American Rose Society

susan4952(5)March 19, 2013

Go their web site and read the article , via amateur gardening, on propagating cuttings by using a potato. Interesting.

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jerijen(Zone 10)

A friend sent that today, via FB, and asked, had I done it. I replied that I had not -- but that I read Liz Druitt's account of trying to do it some years ago, and why she failed. Here's my reply:

(Therein hangs a tale, of course.)

It really is, apparently, true that roses were started in that manner, and carried across North America in pioneer wagons. Probably, some brought them along that way, coming to CA by sea.

Rosarian and author, Liz Druitt, decided to give it a try.
She got some potatoes, did some cuttings, and put the cuttings into the potatoes. They all promptly died.
Tried it again.
They all died.
So, she began asking questions.

The reason it worked for the pioneers is that in them there days, you went out to the garden and dug up a potato. OR you bought one from a greengrocer, who got them from a reasonably local farmer.

The reason it didn't work for her is that potatoes, now, are dipped in chemicals to retard root growth. (Which cost both cooks and grocers a lot of money.)

The chemicals work. They prevent the potato from rooting, and they prevent any cuttings shoved into the potato from rooting.

It would probably work just fine, if you had un-treated potatoes. Organic potatoes.
But what the heck -- we have advantages today that the folks in 1850 didn't have. You can buy really good growth hormones to encourage roots. You can get some nifty seaweed compounds that encourage plant growth. And you can chop up willow twigs to make a tea that will stimulate growth (which folks have been doing for a thousand or so years). You can get good potting soils, and you can make a "cloche" (think, teeny greenhouse) out of a plastic soda pop bottle.

Who needs potatoes? ;-)

A friend suggested that I could grow my own potatoes for the purpose. But, given the success we have with other methods, I replied that if I went to the trouble of growing potatoes, I would EAT them.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Lol. That is an interesting fact about the pioneers. I learn something new everyday.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:55PM
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