My budding "Duh!" moment...

roseseekAugust 1, 2014

Out of the 140+ buds I inserted on Pink Clouds, Cardinal Hume, VI Fortuniana, VI IXL and a seedling I raised which has refused to flower the eight-plus years of its life, between June 1 and July 1, 17 are definite failures. All 17 have dried, turning brown to beige, most likely due to my failure to provide sufficient cambium to cambium contact. Almost all stocks have multiple buds inserted in them, with one containing 16 buds of the same rose. In most cases, these were types I wanted to rapidly increase quickly, and make sure something succeeded. It won't matter if there are numerous growing stems from the same stock. Once the variety is growing, they will provide more bud wood for individually budded plants (when I have rooted more stocks) and provide cuttings for further rooting. I had a finite number of stocks propagated and far too many buds I wanted to use, so multiple buds of the same rose in each stock was the most efficient use. Since several were between 18" and 36" long, there was plenty of room to stretch them out along their lengths so I can later cut them apart for wrapping and rooting.

I cut all the stocks with known successful buds back to push the sap into the inserted buds. Several have made astonishingly rapid growth, while others have developed more slowly. Several continued "weeping", "bleeding", quite profusely, which I figured would eventually take care of themselves and stop. Nope. After nearly two weeks, none of them showed any signs of even considering callusing over and stopping the sap loss. And, of course, none of the buds on the weeping stocks showed any sign of development. Duh! Sap pressure pushes the buds into growth and all that lovely pressure was escaping out the wounds, the cut ends.

I took more Parafilm strips and tightly bandaged the cut ends to stop the "blood loss". Remarkably, nearly all the buds in those stocks showed dramatic development in as little as 24 hours! IXL and Pink Clouds demonstrated the greatest sap flow, resulting in the greatest "bleeding". Fortuniana came in second with Cardinal Hume following a distant fourth. All but those on my seedling are pushing growth and foliage. Those in the seedling are at the top of a three foot whip in hopes of creating a Verdun patio standard. The buds are green, but the seedling appears not to flow as much sap, not have as high sap pressure, as evidenced by the limited bleeding from the cut end and how rapidly it sealed over on its own.

All the stocks are potted in one and two gallon cans and all have been kept HEAVILY watered, sometimes daily, to maintain as heavy sap pressure as possible. That doesn't actually require that much water if done properly. All are on the front retaining wall at about three feet off the walking surface so it's easy to turn on the hose to a dribble, hold my finger over the end to create increased pressure and apply small amounts of water when the surface of the soil in the pots appeared dry. It's almost like drip irrigation in that very little, if any, water actually seeped out the pot bottoms. Occasionally, I would provide more water to flush any salt build up out the pot drain holes and draw fresh oxygen into the potting soil.

If your stocks are pushing so much sap they continue "bleeding" for any length of time, you may want to bandage their cut ends to stop the sap loss and encourage the inserted scions to push growth. I simply stretched the Parafilm over the cut end, then wrapped it tightly around the top of the stocks to help hold the stretched piece in place against the sap pressure attempting to push it off. It was fast, easy, simple and effective! Kim

This post was edited by roseseek on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 14:16

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"The obvious" is often unobvious to me.

I'm experiencing the same with peach buds--I haven't cut off the stock growth above yet, but I'm getting weeping around the edges of the buds.

I've re-bound above & below the buds with the old plastic graft tape & left the Parafilm over the buds. Hoping this will help.

And if it does, I'll wrap the ends of the stock when I do cut it off above the buds.

Beautiful photos.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:42PM
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Thank you, and thank you! Your comment about the peach buds weeping reminded me of something Mr. Moore shared years ago. When budding figs and grapes, the stocks flow so much sap, the push the scions out of the cuts. He showed me the way to prevent scion loss is to make the "T" cut extra long on the vertical so when the bud is inserted, there is a tail below it which acts like a pressure relief valve. The excess sap will weep out of the bottom of the "T", preventing it from pushing the scion from the flaps.

I think your rewrapping should do the trick. It makes perfect sense. They're "bleeding" and you stop bleeding by bandaging the "wound", right? If you can't suture the wound, you bandage it. The only other suggestion I came up with today for sealing the top end cuts would be grafting asphalt sealer or candle wax dripped on the cuts in the evening when the sap isn't flowing as excessively as it does during sunlight hours. IXL and Pink Clouds flow like a hose! Kim

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:53PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Very cool, Kim! Thanks for sharing. Grafting is my next adventure. We tried to graft some things to my poor half naked rose tree this year but nothing took. It was our very first attempt though so I wasn't expecting much. But I love your photos and they give me a pretty clear idea of the how to of it. That tall whip with all the grafts is really neat!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 1:40PM
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Many thanks! I chip budded, but maybe I'll try a few T-buds (though I read that they require a bit more skill--still, it's the sap-flowing season..)

