Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society 27: 510-524 (1902/3)
On Different Ways of Striking Roses
By Monsieur Viviand-Morel
OLD authors who wrote, though very briefly, on the cultivation of the Rose, mentioned that it was propagated by cuttings, by layering, from suckers, and by budding. They did not lay any particular stress upon cuttings. Miller, the author of the "Gardener's Dictionary," in particular, after having mentioned striking, without saying how it was done in his time, adds: "Plants which are propagated from layers are less likely to throw out suckers than those which are taken from around old plants; hence they are to be preferred, as they take up less space and blossom more profusely." It is only when we come down to our own time that we find the methods of striking clearly explained in horticultural writings.
Most varieties root easily; but some of the hard-wooded ones, like the Centifolias, the Mosses, and some of the Hybrids, are never very satisfactory as regards striking.
Cuttings may be made either in the green or woody stage; in either case they will root well. The green cuttings should always have some of their leaves preserved. The woody cuttings can be made either with or without leaves, according to the variety of Rose and the time of year when the cuttings are made. A large number of varieties will not root well unless they are struck with some of the leaves left on. It is desirable, or even necessary, to know the varieties in question, or at least the types or sections to which they belong. As a general rule, all Roses which hold their leaves for a long time at the end of the season and those which are almost evergreen, such as those classed with the Teas, Bengals, Bourbons, Polyanthas, Sempervirens, Banksias, Noisettes, and all derived from these, require to be struck with their leaves on. The Hybrid Perpetuals may also be struck with the leaves on, but will also do very well without them. The cuttings with leaves should be struck under cover; the cuttings without leaves may be struck in the open air.
I will now mention the principal methods of operating.
|* A metre 39.37079 inches, or practically 3 feet 3 inches and a third of an inch. A centimetre = .39371 of an inch, or practically two-fifths of an inch.|
Soft-wooded Cuttings.—This sort of cutting is not often made, and only in some horticultural establishments. Pot Roses are put into a moderately warm greenhouse in February, and when the shoots have grown a sufficient length (from 5 to 7 centimetres*) they are torn off from the mother stem. The heel is trimmed with a pruning knife, and some of the leaves removed from the base; the cuttings are then planted in small pots and put at once under bell-glasses in a propagating pit, with a bottom heat of from 15 to 20 degrees centigrade. They are then treated the same way as cuttings of other plants-watering, watching the bell-glasses to guard against damping off, shading, &c. The cuttings take from thirty to forty days. to strike root. They are hardened-off by gradually admitting air to the bell-glasses, after which they are uncovered and repotted in larger pots. They are then put at once into a frame until May, at which time of the year they may be planted out in well-manured soil, where they will grow vigorously and blossom in the course of the summer.
Cuttings from soft shoots had once a good reason for being made use of for rapidly increasing the stock of any new Rose, but they have now been almost abandoned, since budding on the Brier stock is quicker and gives a much greater number of plants.
Cuttings from Ripened Wood.—Of all the different ways recommended for multiplying Roses, the best is that of employing shoots of ripened wood furnished with leaves. These cuttings are easy to strike in the open air as soon as the Roses have finished blooming, that is to say, from June to November; this allows of several sets of cuttings being made from the same plant. At the end of June the temperature outdoors is such as to make it possible to do without either hotbed or greenhouse.
Some people only begin to make cuttings of Roses in September, which is in fact one of the best times of the year, and that in which cuttings may be made by the least skilful workmen. But by taking certain precautions, and by knowing how to choose the right shoots to strike, one gains by beginning to make cuttings in June. Besides, we can work for a longer time in increasing several varieties of Tea Roses, and, above all, the old 'Souvenir de la Malmaison,' which is always in great demand.
Choice of Cuttings.—Those branches are good for cuttings in which the flower-bud is ready to open this state may last for a longer or shorter time, and its duration varies with the fertility of the soil and its moisture, and also with the variety of Rose. As long as the eyes near the flower have not begun to start into growth, the branch which bears the flower is fit for a cutting. But when these eyes sprout to make other branches, it is with few exceptions a fairly certain sign that the branch is no longer any good for a cutting; it is better then to leave such subsidiary shoots to develop, and wait until they are themselves fit to strike.
