I can't believe this worked!!!

nippstress - zone 5 NebraskaJuly 10, 2014

Hi folks

Earlier in the spring, a week or two after I'd planted my band of the HT Butterscotch, I was noodling around in the garden and stepped on the poor thing. Broke it off right at the base of the soil, with nothing left of the cane and precious little root system established yet. Well, I figured it was a goner, and stepping on things is something I consider one of those acceptable but highly regrettable mistakes, given how close I plant everything.

Still, after muttering some choice language at myself, I looked at the little green sprig in my hand and figured I had nothing to lose, so I stuck the remaining plant top into the ground about 2" deep next to the (presumed) root system. That left only about 2" above ground, so I was expecting to see a relatively fast death of the plant, kind of like sticking a florist rose stem directly in the ground and hoping for the best.

To my surprise, the little squirt hung in there. For a while, it just sat there not dying, and I figured the moisture in the soil was maintaining the green of the plant but it would eventually be toast. Just this week, though, I saw the sprig putting on new leaves! Against all odds, it seems to have put down roots from the base of that tiny stem (no wider than a bamboo skewer) and decided to survive. It wouldn't be that phantom growth you get in early spring from canes that will eventually die, since there's not enough stored energy in the top 2" of the plant to support that kind of growth. Go figure, eh?

I think the reason this sprig survived and other attempts to resurrect severed bits or canes of roses have failed for me, is that it was split from the base of the plant and had some active growing points already at the base of the cane. I've never had any luck with pinching off a few inches of the tip of any other rose and getting it to grow, and I suspect there's something different about the growth "instructions" at the base of a new basal break - or in this case, the only existing cane. You'll all enlighten me if I'm wrong, of course, but I'm now resolved to try sticking more canes back in the ground, particularly the ones that have fallen prostrate on the ground from our very wet weather and separated from more established canes at the soil lines. Should be the same principle, I think.

Anyway, I'm thrilled to recover from at least one mistake this spring (OTOH, no survivors yet from the alfalfa "mistake" I posted about earlier). I realize that this is my third and probably last try to overwinter Butterscotch in my zone and it has a rather slim shot at overwintering even in my warmest most protected bed, but it's nice to see it showing some gumption at least this summer, and maybe a little hardship now will boost its immune system to the winter cold.

Here's the little survivor...yay!!


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kind make me sing "I will survive hey hey I will survive". It looks perfectly healthy despite being stomped. Yay!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Congratulations, Cynthia! Where there is a will.... Roses ARE survivors. All they require is a chance. Good job! Kim

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 3:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Your theory about basal shoots wanting to make roots may be correct. I have rooted a couple that broke off at the base. by just sticking them in the shade during summer.

Looks like he could use some iron, but be careful.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seil zone 6b MI

I'm so glad you saved your little baby!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Awesome! "Eye of the Tiger"

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 6:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buford(7 NE GA)

I've been reading about using heel wood in cuttings. Supposedly there is a lot of bud energy in the heel wood and it will root more easily. It makes sens that a cane that is actively growing would root better.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

Thanks, folks! I love having little victories like this and learning something in the process too. Roses are tougher than we give them credit for, except for this nasty periodic thing we call "winter". Especially last winter. Still, it makes the survivors all the more notable.

Thanks for the extra info about the heel wood Buford and Michael. I'd forgotten that term, but it does make sense that the base would be a sensitive growth spot for roses given the chance. I haven't found a likely suspect to try it out on yet, but I'm watching some of my irreplaceable roses to see if I can root some "idiot proof" canes this way, if they have some canes to spare. I suspect if I do this deliberately I'll have to do some careful separation from the base to maintain that heel, not just cut off at the base. Sort of the opposite of what we do with Dr. Huey suckers, perhaps.

Anyway, still going strong!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ArbutusOmnedo 10/24

How wonderful! A mow and blow guy stepped on a band of Belle Epoque about two months ago that I had planted in the ground for my mom in January. I noticed some shoots popping up from that spot a couple weeks ago. Since no other roses -especially grafted roses- have been in that spot before or are close enough to be a sucker, I assume it is Belle Epoque showing new signs of life. There's always a slight glimmer of hope with roses!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 3:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)

Thats so great!

Had a similar thing happen w/ me with my new john davis rose this summer, dog stepped on it and broke the cane clean off to the ground. I dug it up and potted. It's already set up new growth from the roots. I am so happy and glad yours survived! Yay for strong rose babies. :o)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:35AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Wax on rose
In mid-January, I bought a bareroot rose from Lowes...
Rose Ripoff only a gardener could appreciate.
So I did a search on Ebay for rose bushes, curious...
Teasing Georgia as a pruned shrub
So I have been reading on here about growing TG as...
Before you order...
I have been propagating a lot of roses this past year,...
Looking forward to SPRING FLUSH!
The past couple of weeks my rose bushes have begun...
Sponsored Products
Fuse Bar Stool in White
$139.00 | LexMod
Coco Key Woven Leather Square Box with Lid
$79.00 | FRONTGATE
Fusion Modular Four-Light Dark Bronze Bath Fixture
$398.00 | Bellacor
Sea Gull Lighting Wall Mounted Jamestowne 1-Light Outdoor Antique Bronze Wall
$49.05 | Home Depot
Powell Chair - Cordova Eclipse Gray
Joybird Furniture
RAM Gameroom Products PD-58 3-Light Pull Down Retractable Bar Billiard Light - 6
$358.00 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™