens is that the small particles fill the pore spaces of the big particles, making a dense mixture. This is the secret of concrete: sand particles fill the spaces between gravel chunks, and the cement then binds them in place. Drainage from pure sand or pure gravel is high. But if they are mixed in the right ratio, drainage is reduced to very little. So the principle is that when we mix particle sizes of a growing medium. we reduce oxygen content and drainage, and increase water-holding capacity. So if you add, say, sand to a bark medium, we make it heavier, with less oxygen and it drains LESS well."

This made a lot of sense to me, because I had tried adding sand to the coir, thinking it would drain better, but now after reading that, I realize the tinier sand particles, just filled in the air spaces and made it even more compacted. Same goes for the ever popular peat and perlite mix.

In following his advice, I think I've found my new favorite mix. So far it is a hit with seedlings and houseplants. I've not tried it on rose cuttings yet, because it is just too hot out right now. But, I have tried it on african violet cuttings, and getting much better results. The old peat/perlite mix tended to rot them(especially if wick-d).

I now mix coir with Jiffy mix for seedlings 50/50. The Jiffy mix is a very nice small particle mix of peat and vermiculite. The particle size of the Jiffy mix is almost exactly that same size of the coir(coffee ground size).

I've re-potted all my indoor plants, and even a terrarium with this mix, and they all seem very happy. The leaves I've stuck on the african violets are even rooting more quickly than normal.

I am excited about the possibilities of this mix for rose cuttings, and layering. An additional thing I've noticed about this mix so far, is that while a primarily peat moss mix will shrink and harden once it dries, being combined with coir alleviates this, and the medium does not shrink or harden when it dries, because of the coir content.

Here is a picture of what the Jiffy mix bag looks like. Home Depot carries it seasonally, and I have on occasion found it at Walmart, but not in several years. Usually when I do find it, I buy a lot of it. It is a really nice mix, all on its own, but mixed with coir, it is premium(in my opinion).

Thumbnail by seedpicker_TX
Middleton, TN(Zone 7a)

That does make a lot of sense!!!!... it also explains why some of the things where I thought I was improving the drainage by adding sand or perlite actally stays soggy and stuff rotted on me.Any seed staring mix should work , shouldnt it ? It is hard THIS time of year to find the little Jiffy Mix bags...but I still have plenty of pro-mix for seed starting ( 4 cu. ft bale)

just a hint........I buy the big blocks of coir from Bocabob here on DG marketplace plus he has his own website , too. each block expands with water to make like 2 or 3 cubic feet and it was aboout 10 dollars a block, that may not be exact but it is still a really good deal! Probably still much cheaper than those little blocks.

Middleton, TN(Zone 7a)

here is a link to the stuff I buy...2 blocks has lasted me all makes 2.5 cu. feet of moistened coir

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the link.

That is a good deal, but by the time you add shipping, it is still cheaper (for me anyway), to go two blocks up, to the pet store. The bricks are only 4.99 and look like they are right about half the size of those?

It said "now shipping from Dallas"...That is the next town from me, so I'd imagine if I keep my eye out, I could probably find those locally, if I knew where to look. I haven't tried the other pet stores, but should probably stop in the next time I go by one...

I have tried different brands, and I really like the kind I am getting at Petsmart. The other brand I tried was more coarse, and had irregular pieces, and every now and then a chunk. The "bed-a-beast" one I get at Petsmart is good about having consistent particle size.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

What's the activated carbon for? Been reading since Thread #1, and haven't run across the use for the carbon.

My SIL has access to the most FRAGRANT roses I've even experienced in my life! These are deep, ruby red, big blooms, and will fill your whole head with a VERY, VERY, VERY, strong rose fragrance. She has NO CLUE as to what type rose it is, so I'm gonna have to be Sherlock Holmes, too, at some point.

Anyway, I NEVER, EVER wanted to mess with roses (too much $$ and too much babying...), but this particular rose is worth going for to ensure it stays around somewhere!

