Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rooting Roses

I have been successful rooting roses from bouquets in the past, but for some reason, I never thought of doing this with the $2 roses I bought until a couple of days ago. The roses themselves were past their prime, so I'm not sure if they will successfully root or not. I really have nothing to lose except for some soil, a little rooting hormone and time.

I took the roses and cut off the bottoms of the stem at an angle just under a leaf bud. I made sure to remove the woody part and am using only the younger green part of the stem. The next step is to remove the flower down to a leaf bud and then to trim from 1/3 to 1/2 of the leaves that are left off.

Dip the bottom in root hormone then put this stem in potting soil. There are two ways to do that - first is to put just a small amount of soil in the bottom, put the stem in and fill in around it or you can put the soil in first, poke a hole with a chopstick or dowel and put the stem in being careful not to brush the hormone off when inserting the stem. Some people say not to use soil, but instead use soaked perlite, then fill the container with water. Others say to just use water to root the plant in. I didn't have perlite on hand, so I opted the soil method.

Since roots aren't happy in light, I covered my container (the one from my amaryllis purchase after Christmas) at soil level with brown paper to keep the light out. I then inserted the whole container in a 1-1/2 gallon Ziploc bag, misted it some and then zipped it half way closed to allow for humidity retention but also allow for air circulation. I put them in the brightest window in the house and they will need to be kept warm - the way roses like it. In 6-8 weeks we will see if the roses survived and any sent out roots. I'm not sure how this is going to work with spent roses. I did crowd all 12 branches in the container, as I'm not expecting them all to live. Some say only expect half to root, and since my roses were spent, I'll be happy with just getting one! Keeping my fingers crossed.

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