Seven Tips for Propagating Miniature Roses at Home
Here are the guidelines.
When To Take Cuttings
To begin with, when you take the cutting is important. You want to time it so the cutting is soft but not too soft. I find when the thorns bend but do not snap off the cane, the cutting is too green (but it will root). When the thorns do not want to snap off the cane when you push them sideways, the cutting is too far along and will not root very easily if at all. Mature wood (the brown stem) rarely roots well if at all. But when the thorns will snap off with a little sideways pressure, the cutting is just about right. If in doubt, go with a younger shoot.
A shoot should be 3-4 inches long to root properly. You can do it shorter or longer but the optimum is 3 inches.
I like to spray the shoots with an anti-desiccant before I take the cuttings.
This material can be purchased in garden shops (sometimes sold as Christmas tree preservative). It is a clear liquid plastic that stops the leaves from losing moisture. Your success rate will be much higher if you spray this. It does wear off after a few months so do not worry about having to remove it.
Potting Miniature Roses
The unrooted miniature roses are placed either in small individual pots or in cell packs (the kind annual flowers come in) and the soil is a regular artificial soil mix.
Florist foam works very well too if you have some handy. Carve it into small blocks of 3x3 inches cube and keep it damp.
Only Warm Water
Water only with warm water. Cold water can lead to rot.
You don't have to have full sun exposure. In fact, it is much better to keep the cuttings out of the direct sunshine until they are well-rooted. I use a north facing sunporch.
I use a heat mat to keep the cutting warm. Good propagation almost demands the use of this kind of tool in our modern home setting. These are available in most large garden shops (I got mine at a sale at the local big box store) This will keep the soil at the critical warm 70F (Note that if you don't use this heat mat, your soil temperature will be 10F less than your air temperature)
That's it. Water when the soil starts to look dry. If you have a clear plastic cover for your starter kit, it is a good idea to use it. It is not overly necessary if you have used anti-desiccant but if you haven't sprayed, the cover increases survival rates.
The rose will root up anywhere from 3-6 weeks. As long as the leaves don't fall off the rose is fine. When it starts to grow again and produce new leaves, you can remove it from the heat and start following the instructions in the indoor section for moving it outdoors.
Do start feeding your new miniature roses with a dilute (50% strength) fertilizer as soon as it starts producing new growth (but not before).
Got a comment? Click here for my forums and Q&A on my other website
Online Rose Shopping
A wide variety of rose plant resources from multiple suppliers - do not buy seeds (too good to be true category)
All of Doug's Ebooks including how to grow roses in tough climates