beautiful rose blooms are faded and the petals are about to fall.
Did you know that with a little effort, and a little luck, you can
grow a rose bush from it?
addition to your rose, you will need a one or two quart cardboard
milk carton, a two or three pound coffee can with both ends removed
and a clear plastic lid for the top, a cup or two of small stones
or gravel, good garden soil (sterilized, if possible), Rootone (options),
Rapid-Gro, patience and a spirit of adventure.
cutting should have at least five or six eyes (look at the spots
where the leaves join the main stem--the small bumps you see there
are eyes). Cut the dying bloom off the main stem. Leave the top
two or three leaves in place, pull the bottom two or three sets
of leaves off the main stem. Make a fresh slanting cut on the bottom
of the stem by snipping off about one inch. If you have Rootone
on hand, dip the bottom of the stem in it, coating the freshly cut
end and shaking off the excess.
the top off the milk carton. Snip off the bottom corners. Put about
two inches of small stones or gravel in the bottom and fill with
soil. Use sterile potting soil if you have it, but any good garden
soil will do as long as it drains well and is not too heavy. Bury
about half of the stem in the soil so that the bottom three eyes
are covered. Water well with Rapid-Gro solution (1 Tbsp./gal) but
do not drench the soil.
a sheltered spot on the north or east side of your house or garage
where there is good light but NO strong direct sun. Dig a hole wide
and deep enough to hold the milk carton so the top of your cutting
is just at ground level. Place your carton with its cutting into
the hole. Sink the coffee can with both ends removed into the ground
and place the clear plastic lid on the top (do not use a colored
lid) so that your cutting is covered. You have, in effect, created
a miniature greenhouse.
now until frost, check occasionally to be sure the cutting is not
drying out. Replace the coffee can lid securely after each check.
Water if necessary, but do not otherwise disturb your cutting.
spring, from about the middle of April on, weather permitting, remove
the lid from the coffee can on warm sunny days so that the plant
will gradually become accustomed to fresh air and sunshine. Water
the first day of May, weather permitting, you can transplant your
new little rose to a permanent spot in your garden. After you have
dug the hole, peel the milk carton away and set the plant in its
new home. It should produce some blooms the first year and after
about three years you will have a full-sized plant as fine as any
you can buy!
varieties do not root readily. If you discover in the spring that
your cutting has died, try again.
gardeners have had satisfactory results putting their cuttings directly
into the ground and placing canning jars or gallon jugs with the
bottoms removed over them. This method has a few disadvantages,
however: the cuttings often cook under the glass because
the glass tends to intensify the suns rays, fine feeder roots
are damaged when the cuttings are transplanted and a sheltered semi-shaded
spot which is ideal for rooting cuttings is not the best plants
for established plants which need sun to thrive.
Note: It is illegal to root patented rose varieties by any method.
Patented roses may be reproduced only by license from the patent
from George R. Miller, Cornell Cooperative Extension, 2001
Photo Peggy Greb, ARS Image Gallery