Method of Operating.—Mons. Charles Grosdemange, in an article entitled "Culture of the Rose on its own Roots," has summed up in a very clear way the different operations in making cuttings. It is one of the best articles on this subject amongst the many that have been written. I shall reproduce it here, with notes where I do not entirely agree with the author:—
|1 The nature of the soil is of small importance as regards the throwing out of roots. The best compost to employ is that which just holds the cuttings firm and allows the water to drain through. Pure sand containing a small amount of clay is to be recommended. Leaf mould and hotbed soil are of very doubtful utility.—V-M.
2 My idea of the best striking bed is a border running from east to west, shaded by a wall which keeps the sun off the bell-glasses.—V-M.
3 1 make cuttings from the time when the blooming is over, so long as the frost has not hurt the leaves of the Rose bushes—V-M.
4 The reasoning of the author is very correct; but we have been forced to strike from all kinds of wood, and to sometimes try with wood that appeared too thick or too slender. When one wishes to get many cuttings and has but few plants one does not hesitate to try doubtful cuttings.—V-M.
5 This is true only as regards Hybrid Perpetuals.—V-M.
Soil and Position.—The soil used in striking Roses should be of a siliceous nature, and is made up of two-thirds fine river-sand with a little earth in it, one-third Fontainebleau leaf mould mixed with its own bulk of well-rotted manure from an old hotbed.1
The position of my striking-bed is between rows of Biota orientalis, 21/2 metres high and 2 metres apart. Thanks to this width, I can make the bed 1 metre wide and furnish it with three rows of bell-glasses, having a clearance of .05 of a metre each way. A 1-metre pathway is left on either side, and allows me easily to get at the bell-glasses, and shade or give them air when necessary.2
When the time arrives for making cuttings I prepare the bed in the following manner:—I make an even trench, 20 centimetres deep, edging its borders with deal planks 4 metres long and 20 centimetres wide, which are kept in place by means of small pegs. To the space thus prepared I take the sand and earth and the leaf mould and mix them up as thoroughly as possible; the bed is then made quite level with a rake, and the three rows of bell-glasses placed in a straight line by means of a cord.
Time for making Cuttings.—I only mean to describe here the striking of cuttings under bell-glasses in the open air, and for this one may say, generally speaking, that the best time is from about September 15 to the end of October, or even during the first fortnight in November.3
Choice of Shoots.—The choice of shoots is of the first importance, and may be summed up as follows:—All the shoots of a Rose are not equally fitted for making cuttings of: they should not be too thick or too slender4; it is to those of a medium thickness between the two extremes that preference should be given, as the more likely to take root. It should be noticed also that the cutting with a heel is more likely to root than one without; the more so, as there always exist at the base a certain number of latent eyes which will afterwards develop into vigorous shoots.5
Making the Cutting.—I give the preference then to cuttings with heels, and I cut them with four eyes, their-length depending on the distance apart of the eyes on the shoot, which varies a good deal in different varieties. The two lower eyes should be under the ground, the other two above are guarded to a certain extent by their leaves it is sufficient to leave one pair of leaflets. Sometimes it happens that on account of extreme dryness the Rose bushes have lost most of their leaves, in which case cuttings made without leaves, but of the same length, will strike just as well.
Planting.—The cuttings are made separately according to their varieties, and distinctly labelled. Before planting them it is necessary to tread the soil well, that is to say, stamp it down sufficiently to make it adhere firmly to the base of the cuttings, and then to level it quite smooth so as to exactly fit the base of the bell-glasses. When this is done the planting of the cuttings is proceeded with. They are put in with a dibber about the size of one's finger. They are placed in lines about 2 to 3 centimetres deep, and from two to three apart. It is important that the earth be firmly pressed round the base of each cutting. The planting of the cuttings should at once be followed by a plentiful watering, since the success of the whole thing depends upon this. The bell-glasses are then put on and kept constantly closed to keep the cuttings close, that is to say, to keep them as much as possible from the air, and to keep their wood from shrivelling up and getting dry through evaporation, for every cutting whose bark shrivels may be considered as lost.
