Tips to Graft Rose Plants

Of the different artificial vegetative propagation techniques used to propagate plants in horticulture, grafting is the oldest and simplest method that can be used for a variety of plants.

A rose is every gardeners favorite. It takes a lot of grooming, a lot of care (as the above quote may have illustrated)… but ah! The sight of a rose plant in full bloom is one that is sure to take your breath away! Roses, along with needing a lot of attention and pampering, also need a lot of practice while growing. Roses also offer very nice grafting opportunities.

Grafting is the technique in which a plant is propagated by fusing a stem-cutting from that plant with the stem of a rooted plant. The grafted plant is called the ‘scion’, while the rooted plant onto which the graft is grafted is called the ‘rootstock’, or simply the ‘stock’. There are many advantages of grafting plants. However, hobby gardeners indulge in grafting more for the creative satisfaction rather than the science of it. The result of a successful grafting attempt is that the plant may bear flowers of two different colors, sometimes even of mixed colors!

Grafting is a science, yes; it is a horticulture technique. But it is also an art. Not everybody who knows the technique of grafting plants is able to successfully graft plants. Only the most skilled and efficient gardeners can do it! Like I said before, a successfully grafted plant may bear flowers of two different colors. This, in a rose plant, is a very enchanting sight! Rose plants are hence a favorite among people who like to do grafting as well.

Grafting Rose Plants
There are several different types of grafting methods that have been devised for artificial vegetative propagation of plants. However, the grafting methods most commonly used for rose plants are whip grafting and bud grafting methods. Each can be used quite conveniently, as you will find out when you read further…
Whip Grafting

[Suitable for: Full-grown land or potted rose plant. Diameter of the stock and the scion should be 1 inch or less.]

Whip grafting is probably the easiest and the most common method of grafting small plants. If this is your first try at grafting, I would suggest you to begin with this method as it is very easy. To whip-graft your rose plant, follow these steps –

1. Make a slanting cut on the stock plant.
2. The scion for whip grafting is a branch with at least two vegetative buds and a few leaves. Make a similar but complementary slanting cut on the scion.
3. Make sure the cambium of both the scion and the stock is intact (the cambium fuses to form a ‘living-tissue bridge’ in the form of a callus).
4. Carefully place the scion on the stock plant and apply some grafting wax (resin and beeswax in 3:1 ratio, or you can buy it).
5. Tie the scion in place by first wrapping it in a perforated polythene strip, and then secure it with a rope. Do not secure it so tightly that the graft cannot even ‘breathe’. Let it not be so loose either that the arrangement falls apart.

Union: The graft fuses in about one and a half to two months. To check if your scion has grafted with the stock, carefully unwrap the graft and check. It is best to leave the graft untouched for at least two and a half months though – that way the scion will have sure grafted with the stock when you check it. If the arrangement is disturbed in the process, it may fail to fuse.

Bud Grafting
[Suitable for: Small potted rose plants or nursery rose plants with thin branches]

Bud grafting is done when the stock is delicate and has a diameter of about 1cm. In such a case, grafting an entire branch on the stock becomes difficult, as the branch may dry up or wilt before it fuses. Also, if the stock has thin branches, then the whole arrangement becomes too delicate to graft successfully. In such a case, bud grafting (or simply ‘budding’) may be done. Here, the scion is a vegetative bud. Depending on the cut made on the stock, budding can be of two types. Both the types and their procedures are explained below.

Patch Bud Grafting – Here, a patch from the stock plant is removed, so as to make a place for the bud to fuse. While making the patch-cut on the stock it is essential to take care that the stock is not wounded to such an extent that it is unable to heal. Make a patch-cut that is not too deep. Simply expose the inner part of the stem. The steps for propagating a rose plant by patch budding are –

1. Cut a vegetative bud from the plant you want to graft – this will serve as the scion. Make sure you cut a little bit of the stem along with the bud and do not simply nip the bud from the tree.
2. Make a patch-cut of corresponding shape and size on the stock. The scion for budding is very small (simply a vegetative bud), so make sure the patch-cut is made such that it will be a snug fit for the scion.
3. Carefully place the scion on the stock plant and apply some grafting wax.
4. Secure the scion in place as explained before. Take special care while securing a bud graft as the scion is just a vegetative bud and hence quite tiny. It may fall off if not secured properly. Be vigilant and keep your eyes open!

Union: It is easier to monitor the fusion of a bud graft. The vegetative bud grows and develops into a branch after the graft has fused with the stock properly. Hence you do not have to ‘open’ the graft to check for fusion. You will know your attempt has been successful when you see a branch growing out of the graft! This is beneficial as the graft is less vulnerable to prying at the hands of an over-enthusiastic gardener! (Just kidding…!)

