Drying the entire bouquet or saving the petals of long-stem roses given on a special occasion is irresistible. Dried flowers will eventually fade and can disintegrate if not stored properly. However, if you can bear to sacrifice a few flowers, you can turn that special bouquet into living rose bushes. Most roses for the cut flower market are grown in South America and drenched in fungicides, pesticides and other chemicals before they are allowed into the U.S. These chemicals make rooting cuttings difficult. Expect a 50 to 75 percent failure rate. Even with a high failure rate, taking a chance on rooting long-stem roses can give you living plants not typically found in the average garden, besides being a clever way to keep the memory of special occasions alive.
Things You'll Need
- Long-stem roses
- Scissors or knife
- 5-inch plastic pot
- Soil-less potting mix or sterile seed-starting mix
- Rooting hormone
- Plastic container
- Small container of water
- 15-inch wooden skewers
- Clear plastic bag
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Rooting cuttings from Long-Stemmed Roses
Cut the flowers from the stems on a 45-degree angle.
Cut the stems into 5- to 7-inch pieces, slicing them at a 45-degree angle. Leave at least one branch with three to five leaves per piece. Discard pieces that do not have leaves.
Fill the pots with soil-less potting mix or seed-starting mixture.
Dampen the mix, tamping the soil down to eliminate air pockets.
Make a hole in the middle of the soil at least 2 inches deep and just wider than the cutting.
Pour enough rooting hormone into a plastic container to coat the bottom third of the rose-cutting.
Dip the bottom third of the cutting into a container of water, than dip the bottom third into the container of rooting hormone.
Place the cutting into the soil. Carefully firm the soil around the cutting.
Place two skewers on either side of the cutting. The skewers should be taller than the cutting.
Poke two or three small holes in the plastic bag. Place over the cutting and pot, making sure the plastic does not touch the cutting.
To water, place the container in a larger pot full of water and remove when the soil is moist. The cutting needs to be kept moist, not soggy.
Keep your cutting in a bright, warm (at least 70-degree) spot, out of direct sunlight. Your cutting should form roots in 45 to 60 days. Tug gently on the cutting. If you feel resistance the cutting has formed roots.