So. You've got a new student aboard.

I'll start gathering my supplies soon as I locate my nearest Petsmart store. I get gallon-size milk jugs from Starbucks, being a Winter Sowing convert as of this past winter (never gonna grow a seed inside again in life -- except a bell pepper....).

How came ya'll aren't posting more PROGRESS PICS on this thread for us newbies???

Hint, hint, hint!!!


P.S. I just called her to find out what stage the roses are in, as she brought a bloom over last week. Well (duh), they're blooming now. So, this newbie needs to know when would be the next best time to start taking cuttings?

Also, since the mold spores in the air set in as soon as you take the cutting, should I take my portable jug of 8:2 bleach with me to drop them into as soon as I cut them to transport home? Not a bad idea, huh?

And, how should I go about trying to identify these roses?

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

My local Petsmart isn't carrying bed a beast anymore. They've changed over to another brand.

Mount Prospect, IL(Zone 5b)

As far as identifying the rose, if you post pictures here of the whole plant, a closeup of the leaves, and a closeup of the bloom, we can give it a try. There's lots of very fragrant red roses though, so it will probably be hard to pin it down to just a single name.

Does your SIL remember when she got the rose, and where? That would help too!

But beware!! I developed rose addiction after smelling a particularly fragrant rose at a botanic garden!!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Tyro!

I'm only gonna be addicted to this ONE rose!

Mount Prospect, IL(Zone 5b)

That's what I said too! Now I have 20 roses with 3 more coming soon!!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Nuh, uh.....

Randleman, NC(Zone 7a)

For me I don't like a lot a fuss trying to propagate a new rose. I have tried more extensive methods and one being I kept them in a small pot in a large clear container and would put them outside in the sun during the winter with the lid on, and take them back in at night. I had a two out of several that made it, but that was a lot of work and I sometimes forgot to take them in at night when the temps were low.

My favorite way now that pretty much works every time is to take a cutting in the fall, use a rooting hormone on the end, stick it in the ground and put a mason jar over it. By spring I have a small own root rose!

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

The best method I've seen is air layering. I have 100% success when using that method.

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

This has been very informative. I'm moving, and would love to take some cuttings of those things I'm afraid I can't find again, or just don't know the name of. But this method would work for other genus of plants also, right? Like, Althea, or some of my unusual salvia or ruella? I'm off for coir in the morning, and can't wait to get started.
Thanks so much!

Gardiner, ME(Zone 5a)

Would anyone share their success stories ? zip lock bag method or air layering ?

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Clear or colored Mason Jar used? Is there a specific place to take the cutting from? Where do you get sand without having to buy a 25 or 40 lb. bag? What type of sand? Play sand ok? builder's sand? I know you wouldn't want to go to the beach and get that sand, as it's got too much salt in it and will kill the plant. Do Craft stores sell a kit for making a terraium?

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

The best method I've seen is air layering. I have 100% success when using that method.

echinaceamaniac-YES!!, I absolutely agree. We went over that briefly in the first part one of this thread:

The result is a much larger rooted piece, in about the same amount of time, but it is not always possible, since sometimes you receive clippings from a trade, or gather them somewhere other than your own garden, so this method is useful for those instances where you are not able to air-layer.

Pippi21- clear jar, blue or amber glass with filter out the UV rays, which the plant needs. And, I do not recommend sand. I recommend chick grit from the feed store for the topping, unless you are referring to sand as the actual rooting medium. I have had good luck rooting in pure sand before, but still better success with the coir. Chick grit is sharp and will discourage gnats.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Taylor, I had to do a lot of research to find your instruction thread. Couldn't remember anything but the thread and that the poster was from Texas. Couldn't even remember how long ago it was. But, I did find the first part and now the second part.

Actually, was looking for it for another person on the propagation file. So, I do think both of these should be bumped up but i don't know how to do it.

10 years is a long time to have to go back to. It is a very good thread. Jnette

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Got it Taylor. LOL

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