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Propagating, Budding & Pruning 

PRHRIA have an Annual "Cutting Day", a day of Fellowship, information sharing, and fun! We also share time propagating and budding. Check our EVENTS page to find out when our next day may be. Below are some tips and hints on how to do each. Please note that the advice given below is applicable to the Perth region of Western Australia and your climatic conditions may be different, so adjust accordingly.

 

If you adhere to the basic principles, growing and nurturing Old Fashioned roses in your garden will be a joy! If  you have any queries, please don't hesitate to start a post in the Forum. 

Propagating Cuttings

Taking Fortuniana Cuttings

First up, grow a Fortuniana bush if you don’t have access to cuttings. Or buy one!

 

Equipment Required

  • gloves

  • sharp secateurs or a Stanley Trimmer

  • a large jar (or bucket)

  • very small black plastic pots, or Jiffy Pots to strike the cuttings in, although black plastic pots are preferable to Jiffy pots.

 

Six (6) weeks before taking your cuttings

  • Mix ‘Scotts Osmocote Seed and Cutting Premier Potting Mix’ with almost half as much Perlite and mix in a sprinkling of Macrocote or Nutricote. This Scotts Potting Mix was available from Bunnings in 2022. 

  • Push it firmly into your little black pots or Jiffy Pots, and drench with water daily, unless it rains a lot, to remove the tannic acid.  This is essential to do because there is Coir Peat in the Scotts Mix. It’s not as acidic as Peat Moss but it is still very harmful to callous and root development. 

 

June:

  • Sometime in June, take good quality Fortuniana cuttings. Look for vigorous quick-growing side-shoots from strong stems.

  • These shoots should be green in colour; red stems might be too soft to strike.

  • Fortuniana cuttings taken from old dry wood are not desirable. Neither is young fresh growth.

  • Ideally the stems should be 18 to 25cm long and the best thickness is 4mm (pencil thick).

 

If your established Fortuniana bush has longer canes, then you can either make a few cuttings from that cane or try striking a single standard with it instead. With long canes, leave behind a 5cm stub at the base where the cane has grown out from the thick branch so that the stub can produce more growth for next year on your bush (leave 2 or 3 buds).

 

To preserve your cuttings

  • Put some water in the bottom of a bucket to place your freshly cut stems into if travelling. Do this either the afternoon before or on the morning of your striking day.

  • You might need to consult a book or google how to take rose cuttings specifically (see videos following these instructions). Basically, leave the top two buds and slice off all the remaining ones below. Do a V-shaped cut just below bottom bud.

  • Once prepared and placed into small pots, your Fortuniana cuttings will take about 4 weeks to callous over before the roots can start to grow out from the calloused area at the base of the stem. The calloused area is the cambium layer at work. 

  • Soak your cuttings in AGRI FOS solution (1ml per half-litre) before planting and pour on some more from a watering can after planting.  Or use Previcur if available. These prevent rotting.

 

Cuttings After-Care

  • Water cuttings daily unless it rains; twice a day on hot October or November days.

  • Every 2 weeks, repeat AGRI FOS /Previcur drench using a watering can at the same rate as above. Do this 4 times.

  • Feed cuttings with liquid fertiliser each month.

By August

  • You might see some Fortuniana cuttings starting to shoot.

  • Some advanced ones might even be producing tiny premature flower buds. If so, you should very carefully nip the flower buds off leaving as much stalk as possible. They will then continue to grow without producing any more flower buds (for the time being). Feed a little if leaves start to become yellow.

  • Some cuttings might die back with the tops darkening and shrivelling. Try to cut these off below the dieback part of the cutting down to fresh clean wood. 

  • It is wise to clean and then dip your secateurs into bleach before, and between cuts, to stop the rot.

  • Inevitably you will lose a small number of cuttings anyway. When this happens, pull them out and dispose of them.

There are so many educational videos on the internet, and YouTube is a great source of inspiration. Below are 3 videos that you may find useful when Propagating your Roses.