Successfully using rose cuttings for propagation is generally associated with luck. Grafted roses in particular are difficult to grow in the earth using cuttings in the conventional way. A clearly promising result can be achieved with the so-called potato method. You can find out how this works and what to look out for below.

Potato for the propagation of roses

Numerous hobby growers and rose lovers swear by the pulling of rose cuttings with potatoes. These support the growth of rose cuttings by quickly promoting rooting. This is because potatoes provide the cuttings with continuous moisture as well as nutrients. Planted in the ground or in a nursery box, they are dependent on you to provide them with the best possible care. Too little or too much water and suboptimal soil conditions are just a few examples that can make propagation in the conventional way difficult. Potatoes, on the other hand, ensure that rose cuttings receive what they need to thrive in the growing phase.

Materials required

  • Suitable rose cuttings
  • Potatoes (one per cutting)
  • A drill or something similar to make small, deep holes in the potatoes
  • A planter if not planted outdoors
  • Cultivation soil or high quality substrate
  • An empty 1 or 2 liter plastic bottle

Rose cuttings
For growing new roses with the potato method, the most suitable shoots should be selected and prepared in order to maximize the chance of attacking. The requirements include:

  • Shoots must be completely green and must not have any dried-up areas or areas marked by deficiency symptoms
  • They should come from a strong mother plant
  • Young shoots are better because they usually have more stored energy

Preparation of rose cuttings

  • If there is a bud / flower, it is cut off about three centimeters below the rose head
  • Shorten the stem at the bottom so that the cutting is about eight to ten centimeters high
  • Cut the end of the cuttings at an angle of 45 degrees – this creates a larger area to absorb moisture and nutrients
  • Remove all leaves from the cutting

Preparation of the potatoes

  • Choose medium or large potatoes
  • Remove any earth residue from potatoes
  • Drill a hole in the middle on the longer side
  • The hole should be wide enough that the stem of the cutting just fits into it
  • The cuttings must be enclosed as closely as possible by the walls so that they do not wobble back and forth
  • The depth of the hole should reach to the middle of the earth apple

Outdoor planting

Planting outdoors is only possible if the propagation takes place in spring. Only then do the cuttings have a realistic chance of rooting so strongly by winter that the young plants can easily survive the winter outside. The best time is late spring, when the outside temperatures are warmer. Under no circumstances should they be planted if frost is still to be expected.

Planting instructions

  • In a sheltered, light spot, dig twice as much soil as the size of the potatoes
  • A third of the cutting should later protrude from the surface of the earth
  • Place a drainage made of gravel or quartz sand on the bottom of the planting hole (prevents waterlogging and rot when there is a lot of rain)
  • Place the potato with the inserted rose cuttings in the planting hole
  • Mix in a handful of potting soil or high-quality substrate to the excavated soil
  • Close the planting hole with the soil
  • Press the surface of the earth well around the cutting (for more stability)
  • Pour moderately
  • Cut off the bottom of a plastic bottle
  • Put the bottle over the cutting with the lower cut side and press it into the soil (microclimatic effect)
  • Depending on the weather, open the cap of the bottle about every two days and pour in water
  • Leave the shutter open for some time so that an exchange of oxygen can take place
  • If the first new leaves appear, remove the plastic bottle

Pot planting

If you use a pot or nursery box to propagate roses with cuttings, you can separate them from the mother plant and plant them until the end of the flowering period. It is better if the rose is still in the full growth phase. During this time, the rose cuttings will develop roots. Specimens cultivated in pots should either receive winter protection before the first frost or move to frost-free, light winter quarters. In the following spring, the young plants can be planted outdoors and spend the winter outside without any problems.

Planting instructions

The planting of potatoes for propagation by rose cuttings is basically the same as with outdoor planting. You should only pay attention to the following special features and small deviations:

  • Ideally, fill the pot with potting soil – alternatively: high-quality substrate
  • If the pot has a drainage hole for excess water, no separate drainage on the bottom of the pot is necessary
  • After the first leaves have developed, the potting soil must be replaced with a nutrient-rich substrate

Potato after planting

If the propagation has worked and the rose cuttings thrive splendidly, the potatoes remain in the soil / substrate. Over time, they disintegrate and completely decompose. The prerequisite is that there is always a certain amount of moisture. Should this not be the case and the soil even occasionally dry out, the cuttings will neither attack nor the potatoes completely dissolve. They can then be disposed of together with the rose cuttings.

Potatoes offer an ideal opportunity to propagate roses through the otherwise sensitive cuttings. The chances of success increase significantly to be able to grow a magnificent new plant from it. Special knowledge and experience are not necessary. The workload is only slightly greater than with conventional propagation without potatoes. It’s worth a try.

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