Saturday, September 19, 2009

Air Layering a Rose - by mon santiano

Air Layering is one of the easiest, most carefree and effective
method of propagating a rose. A technique i learned from my
father as a young boy, when he would use this form of
propagation on tropical fruit trees and plants. I've been using
this method on roses and when done correctly at the right
time, you can achieve a 100% success. Though some roses take
longer to root, most will root between 3 weeks to 8 weeks.
Most of the ones i worked on rooted in 3 weeks and some took
The best time to air layer a rose is in springtime after it's first
bloom. That is when they are growing actively. Here in the
pacific northwest, that would be in late spring. Rooting roses is
much easier during their active growing season.
Choose a succulent stem or cane from a healthy plant that has
produced a flower. This is an indication that the stem is
matured enough for rooting. Also important is pampering
the mother plant you want to air layer to encourage a
vigorous growth and speed up the rooting process.
Please be aware of the rose bushes' patent if you intend
to propagate for business purposes as you might violate some
copyright laws. Some roses still have patents in them and
some much older ones don't.

Things you'll need: A sharp knife or razor blade (i use a
box cutter knife), Twist ties"6X"6 transparent plastic sheet
(A cut ziploc plastic bag will do), Strapping Tape, Rootone
Rooting Hormone w/ fungicide (optional), A small artists'
brush (when using rooting hormone).

The following is a step-be-step illustration: .

First. Choose a healthy stem from a disease free
rose bush. A pencil sized stem is perfect although
a slightly smaller or bigger one will work as well
as long as it had flowered already.

Propagating Roses by mon santiano
Photo by Mon Santiano
Second. Remove the thorns and leafsets from the
area of the stem you will be working on. Choose
the area that is just below the first 5 leafset.
Photo by Mon Santiano
Third. Make two parallel cuts around the stem
1/4 inch below the leafnode. The cuts should be
as deep as the bark would go, 3/4 to 1 inch apart.
Then. make a vertical cut between the two
parallel cuts and gently peel off the bark.

Photo by Mon Santiano
Fourth. Gently scrape off the soft tissues that was
left on the woody part of the stem.
Photo by Mon Santiano
Fifth. Apply rooting hormone using a small artists'
paint brush and dust off excess.
Photo By Mon Santiano
Photo by Mon Santiano
 Sixth. Wrap the plastic sheet around the stem and
tape both ends to form a tube. It would be easier if
you stick half the width of the strapping tape on one
edge of the plastic sheet first. Then wrap the sheet
around the stem and tape the other edge of the
sheet overlapping both edges a little.

Photo by Mon Santiano
Seventh. Tie the bottom end of the wrap with the
twist tie. Just snug tight it and make sure any
excess moisture can still run off from the wrap.
Twisting the tie too tight will choke the stem and
prevent it from growing any further.

Photo by Mon Santiano
Eight. Fill with soaked sphagnum peat moss and
pack it tight enough to dispel air.
Photo by Mon Santiano
Ninth. Tie the other end of the wrap and that's it.
You can leave it behind and check it out 3 weeks
later to see if roots started to develop. Some root
out in 3 weeks and some take longer. Optionally,
a black plastic sheet can be used to cover over it
to protect it from the heat and prevent moss from
developing inside the rooting medium.
Photo by Mon Santiano

This one below is a Crimson Glory HT on it's 8th week. It actually
started rooting just before the 6th week and i could've
transplanted it then but i was too busy. I already
transplanted it after i took this picture.

Roses propagated by air layering matures much faster
and will flower the following season. Propagating roses
is really fun so try it.

Photo by Mon Santiano

Thank you for reading my post and have a great time

rooting your roses.