Oh, Seil, you GOTTA start! I'm at the exciting stage where it's starting to work. I can't wait to get all the old Vintage HTs & floribundas I ordered budded onto good stock that will push their growth strongly. Many are inclined to just wither away on their own roots.

Order some 1/2" Parafilm from Amazon ($2.50 or so for 90') & start playing around while the temps are still good.

Pending my rooting some stocks of Pink Clouds (generously provided by Mr. EnablerFromHell), I slapped some buds on Pink Favorite, the old 1950's HT. It's pushing buds better than Ragged Robin or Huey!

Here's a 7-8" shoot growing off PF that was budded 6-26:

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 2:07PM
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Thanks, Sharon, I'm glad they're helping! Keep whatever you're using as a stock WELL watered. You want it to be growing as vigorously as it possibly can, pushing as much sap as possible up those canes so it keeps the buds well hydrated. The higher the sap pressure, the more sap it flows up that stem, the faster it's going to knit and push growth. Go out and start hacking up suckers and any other trimmings from your roses to become familiar with what the cambium layer looks like. The easiest way to see what it's like is to break a prickle off a newly growing stem. It's the brighter green, juicy, wet tissue just under the bark/skin. That's the key ingredient for any of this to work. You want that layer of tissue on the exposed "wound" in the stock as well as on the back of the scion (bud). As long as there is SOME on each, they will adhere to each other and form precisely the tissue needed to supply nourishment to the new bud and force it to grow. It honestly doesn't matter which method of grafting/budding you use. They ALL work as long as the sap pushes, there is cambium layer to cambium layer contact and you don't let them dry out. Once you are past allowing the process to intimidate you, it becomes FUN, fast and easy! I am careful not to cross bud roses which might expose potentially uninfected types to RMV. I will rebud a stock in which the bud has failed with the SAME rose as I had previously used on that stock and I don't mix roses on the same longer whip. I know some of them are already infected. I just don't want to be the cause of something NOT infected, becoming so. With all those older HTs from your mother in your garden, you must have some prunings you can play with. Give them a try. It really does make it so much easier than waiting until you have spent time rooting stocks and finding THE rose you've always wanted. If you need something to play with as a stock, just ask!

Yup, you're pushing right through, bluegirl. Good job! Congratulations! Amazing how EASY it can be, isn't it? Your mist set up definitely helps push things along quickly. Of course, your back ground of grafting fruit trees absolutely helps, too. I'm proud of you! Thanks. Kim

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 2:45PM
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*blush* bowing* thankyou thankyou*!

But I should correct, I just started, seriously, at the beginning of this summer! So I have no lengthy background experience at all. I've read about it & fooled around with it once or twice (without reading good instructions or seeing good photos).

I got serious this spring because we are about to lose an old, unknown variety peach tree, & I've already lost a few Vintage treasures this past hard winter. Neither the peach nor the roses would root from cuttings. Tried repeatedly in different seasons & with different methods.

So no one else should feel intimidated to try! Heck, last fall I got Talisman onto Ragged Robin, & Mme. de la Roche-Lambert onto Pink Favorite. I wasn't even trying with the moss rose--just fooling around because my old plant was croaking. Didn't even cut off the stock or check the bud.

But there it was, this spring, cheerfully sprouting at the base of PF after wintering over.

If I can do it anyone can--& should! Thank you again for your generous help & sharing of cuttings!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 3:47PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Thanks for the encouragement and the tips. I may try to add something else to the standard again this season but it's really a little late and I worry like crazy about winter this year. I don't think I could take another like last year.

I do have some pretty old roses here but I've had pretty good success with rooting them as back ups. That makes me very happy! Actually my rooted ones are growing very strongly and look better than the originals in some cases, lol. It would be interesting to see what some of them might do on a good root stock though. I do have some Dr. Huey growing. Maybe I'll do some cuttings and root that for future grafts. Or could I just graft right on to the plant I have now? It has 3 good strong canes on it.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 6:21PM
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Do both! Root some Huey sticks to overwinter & be ready for budding next spring. They don't have to be long, & stocks potted up in gallons are so convenient to work with.

But whip out your razor knife now & put a bunch of buds on one of the canes--all along the length, every 2-3" or so to practice your technique. You can bud several different roses to the same cane.