T-bud Grafting – Here, a ‘T’-shaped cut is made on the stock plant, such that the flaps can be partially peeled away from the stock. The benefit of T-budding is that, since a ‘T’-shaped cut is made, a small pocket is created on the stock and the scion can be comfortably inserted into the pocket. The arrangement of the graft is hence more secure. T-budding can be done as follows –

1. Cut a vegetative bud from the plant you want to graft, taking similar care as explained before.
2. Make a ‘T’-shaped cut on the stock. Carefully grab the two ends of the ‘T’ with a pair of forceps and peel them away from the stock to expose the inner part of the stem. However, do not completely peel them off the stock. (You can see in the figure how the cut looks after it is ready for grafting – it will give you an idea of how the cut is to be made.)
3. Insert the scion into the ‘T’-shaped cut such that the bud comes out from the cut and is not concealed by the flaps.
4. Apply some grafting wax. Close the flaps and secure the graft as explained before.

Union: Union of a T-bud grafted scion has a better chance than that of a patch bud grafted plant for the simple reason that – the scion is nested safe inside a pocket and is hence less vulnerable to any destructive forces. Monitoring the union is easy (done in the same way as explained before).

Aren’t these some easy ways to graft rose plants? I tried them with my potted roses a couple of years ago – the results had me clicking loads of pictures! It looked fabulous. Let me know how yours turn out to be. Good luck!

Guide to Growing Roses in Pots

There is no greater joy than watching a rose bloom. Enjoy this experience, as you learn a few tips about growing these beautiful flowers in pots. These tips are the same for growing roses in containers as well.

The fact that roses can be grown very well in pots caught people’s attention in the last part of the nineteenth century, especially in England. Till then, they were confined to flower beds, and had to be protected extensively from harsh climatic changes. Planting roses in pots not only helps one protect the plant from varying environmental conditions, but also allows an individual to render it special care and attention. It has become an interesting proposition for many people, as people now live in apartments or on small properties, and find it difficult to tend to large gardens.

How to Grow Roses in Pots

Choosing the right variety is imperative. Although large climbers, hybrid tea varieties, and big garden roses will grow in pots, they will never reach their full potential. So choose carefully and wisely, as there are a wide number of shrubs and bushes that come in every hue and color possible to satisfy your need to enliven your deck or patio. There are also certain varieties that have been cultivated specifically for container gardening.

Pots and Containers
There are a number of pots one can choose from; wood, ceramic, plastic, and clay. Some old hands at growing roses have successfully trained these beauties in old discarded barrels too. Give it a try, as the process is similar to growing and planting them in pots. Clay pots are better as compared to others; thanks to them being porous, they allow the roots to breathe well.

Growing Roses from Cuttings
Rose propagation requires care and quite a bit of attention while grafting it. Experienced gardeners and naturalists will vouch for the fact that roses grown from seeds do not come true, hence propagating them from cuttings or grafting is a better option. This especially stands true for hybrid and/or cultivated varieties. Rooting a cutting is a tricky affair. So, make sure that you use minimum 4-5 cuttings. Choose a healthy stem, generally the upper part of the plant or laterals. Select stems that are four to six inches long, and have at least two or three young leaves growing on them, as leaves will speed up rooting. Make cuttings at a 45 degree angle, and ensure that the cut is clean. Remove all buds, flowers and just retain a few leaves. Dip the bottom two inches of the cutting into a rooting hormone powder, and gently push the stem in moistened soil in a small pot or jar. Wrap a plastic sheet around the pot to maintain high humidity levels. Set the pot near a well-lit window and keep the soil damp at all times. In about two to three weeks the roots will sprout. Slowly harden off the plant before transplanting cuttings to pots. If you can’t manage a healthy plant from cuttings, pick them from local nurseries.

Soil Preparation and Planting
Roses love well drained soil. Soil should consist of one part weed-free soil, one part garden compost, and half part perlite. Layer the bottom of the pot with one inch of gravel for easy drainage, and fill two-thirds of the pot with the soil mix as a measure for weed control. Carefully, but firmly plant the rose, add soil around it, until it reaches the upper knot. The top layer of the soil should have one cup of bone meal mixed in it. The knot of the plant should be well covered with soil, so compress the soil with hand, pour water gently towards the corners, until the pot fills up. Let the pot stand undisturbed for a while, this will help excess water to get drained out. Move to a location where the plant will receive partial sun for a few days. In about 15-20 days the plant will be well established, and will be ready to move.

Rose Care
Water rose plants according to the season, more in summer and spring, and lesser in winter. These plants do not like stagnated water, as they are very susceptible to root and stem rot. Too much or too little moisture levels result in poor flower show. Feed your plant with fertilizer or organic compost every week during the growing season, and none at all during dormancy. Special winter care is essential to their health and for next years bloom. So, keep them well protected from frost and chills. Pruning after the flowering season is over, and regular snips to its dead flower heads, will keep the plant in shape and diseases at bay.

Pot planting is not at all time-consuming, as one just needs to learn a few basic tips and be ready for the enchanting blooms. Wherever you may plant your rose, it is, and will always be, a thing of beauty.


Tips to Grow Roses

By following some basic gardening requirements, the job of growing roses becomes easy. This article will guide you right from buying the variety of rose, to taking care of it to grow healthy roses on the plant.

