Autumn lingers, warm and wonderful, and we’ve had time to take cuttings of plants that we often miss in the flurry of getting ready for winter. Two weeks ago I took cuttings of more of the roses in our garden, including a very low growing miniature rose we call ‘Connie’s Creeping Rose.’ This little rock garden gem blooms all summer with double white flowers.
One of our neighbors gave us a cutting of Rosa ‘The Fairy’ in August. It rooted, too, and is now in a 4″ pot. (Thanks, Ann!)
When I was little, my grandma would notice someone who looked tired and worn and say “You look like the last rose of summer.” She didn’t mean it as a compliment….but she’d obviously never seen this rose, still blooming in late October and looking as fresh as a daisy. (I know, I know, mixing metaphors is wrong! But fun.)
The rose above was started from a cutting a couple of years ago. Not all roses are easy to propagate from cuttings, but many are. If you have a cold frame or a greenhouse it’s not too late to take a tip cutting of your favorite rose. Strip off the lower leaves, and stick it a a good quality potting soil. Keep it moist. Bottom heat helps them root, especially this time of year. If you have a heat mat, this is a good use for it.
Even if you don’t have a cold frame, or a heat mat, you can try to root your cutting outside in the garden. To do this you probably would want to start in late August, but trying now doesn’t cost you anything but a little time. Put the cutting into good garden soil, the type that would grow a nice carrot or tomato, and cover it with a glass jar. You don’t want the jar to overheat, so pick a spot that is shady, even in winter. If luck is with you, by next spring the cutting will have rooted and you can move it to a sunny spot in the garden. Roses need at least six hours of sun a day to bloom well.
Roses aren’t the only woody plants that can be rooted from cuttings. Here is a daphne and a creeping willow, also rooting in the flat.