Be sure to mark them--I like that white grafters' tape for that. Next spring bend that cane more horizontal to encourage those buds to pop. (or maybe you have time this year, don't know how your climate is).

My dad & I practiced on clipped-off peach suckers, about the diameter of the switches we intended to bud on, just to get the feel of making a correct cut & taping in a bud.

First we even used maple tree prunings to harvest buds & tape them it. It's all the same technique--getting a feel for cut depth & length, sliding the blade under the bud enough to remove it with minimal wood, etc.

Once we'd each done a dozen or so each, we headed out to do the real thing on a young tree-- taping in buds from the old peach tree we're trying to preserve.

And, Kim, I suspect Ralph Moore was right about some fruits producing so much sap they will flood a bud right out of its cut. I noticed an old bud I'd tried a few months back. It was flipped over to one side, still attached & alive.

Seeing all of the amber around the buds we just made, I wonder if it didn't get flushed out sideways.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 9:53PM
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Bluegirl for a "newbie" at it, you're doing one bang up job! Congratulations! I like people who don't let things intimidate them and just jump in with both feet. Well done, and you're welcome. Thank you for the goodies you sent my direction. They're all doing very well, thank you! Those sideways buds may well have been pushed out to the side. I guess that suggests tying them in as tightly as possible. I've even been wrapping the Parafilm right over the buds, as tightly as possible without breaking the film. It appears to have helped prevent them from drying out and frying during the worst of the heat.

You may, or may not, lose some over winter, Sharon, but the practice and self confidence gained is worth all of it. I'm glad you have good success rooting them. For those which grow well own root, that's perfect. You will eventually hit one which doesn't root well, or for which there isn't enough material to use for cuttings. I had two, budded Grey Pearl bushes. One died. The remaining one put out a whopping five inches of new growth. It doesn't root with beans and I hesitated using the whole year's worth of new growth on one cutting, so I harvested as many buds as I dared and started inserting them in as many pieces of stock as possible. Nearly eight weeks later, they are all still green and several are actually growing!

I'd go with Bluegirl's suggestion and just do it all. You can bud them to each other as long as you're not concerned about possibly spreading RMV from one to the next. The same with the Huey growing. If the virus issue isn't important to you, go for it! If you want to make sure you don't infect others which may not be infected, you would do better obtaining a stock you know is clean, root pieces of it for each plant and begin reproducing what you have. I'm glad I budded everything new I received this year. Cuttings of them looked quite good...until the worst of the heat hit, then they all turned brown and croaked. But, buds from every one of them have taken, so I'm happy! Kim

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:17AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Since a lot of my roses are older and grafted I'm fairly sure MOST of them are already virused anyway. Probably only my newest ones aren't and even those I can't be sure of. Since I've never really had a great deal of trouble with my virused plants I've never really searched for VID plants. I know, I'm bad, but truthfully it's never been a problem here. Even the plants I've seen RRV symptoms on RARELY present them and usually only when there is some other stressful situation happening. Some of the ones I know are virused are upwards of 50 years old and still going strong.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 1:18PM
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I understand and that's a call that's yours to make. I simply didn't want you to undertake this and come to wish you hadn't for fear of transmitting anything undesired. Fore warned is fore armed. What you could also do is use any seedlings you don't think you want to retain, but which have proven themselves vigorous and able to withstand your climate. Mr. Moore did that extensively. There were things popping up all over that nursery as suckers, often quite interesting and beautiful things he'd forgotten were under something (sometimes MANY "somethings") he budded to see what the plant shape would be or to push to increase propagation material. Kim

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:41PM
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More "Duh!" today. Several of the stocks I sealed with the Parafilm continued flowing sufficient sap to leak quite badly, no matter how tightly I wrapped the ends. I stopped by my favorite nursery today and asked about the old pruning sealer stick I sold years ago and was told by the chemical buyer she didn't think it was still manufactured. She asked what I needed it for and after my explanation, she asked why I didn't simply use Elmer's Glue. Duh! I KNOW that, but didn't think of it. The sap flows much stronger during daylight hours with heat. I waited until dusk, peeled the leaking Parafilm off and squeezed some Elmer's Glue on to a paper towel and began painting the leaking ends with a Q-tip. I worried the flow might dilute the glue and continue leaking, but less than half an hour later, the glue had set. I painted it over the edge and on to the top sides of the cut ends in hopes of creating a sealed cap to contain the leaks. It's now many hours later and the glue is dry on all the painted stocks. Hopefully, tomorrow when the sun rises and heat begins to build, the dried glue caps will retain the sap flow and begin pushing the buds even faster. Kim

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:33AM
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