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Air Layering to Root Roses

Air Layering to Root Roses. Rose propagation is a fun and easy way to get more roses for your garden. Air layering is a faster way than cuttings to get larger rose plants that bloom.  

A fast and easy way to root roses. Air Layering to Root Roses you will get larger roses faster than you do with cuttings. Fun and easier than you would imagine. Come join me in some propagating fun! FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com

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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!  

Why air layer roses

Air layering to root roses is even more fun (in my estimation) than rooting from cuttings.  But the big benefit is you get a larger rose much faster and blooms too.

I have a great post on Rooting Roses from cuttings if you prefer propagating roses that way.

Materials for Air Layering

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 mixed with a touch of potting soil.

Supplies:
Empty water bottle (the thinner the plastic the better, it is easier to cut through the rim at top)
Spaghum Moss or coconut coir.
If you don’t want to fuss with the water bottle here are some Rooter Pots you can use, they are made for this.

Something to tie around the bottle or duct tape (I use strips of old pantyhose, I use them a lot in the garden)
Hormex 8 Rooting hormone

Sharp knife
Aluminum Foil

Prep your rooting medium

Once you have your supplies together, get your moss good and soaked.   It can take awhile for it to become thoroughly saturated so start on this part ASAP.   Coconut coir is the same as far as prepping.

A fast and easy way to root roses. Air Layering to Root Roses you will get larger roses faster than you do with cuttings. Fun and easier than you would imagine. Come join me in some propagating fun! FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com

Prepare container to wrap Rose cane with.

Next 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.

A fast and easy way to root roses. Air Layering to Root Roses you will get larger roses faster than you do with cuttings. Fun and easier than you would imagine. Come join me in some propagating fun! FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com

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.

Fill container with medium

Now fill the cut bottle with the moist moss, 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 moss 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.

Prepare rose cane for are layering

Now you can pick your cane, make it a succulent sturdy, newly flowered cane.

In the follow photo I show I am using a cane of one of my climbers, it is a bit bigger around than a pencil. 

A fast and easy way to root roses. Air Layering to Root Roses you will get larger roses faster than you do with cuttings. Fun and easier than you would imagine. Come join me in some propagating fun! FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com

First I make two cuts into the green layer approximately an inch and a half apart all the way around the cane.

A fast and easy way to root roses, air layering. You get larger roses faster than you do with cuttings. Fun and easier than you would imagine. Come join me in some propagating fun! FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com

You then need to peel or scrape away the green layer with the 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 hormone onto the white area. You can use an old craft paint brush or q-tip.

Wrap rose cane with container

Wrap your moist moss filled water bottle around the cut portion of the cane.  If you need to fill the bottle with more to make it nice and snug go ahead, just make sure the cane is in the center of all the moist moss.  

A fast and easy way to root roses, air layering. You get larger roses faster than you do with cuttings. Fun and easier than you would imagine. Come join me in some propagating fun! FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com

Secure it with your ties or duct tape.   (I like using the ties so I can open it up and check for rooting easier)

Protect air layering container

A fast and easy way to root roses, air layering. You get larger roses faster than you do with cuttings. Fun and easier than you would imagine. Come join me in some propagating fun! FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com

Now you should cover the bottle with foil to keep it from getting to hot in the bottle and it will block light that can cause algae to grow.

Keep the moss moist. You may not need to water it, but if you can put your pinky finger down the bottle spout to check it.  Remember that the top most moss gets more air than the center so even if it feels dry close to the opening it may not be dry in the center. 

If you need to, water it through the top hole. 

Check for roots

After 4 weeks open it up gently (in a way that you can close it back up easily) and check to see if you find roots or signs of them developing. 

If you look at the photo below you will see white nodules, that is a sign of roots beginning even if you don’t see any actual roots yet. 

A fast and easy way to root roses, air layering. You get larger roses faster than you do with cuttings. Fun and easier than you would imagine. Come join me in some propagating fun! FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com

I checked mine after 4 weeks. 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.

Once you have a good mass of roots it is time to sever the cane and pot it up.