Roses are one of the most beautiful flowers, whether the red ones that express love or the white ones that look serene. With different gardening methods, one can even graft different colored rose plant together to create new shades of roses. Roses might look delicate, but they are quite easy to grow if you meet their basic care needs like proper water, a well-fertilized soil and adequate sunlight. With these basic care needs you can grow healthy rose plant, and enjoy the beautiful roses on the plants. However, one needs to be aware of some minor issues when growing rose plants too. Like, I used to water my rose plant in the pot regularly, but somehow its roots became exposed and the plant became unsteady, and the plants started showing signs of yellow leaves. Later on, I learned that it happens if you water directly at the middle of the pot at the base of the stem, this problem occurs. But, now my plant is again healthy and red roses growing on it. Here, are the basic but important requirements to grow roses at home.

Basic Rose Care Requirements
Go to a plant nursery, and ask the manager which variety of roses are most suited for the climate in your area. Also, make sure that you buy disease resistant rose plant to make your job easier. Some of the best varieties are the miniature and the grandiflora types of roses. After selecting the right variety of rose, always keep in mind these basic requirements to make your gardening plan for growing roses in pots or land a success.

Sunlight: To plant your rose plant or keep your rose pots, select a site where your plant will get minimum 6 hours of full sun exposure. For container gardening of roses in pots, choose the semi-permeable clay pots and make sure there are enough drainage holes, at the base of the pots, and keep them in a well-exposed sunny area. It is best if you plant your roses during the spring.

Water: Rose plants require a lot of water and a well nourished soil to keep healthy. For first three to four weeks after planting your roses, water your plants regularly. Water them when you find the top 2 inches of the soil dry. To check this keep a marked wooden stick or pencil.

Soil: No matter which way of gardening you decide to grow your roses, whether on land or in pots, the soil requirements are same. However, the soil should be well-drained, with a pH level between 5.5 to 7. Organic fertilizer like manure or lime helps in nourishing the roots of the rose plants. Soak the roots in water or puddle clay for many times and take out the root ends which are broken before planting them.

Additional Care Tips to Grow Roses
Remember, these additional tips to grow and care for your roses.

  • Fertilization should be done after 3 months of plantation of rose plant. Use a good organic and well-drained mulch of 3-6 inches.
  • Using sharp shears, prune during early spring, or when the plants start budding, because the buds will develop later into new branches. Cut the bushes around one-third or half of the desired height you want them.
  • Add few more inches of mulch during winters, to protect your rose bushes, mulch will offer the extra heat during the winter. The best mulch for roses are the organic ones which contain pine needles, wood chips and grass clippings.
  • Make sure you water them regularly but lightly. Also, try to avoid watering directly on the foliage as it can cause fungal diseases.
  • Ensure that the area where you are planting or keeping your rose pot is well circulated, as roses don’t grow well in tight area.
  • In case you find any pests on your rose, use an organic pesticide, but follow the label instructions properly.

So, keep in mind the basic requirements to keep your rose plants healthy, and you will be rewarded with beautiful blooming roses! And remember the above additional tips on growing roses, for the extra care of your roses.

Tips Growing Roses for Beginner

With some tender loving care, you can grow excellent roses right in your own backyard. Here are some useful tips that would help make this task an easy and enjoyable affair.

Growing roses is not a difficult task if you know how to go about the entire process. You have to bear in mind that they need a lot of care though. Attention has to be given to the soil and the water requirements.

For the soil, you will need to get those which have a pH balance that ranges from 6.5 to 6.8. Always remember that the soil should provide a good drainage system to get rid of the excess water. You would also need to take into account that some organic matter would be needed to add to the soil. This would help enrich the soil and also nourish the roots of the plants. Use organic matter like manure for better results.

These plants need plenty of sunlight. Around 6 hours of the morning sun is required for them to flower as well. Roses also need a lot of water. Experts recommend watering them thoroughly twice a week. It would also depend on the amount of sunlight that is reaching your rose plant. Water the plant frequently for the first 2 – 3 weeks. This is needed because the top layer of the soil tends to remain dry.

If you plan to plant many varieties in your garden bed, do not plant them all next to each other. Roses will grow better if you can maintain proper distance between each plant. Pruning is very important; this should be done specifically in early spring. Use a sharp pair of hand shears. This would help to make this task easy, as most branches tend to overlap each other. The last thing you would want to do is to cut the wrong branch.

Fertilization should be done after 3 months. This would help grow the roses faster. Around 3 – 6 inches of mulch should be used for the soil. This would help maintain the moisture levels, and also prevent weeds from growing around the bush. The most important factor about using mulch is that it helps lock the nutrients in the soil. This helps keep your roses healthy.

You will also need to be very careful to keep your rose bush free from all the diseases. There are many such conditions that you will have to watch out for, such as the black spot fungus or a certain virus. You can look for specific sprays for such cases. Neem oil can also be helpful for these problems.