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Right, there still seem to be many gardeners who aren't sure about rose cuttings. Now there are various ways of doing it. The slit trench method, which has always failed for me as I tend to forget them and they dry out, then the pot method. This method does seem to work for me.
When to take cuttings? Ideally September/October but a long stem of one of my ramblers snapped off last week so I am trying it nevertheless. Sometimes you have to do it when the opportunity arises but September/October is best.
How to take cuttings? 9" lengths, thickness of a pencil or even thicker, a sloping cut above a bud and a horizontal cut below a bud (so you plant them the correct way up). Get a tall 'rose' flower pot (the tall narrow ones), mix up a 50/50 mixture of general purpose compost and vermiculite or perlite. Tip into flower pot and moisten the compost mixture. You want it damp rather than ringing wet. Remove all of the leaves except the top few from the cutting, dip the bottoms into hormone rooting powder and insert into compost mixture, say with six around the side.
You WILL lose some so six is not a high number. Some people now cover with a poly bag and some don't. I've tried both methods and found they can easily get botritus in poly bags. So I label up the pots with name and date of planting, and place on the greenhouse staging (but NOT in direct sunlight). I then go in every day for the first few weeks and mist the cuttings with a hand sprayer and water. When the cuttings begin to shoot well, I reduce the spraying.
One year later, and NOT BEFORE, I pot up each individual cutting.
One year after that, the roots will be well established enough to plant out.
I have tried cutting corners and potting them up earlier and although the top growth looks impressive, the roots were small and not developed. Now go and try it - in September/October. Good luck!
Last autumn I planted two rose twigs not really expecting them to do anything. I just pushed them into the garden soil. One I lost and the other started getting new leaves. With changing the garden round I decided to put the surving twig in a pot and it is surprisingly doing well. I have just read Paul N's note on the right way to grow rose cuttings and am definitely going to try it. It sounds more foolproof than the way I did it. Many thanks