Root Cuttings Setup Q&A
see "Own Root Cuttings Setup
Here are some answers to questions that I have frequently
been asked about my method of rooting cuttings..
Why do I call my method the primitive way, when I am getting 99-100 percent
Actually, the only thing "primitive" is my dishpans covered
with clear plastic (!!), compared to the nurseries using “Mist
Propagation” for rooting roses. Everything else is done the "Professional
Way" as I learned it from the local Mini Nursery.
In case, you have not read my two articles on my "Articles
Page" please also read those and see all the tips and tricks I have
learned from the local nursery owner. Note that the "Bottom Heat
SetUp" is my own idea!!!
Here are the two direct links of interest:
from Cuttings from Cuttings...
New Sport Star
What is “Sunshine Mix # 4” ?
I just got the latest update on Sunshine Mix # 4 . You'll find their
Web-Site link in my article : "Making Cuttings from Cuttings,
Mix #4 contains Canadian Sphagnum peat moss, perlite, major and minor
nutrients, gypsum, dolomitic lime and a wetting agent.
Here is a link to the company's web-site where you can
find a local supplier in your area. I have been using this mix for over
10 years now. It is a professional mix and I use it for my own root cuttings
and for germinating and planting my new rose-seedlings in.
What kind of grow lights do you use? In the preview pic they are obviously
fluorescent, but have you found one particular light to be better?
I am only using fluorescent lights, double and 4 lights per fixture,
4 feet long. There are 3 kinds of grow lights (4 foot tubes) I use:
# 1 : G. E. , "GRO & SHO" ---Least expensive---
Not as bright as "GRO - LUX"
# 2 : Sylvania, "GRO - LUX" --- cost 7
to 9 Can. dollars---
# 3 : G. E. "SUNSHINE" ‘Full Spectrum
Light’. It's the brightest I have seen!!! It has about 30% more
light output!!! (checked it out with light meter) It's about the same
cost as Gro-Lux. In the greenhouses most growers use BIG high intensity
single lights. These cost a lot!!! A single light is about 200-300 dollars
or more, depending on size.
When is the BEST time to root cuttings ?
You can root any time of the year, as long as the basement temperature
does not go above 72-73 F. The lights (3-5 inches above tent) add about
2-3 degrees to the temperature inside the tent. The temperature for
rooting should not go above 75 F and 70 to 74 is ideal. Also, the lights
are on a timer and are on from 7am to 11pm - 16 hrs.
I even made an attempt to root cuttings with 82 F. in my
basement in fall of 1998. I had to put ice bags under my dish pans to
cool things down. Read about it in my Article: "A
New Sport Star"
What rooting Hormone do you use, powder or liquid ???
I am using a “softwood / semi hardwood” powder which contains
a fungicide to prevent rotting. The BEST you can buy is Rhizopon AA#3
powder (0.8% IBA in talc). Several reports say that liquid is not as
I followed your directions to the letter, except I went out and purchased
a thermostatically controlled heat mat instead of the lights. It
measures 48" X 20", which is about what I needed. Is this
just as good?
That is OK too, as long as the temperature in the pots does not go above
74/75 F .
Should I spray the cuttings with wilt-proof? Did not see that mentioned
in your article. Will this help at all?
I never tried it. I just mist with plain water.
Can I take cuttings even if plant has not flowered yet? I have
some new own root roses I purchased, that I would like to get some cuttings
Yes you can. Sometimes I have a blind shoot and if I've seen a bloom
on that plant before, I take it except not the upper and softer 2 to
3 sets of leaves.
In image # 6, what are those rods around the dish-pan made of?
These are 1/8“ dia. stainless steel welding rods 6 inches long
and 5 1/2“ above the rim. The top is bent over so it does not cut
into the plastic cover. On the bottom I cut my own thread about 3/4” long
with a nut on bott. and washer & nut on top.
How long should it take to root cuttings of roses ?
About 90 percent of my own root roses are miniatures and they will root
in 2 to 4 weeks. I have also tried a few MiniFloras, Floribundas and
my HT ‘Canadian White Star’, but in general these are slower
to root than minis and could take as long as 4 to 6 weeks. If a cutting
of any type of rose will not root in 6 weeks under the right conditions,
(eg, light, temperature etc.) I will not bother to try it again. It
then has to be budded to an understock.
Cutting with giant callus but no roots--any advice?
I learned about this problem the hard way some years ago from my friend
the local mini grower Select
Roses here in BC, Canada.
Before I had probes to monitor temperatures at all times, I had some
cuttings with calluses from 1/4 to 3/8 “ dia but no roots after
4 to 5 weeks.
Remember, when the temperature is too high you will only
get a blob of callus and no roots. This happens when the temp. goes above
76 F or about 25 degrees C. The ideal temperature for rooting is between
70 and 74 F.
Read my two articles on my web-site about the subject: "Cuttings,
from Cuttings from Cuttings" & "A
new Sport Star".
Can I root cuttings with leaves that have a bit of mildew or blackspot?
These may lose all the foliage in a week or two. You could take a chance,
but I never ever use cuttings with infected leaves. Foliage has to
be “perfectly clean” for me!! Look at images # 5 and
#11 through #14 and see how healthy these look.
What do you sterilize your pruning shears with? I would rather not sterilize
after every single cutting!
I use alcohol to sterilize my pruners before I do a batch, but not
in between each cutting.
Does it have to be a flower stem to make a cutting?
I have used blind shoots in the past if there was no flowering stem,
as long as the stem is not too old.
My plastic roll is what you might put over an improvised greenhouse;
i.e., not clear but translucent. Should I get some heavier clear plastic?
I would prefer clear plastic and it does not have to be really heavy.
Lately I have used crystal clear plastic which is used for storm
windows. Bought it at a lumber store and it's heavier and clearer
than the regular
clear plastic sheet you buy on a roll. For about two dollars you
get enough for 2 to 3 dish-pan covers. Looking at the photo # 8 on
my Own Root Gallery you can really see how clear this plastic is.
If I can't find your potting mix in time, what should I use?
Before I knew where to purchase the Sunshine Mix # 4, I made my own
mix with 50 % perlite and 50 % peat-moss.