When I was initially asked the question “How do I plant roses in potatoes?” I was thinking that the questioner was asking how to plant roses in among potato plants. And, of course, I was thinking, “Why would you want to do that??“
But, no. The question relates to how you plant rose CUTTINGS into potatoes (the edible vegetable).
And even if you do, will your rose cuttings be successful?
It’s not something I’ve tried before. And I’ve since read accounts about others doing it where the results have been a thoroughly mixed bag.
There is some merit to the theory, however: If you place a cutting into a potato you get initial moisture and you also get an initial supply of ‘food’.
Anyway, if you wish to give it a shot, then here’s a technique to help you out.
Rose Cuttings Propagation
Take the cutting from a rose bush that is mature.
Take cuttings that are 6-8 inch long. The cutting should be taken from below a fresh bud. This helps with the rooting process.
There are different types of cutting you can take from roses, each of which is taken at different times of the year:
Softwood rose cuttings – these are the easiest and the fastest rose cuttings to root. Take softwood rose cuttings in late spring or early summer. The best softwood cuttings are from pencil-thick canes just below the rose bloom. The timing for taking the cuttings is just when the rose bloom is losing its petals.
Semi-hardwood rose cuttings – take semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer or early fall. The new stems at this stage will be partially mature. Plus, rosehips may be forming where the blooms were previously.
Hardwood rose cuttings – hardwood rose cuttings are the slowest to root and also the most difficult. Take hardwood rose cuttings in fall or in early winter. The canes/ stems will now be hard and mature and will have already entered into dormancy.
Keep your cutting or cuttings moist by placing them in water or into tissue paper that is severely soaked (using water) and wrap the tissue paper around the cuttings. Be sure to label your cuttings if they’ve come from different bushes.
How to ‘Plant’ Rose Cuttings Inside a Potato
I don’t like to wound the cutting towards the base any further than it has been wounded already (where you made the cut). Some people suggest that you do wound the cutting to provide a larger area for root growth. But this also provides a larger area for disease.
Remove some of the foliage still on the cutting. Leave only a couple of leaves at the top.
If you have rooting hormone, and it’s advisable that you get some if you haven’t already, dip the base of the cutting into the hormone. HydroDynamics Clonex Rooting Gel is a good rooting hormone.
If you can, select a potato that has a high moisture content. It’s not imperative to do so as you’ll be watering as necessary.
Make a hole in the potato that’s slightly less in diameter than the diameter of the base of your rose cutting. The hole can be a couple of inches deep. You can use a screwdriver for this purpose or a drill bit. Push the cutting into the hole in the potato.
Now, you can plant the potato and rose cutting directly into your garden. If you take this route you’ll need to make sure that the cutting gets plenty of water.
Place the potato into a jar. Then dig a hole in the soil to hold the jar. A hole that’s deep enough to cover the entire rose cutting seems to provide best results for some reason.
You can either use a jar or you can use the wall-o-water method instead.
Otherwise, you can plant your potato/ rose cutting into a pot which makes it easier to water regularly – given that the pot is positioned on your balcony or in a place that you see it often so you remember to water when required.
General Notes for Propagating Roses
Make sure that the rose you wish to propagate is not patented. If you propagate a currently patented rose you’re infringing copyright regulations.
There are many rose varieties that have been grafted onto a roostock. This is because not all roses do well if they are grown on their own root system. If you take cuttings from these types of roses there’s a reasonable chance that your cutting will perish. It’s still worth a shot, though.