How deep should I bury the graft union?

farmerduckMarch 17, 2013


I am waiting for grafted roses I ordered for this year to arraive in the next couple of weeks. I would like them to eventually go own root. How deep should I bury the graft unions?

I understand that for my zone, which is 6b, the general guideline is to lightly bury the graft union, but that is for protecting the unions, notf for helping the roses go ownroot . I think I would just bury the union deep, say, by 6 inches of soil. Does this make sense? Would I harm the roses?

One of my source is Palatine, and the multflora rootstock they use does not do well in my soil.

Many thanks in advance.

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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

Six inches sounds too deep to me; I think you'd risk having the bottom of the canes rot! In my garden, roses go own-root just as long as the graft union is covered, and, of course, if the rose is well-cared-for and happy,but it doesn't happen immediately; it takes a couple of years, and also depends on the type of rose.I'd think that one inch deep would be fine, maximum two. However, I do want to point out that my climate is very different from yours, so let's hope some other gardeners weigh in here. regards, bart

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 4:52AM
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In cold Sweden the recommended planting depth is at least 3 inches and up to 6 or 7 inches, deepest for climbers. I've always buried the graft this deeply. The only drawback has been that it's difficult to pull out suckers from the rootstock.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 7:08AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Roses go own-root IF they want to, so long as the graft is buried somewhat. I wouldn't intentionally go more than a couple of inches deep because they do settle a bit more.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 7:12AM
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Thanks everyone! I will bury the union a few inches down then. I am compulsive and have a tendency to go over board when it comes to gardening, and thanks for talk sense into me.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 8:38AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Uaually 2 to 4 inches is recommended here. They only go own root if they want to and it will take years.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 12:35PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

I usually go about 3 inches. With that being said, Dr. Huey doesnt do well here and usually the plant dies before it ever goes ownroot. So ive learned to either not buy anything with Dr Huey, or buy with the expectation that I will have to keep it potted. Multiflora does excellent here. We must have opposite soil pH :)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 2:50PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

One inch of cover is plenty for NJ and will not discourage own-rooting (if the plant wants to do it). Don't bully your plants. Own-root is not good for many roses, including probably a majority of hybrid teas. Roses will survive very deep planting, but the reduced oxygenation can incapacitate the rootstock roots and slow the plant's development somewhat.

I've dug deep-planted roses that had no own-rooting, but all the feeder roots developed from the rootstock shank, while the fleshy rootstock roots had not grown at all. This was in a location with adequate drainage.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 3:25PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

1" - 3" is fine for my part of NJ (Monmouth Cty.). 6" is too deep (in my opinion).

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:49PM
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