Air Layering to Root Roses
I have used air layering to root wisteria a few years ago and it was fairly easy but the method was a bit fiddily. This method was easier and in four weeks I had successfully gotten roots! Air layering to root roses is even more fun (in my estimation) than rooting from cuttings. I have a great post on Rooting Roses from cuttings too.
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First lets prep all the materials. I used peat moss for this because someone had given me a couple bags but usually I use coconut coir. It is easy enough to get and it does the same job as the peat moss.
Empty water bottle (the thinner the plastic the better, it is easier to cut through the rim at top)
Something to tie around the bottle or duct tape (I use strips of old pantyhose, I use them a lot in the garden)
Get your Coconut coir good and soaked. It can take awhile for it to become thoroughly saturated so start on this part ASAP. Now take your water bottle and cut down one side from the top to the bottom, and then a small hole large enough for the rose cane you are going to root. You want it to be only slightly larger around than the cane so it won’t lose moisture or the coir when you water.
This is where the lighter weight water bottles are handy, they are easier to cut through. I have wimpy hands right now because of carpal tunnel so I go for easier. I eyeballed the diameter of the cane and cut a hole to match in the bottom, actually mine is a bit larger but it will still work. The mouth of the bottle will be at the top of the rooting area.
Now fill the cut bottle with the moist coir, just squeeze out the excess water with your hand and pack it in the bottle. Tamp it in well but don’t overfill, you will add more after getting the coir filled bottle wrapped around the cane.
Note: this is best done during the active growing season, like late Spring after the first flowering or mid summer, late summer is iffy but doable.
Pick your cane, make it a succulent sturdy, newly flowered cane.
I am using a cane of one of my climbers, I make two cuts into the green layer about an inch and a half apart or so all the way around the cane.
I peel or scrape away the green layer with my sharp knife to reveal the white layer. Be careful not to cut too deep or your cane will snap off. Just get deep enough to be able to peel away the green layer.
Paint the rooting medium onto the white area, I use an old craft paint brush or q-tip.
Wrap your moist coir filled water bottle around the cut portion of the cane, if you need to fill the bottle with more coir to make it nice and snug go ahead, just make sure the cane is in the center of all the moist coir. Secure it with your ties or duct tape. (I like using the ties so I can open it up and check for rooting easier)
Cover with foil to keep it from getting to hot in the bottle, you don’t want to cook your cane.
Keep the coir moist. I just water mine through the top hole. I checked mine after 4 weeks (it can take between 3 and 8 weeks to root).
Yay! We have roots. I close it back up and let the roots get longer and stronger before severing the cane below the roots and potting up.
I have linked below on how I pot this up. I have also successfully ground layered a rose and it is growing strong in its pot. I have started a few more air layering attempts on other roses and I will share those too once they have rooted.
Now I will have another gorgeous climbing rose to add to my garden or give to a friend.
(I have some of these Rooter Pots and I will try them to see how well they work)
This was my first time using this technique on a rose and it was so easy and I could not be more thrilled with the results. Give air layering to root roses a try, you may be hooked too.
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Want to see how I remove the new rose from the mother plant?
Potting Up Newly Rooted Roses
Just a note: many roses are patented, I only propagate roses that are not under a patent, there are plenty out there. There is restrictions on propagating patented roses and it is against the law.
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