A fast and easy way to root roses. Air Layering to Root Roses you will get larger roses faster than you do with cuttings. Fun and easier than you would imagine. Come join me in some propagating fun! FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com

Now I will have another gorgeous climbing rose to add to my garden or give to a friend.

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.

Want to see how I remove the new rose from the mother plant?
I show you in this post Potting Up Newly Rooted Roses

Want to get all my garden adventures to your inbox? I am always up to something a bit crazy and trying new things. Go ahead and sign up here to get notified of my latest and greatest.

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.

More propagating Posts you will enjoy!
Rooting Lilacs from Cuttings
Free Geraniums by Cloning
Grow Clematis from Cuttings

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Pink roses on trellis with text overlay, fastest way to Propagate Roses, super easy

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Ellen B

Sunday 24th of January 2021

The new rose plant no longer has the benefit of being grafted to a rootstock. Have you noticed any difference in the vigor, insect or disease susceptibility in the air layered clone from the mother plant? Thank you for an excellent guide to air layering roses!

Pamela

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Most of my roses are "own root" meaning they are not grafted. Many roses really have no need to be grafted and grow robustly on their own roots. There is a greater demand for own root roses. Sites like Heirloom roses and Antique Rose emporium carry exclusively roses on their own roots while David Austin Roses has incorporated more of their roses in their selection of own root. With own root roses there is no problem with suckering which is a boon.

jassy

Sunday 1st of November 2020

Hello! Thank you for the tips on how to air layer roses. Have you tied doing it during fall time with huge success? I live in 8a (south east) and I would like to try it now. We only get very mild winter so roses just kinda thrive and even flower all year long. Please let me know.. Thanks again!

Pamela

Wednesday 4th of November 2020

I did one this past September and I need to check to see if the roots are large enough to cut and pot up. I am in Zone 8a too but we get lots of wet, heavy snow in winter and my roses go dormant. This was a test run so I don't know how successful I will be.

Cory

Thursday 13th of August 2020

I tried air layering for the first time this year, on my apricot tree. After 4 weeks, the leaves on the layered branch started turning pale. I waited another couple weeks as it continued to lose color, then went ahead and cut it from the mother, figuring it was a goner. It had some white callouses but no real roots. I planted it anyway, and it died almost immediately. Did your layered rose foliage change color? Is that normal, or should the layered branch look the same as the rest of the plant, even up to the day you cut it off? I suppose I'll try again next year, and leave it on there for 10 weeks, no matter how ugly it gets. Nice to do these little experiments on branches that I would otherwise just prune off anyway!

I tried grafting (apple) for the first time too, which went much better, ~90% success, though I should probably wait a whole season before patting myself on the back.

Pamela

Thursday 13th of August 2020

On the rose the foliage stayed the same as the rest of the rose and even when I cut it off and potted it up it looked just fine. Sorry about your apricot tree. I have yet to try grafting, I really want to and should. Especially on some of my Japanese Maples.

Rolly

Sunday 28th of June 2020

I tried this but after 6 weeks I still dont see the roots. All i can see is this white stuff that bulged around the edge of where I took out the skin. I am not sure if I have done it correctly.

Willie Duncan

Friday 17th of April 2020

Couldn't composted yard waste contain chemical lawn fertilizers and Roundup? I worry about this so avoid products made with yard waste.

Pamela

Saturday 18th of April 2020

Commercial composting must be heated to a certain level and maintained for for a long time, the beneficial microbes do their job well. Most residues are degraded enough not to be an issue. If you are concerned do a simple test. Get enough of the compost to fill several small pots. Get whatever growing medium you feel is safe. Fill 4 pots with the compost and 4 with the trusted medium. Plant tomato seeds in each pot. Make sure to mark them well. Watch how they grow and compare. Then decide. I don't have an issue as the local place I get compost is an organic turkey farm. The other composts the yard waste generated here in the mountains, which is pine needles, chipped branches and such things so those type chemicals are minimal. However, it has been found that the trees here are laden with chemicals absorbed (arsenic and cyanide) from when this was a lumber mill and mining economy town. So no matter where you are you will find some kind of toxins present in our environment. The natural microbes and beneficial bacteria of composting is one of the best ways to mitigate the issue. The earth is beautiful at fixing itself if we quit polluting it.

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