Saturday, February 14, 2015

Megan's Gift Multiplies

Just before Christmas, Megan came into my office with a cheerful glow on her face and a red and white striped miniature rose in her hand.  Megan said, "Merry Christmas!" as she offered me this rose she had picked up at the store knowing that I loved roses.  It was such a sweet gesture from the housekeeper of the church to me as the pastor.  I put it in the widow of my office and enjoyed every bloom it gave, but by the end of January it had stopped blooming so I brought it home to get it ready for its next phase of life.
What most people don't know is that the pretty miniature rose you buy at the store is usually three or four plants of the same rose growing in one pot.  The nursery packs them in tight to give the biggest display in the quickest time possible.  They often call them "Party Roses" knowing that they will make a nice show for a week or two and then the rose usually dies from neglect.   If you look close you can see that the branches do not originate from a common source but there are four plants crammed into a very small pot. 
The roots have grown so that they are tangled together, but if you gently work them apart you can separate the plants until you have (in this case) four separate plants ready to be potted up and given a life of their own.  There will often be some of the roots that break off, but if you are careful you can save most of them and reduce the amount of shock the roses experience.
Now they are ready to pot up, let their roots grow out and get ready to plant in the rose bed in a month or so.  Individually each rose will become a strong plant.  I bought this handy set of plantable pots for the next phase of their lives.  I will transplant each of these in about a month so these pots should be perfect. 
While I was at it I did some work with my roses from Chamblee's.  Did you know that when nurseries propagate plants they take several cuttings and put them in the same pot.  They do this so that if one or two of the new starts do not begin to root they will in all likelihood have at least one that makes it.  My own experience with propagating roses from cuttings is that almost half of them will die with over half making new plants.  Some varieties are so vigorous you can hardly miss, while others can be very difficult to get started.  This means that it is very common that you will have multiple plants in each pot. 
In my order of Purple Rain there were actually four plants.  In Shreveport there were three plants, Glamis Castle had three, Dolly Parton had two, Sachet had two, and Rise N Shine had two.  Only Green Ice and Twilight Zone were single plants.   Once I went through all the new pots, we went from what looked like 10 roses to 23 separated and potted up.  What a fun way to multiply your roses.  Now I have more roses I can plant, and I can share many of them as well.



7 comments:

  1. What healthy looking specimens those are!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gustavo Woltmann thinks roses are a beautiful flower- Gustavo Woltmann

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gustavo Woltmann thinks roses are a beautiful flower- Gustavo Woltmann

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gustavo Woltmann thinks roses are a beautiful flower- Gustavo Woltmann

    ReplyDelete