This past spring, I did some pruning to one of my favorite roses. The roses were polyantha roses named 'The Fairy'. They were introduced in 1932 and are one of the oldest ground cover roses. This rose is a repeat bloomer and will be covered in flowers. They grow about 2 1/2 feet tall with a spread of about 4 feet. You don't see them much in garden centers but if you can find them, they are worth adding to your garden.
After pruning these roses, I had lots of cutting to discard and decided to try using some of the cuttings to start more of this rose. I had tried this technique before without much success. This year I started fifteen cutting and nine cutting took. They have grown new leaves and healthy root systems. I had cutting from red, white and pink roses and I can't wait to see them in full bloom in the rose garden in the future.
1. Select a shoot that is still green, but just beginning to get woody. Cut above a bud.
2. Remove the leaves and thorns from about 4 inches above the cut. Dip the cut tip in rooting hormone powder.
3. Insert the cuttings into a pot filled with two parts sand and one part peat. The cutting should be in the rooting medium about two-thirds deep. Use your fingers to firm up the soil around the cuttings.
4. Water and cover the pot of cuttings with a clear plastic bag to help retain moisture. Some leaves may die and drop off. If you see new leaves starting to grow, that's a good sign that your cutting is rooting.
5. Keep the cuttings in a shady place till they start to grow and root. It will take about 6 to 8 weeks. Remember keep the soil moist and to harden off your cuttings before moving them into the garden. With time, you will have beautiful new roses for your garden.
I hope that everyone is having a wonderful year in their garden. In my area, we are in drought. It is the worse drought in 104 years. My garden had been on a garden tour at the beginning of the drought. I am happy that the tour happened when it did. The garden is struggling, but still alive. I really would not want it on a tour now! Normally July is the best time in my garden. It looks like fall in the garden and we are now on a water ban. I feel like a prison guard deciding who gets a drink of water and who does not. I just keep reminding myself that the drought has to end and that there is always next year.