Love Your Garden: Alan Titchmarsh on growing roses in 2011
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Roses make a stunning addition to any garden, either as a welcoming blossom on the doorstep or an intimate display thriving out the back. The flowers are some of the prettiest available in the UK, but they don’t grow all the time. Gardening experts at Amaze Vege Garden have shared how gardeners can easily grow roses from cuttings using a potato.
The gardening experts said: “Roses are some of the most amazing plants out there, they grow with thorns, and their flowers have become some of the most loved flowers in the world.
“Many avid flower lovers will try to grow this plant in their garden or their greenhouse.
“Some first-time growers may be shocked to hear about using potatoes to help propagate the roses even further.”
The experts explained that to grow a rose in a potato, gardeners will need at least 200mm of a stem.
They added: “With the flower and leaves trimmed off, the stem is then stuck into half of the potato and planted in the ground.
“This boosts the roots of the stem to start growing and prevents it from going dry, which helps new leaves and roots to grow.
“Having a good base that naturally provides all the nutrients and moisture needed for the new plant to grow means you won’t have to work as hard to ensure the rose will grow.
“This is often the only way to grow a new rose as the environment might be too tough for new stems to grow naturally.”
The process of rooting properly through a potato can take anything from five to six weeks if the soil is right.
The stem needs to grow new roots from scratch and must be given a chance to grow before gardeners give up on the new rose bush that would be growing fully.
The gardening experts explained how roses are not the only plants that benefit from the use of potatoes.
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They said: “Many other larger flowering plants will grow much faster and easier if you provide a good place for their roots to grow.
“This means that many growers have a steady supply of potatoes ready for growing more of a specific plant.”
The experts shared several steps that have to be completed before the rose stem will grow properly through the propagation technique, even with a potato for extra nutrients.
The first thing that has to be removed when preparing the stem to be planted, in a potato or just the water, is to remove the flower.
This prevents excess moisture and energy from being sucked up and used for anything other than a root system.
The next thing to go is the leaves that are still on the stem.
These are removed for the same reason the flower is being removed, but also because these are too big to do what they need to do.
The photosynthesis provided by large leaves is not enough to counter the amount of energy needed to keep them healthy.
Prepare the stem
Once the flower and leaves are prepared, gardeners need to cut the stem into the right shape.
Many people will assume that you cut the stem at an angle before planting it into the potato.
Before pushing the rose into the potato, gardeners want to cut the stem into quarters, not too deep, just about one-quarter of an inch right at a stem node.
This will divide the stem into four equal parts, which will make it much easier for the stem to start forming its roots in the potato.
Plant in potato
The second to last step is to plant the stem in the potato. To do this, drill a hole slightly smaller than the stem through the potato, making sure the stem is inserted with the skin side of the potato pointing upwards.
This will hold the stem properly and provide a rose bush that grows straight up, depending on the kind of the rose plant being propagated.
Plant in ground
Before everyday maintenance, the last thing to do will be to plant the potato and stem into the ground.
This can be tricky as sometimes you can plant the potato and stem in the backyard garden, however, this does diminish the chances that the stem will start to grow properly.
It is much safer to plant it in a pot first and keep it somewhere gardeners can easily monitor the stem as it starts to grow.
Move it to a larger pot as the roots system grows, eventually planting it into the ground.
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