Later Treatment.—At the end of September the sun is sufficiently strong to make complete shading of the bell-glasses necessary. At this time of year, that is, for the first hatch of cuttings, one shades for a fortnight with matting; afterwards with hurdles, as long as shade is required, which is to about the end of October. Look at the cuttings from time to time, and see that damping-off and mildew are not damaging any of them; remove any fallen leaves and any weeds that may have come up in the soil.
When the cold begins to get more severe, about the end of November or beginning of December, it is wise to cover the bell-glasses with dry litter, only leaving just the tops of them uncovered; and these should be covered at night with mats. In the winter, whenever it thaws, give them as much light as possible. Towards the second half of February, when the temperature becomes milder, entirely remove the straw from round the bell-glasses, go over the cuttings afresh, and give them air whenever the sun shines. In the latter fortnight of March the cuttings have rooted and begin to push their buds; at this time the glasses may be entirely removed in the daytime and replaced at night if necessary. This is the manner of striking Roses, plainly stated. It only remains for me to say how I treat the cuttings after they have been struck.
Intermediate Stage.—In the first fortnight in April, instead of taking up the cuttings and replanting them immediately in the open, I make them undergo an intermediate stage by potting them in pots of 7 centimetres diameter and putting them into a close frame for from fifteen to eighteen days. This treatment, which at first sight may appear to he of little use, is nevertheless of more value than might be supposed, for it enables us to obtain stock sufficiently vigorous and strong to send out the first year. In the beginning of April, then, the cuttings are put into pots of 7 centimetres according to their different varieties. The soil used for this potting is of the same kind as that employed for the striking bed, but of a slightly heavier description. The pots are put close together in a cool frame, which is kept shut for about five or six days, at the end of which time the emission of roots will not have failed to have started again in the pots; you can begin to give them more and more air until the end of April, when the frames may be removed altogether.
Winter Cuttings with Leaves.—I have found it necessary on many occasions to make cuttings of 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' in the winter (always before the frost had touched the leaves) and in the open air, under bell-glasses against a north wall, and always with great success. The roots take a long time to form (about three or four months), but do so regularly, and what is very interesting about it is, that cuttings without heels take well, and that from some of the very strong shoots four, five, or even six cuttings may be made. When it is not too cold, the bellglasses are not covered; on the other hand, if it is very cold they are covered with leaves and litter, only leaving their tops uncovered, unless the temperature should fall very low (12 to 15 degrees below zero centigrade), when they should be completely covered up. As to the other operations which follow the taking of the cuttings, they are the same as those described by M. Grosdemange. It would be impossible to put it better or to describe more clearly the method of making autumn cuttings. In certain cases, where the cuttings are fairly sure of taking, one can save the labour of repotting by striking them at once in pots.
An excellent plan I have adopted with a view of still further simplifying the number of operations is the following:—In the open garden we make a border running from east to west. It is lightly raked over, drawing part of the earth to about the depth of five centimetres on to the path. On this part, hollowed out in the border, we place the sand in which to plant the cuttings, and cover them with little deal frames about twenty centimetres high and fifty centimetres long by thirty wide. The cuttings are planted inside these frames, which are then covered with a sheet of glass. It is necessary, remember, to shade the cuttings thus made, either (if you have plenty of labour) with garden matting, which is put on every morning and removed every evening, or, what is better, by constructing a permanent shade out of some light hurdles, or by growing Scarlet Runners or Convolvulus on branches. The economy of this method consists in the doing away with the repotting. When the cuttings are rooted the sheets of glass and the little frames are removed, and afterwards the shading, and the Roses are allowed to grow in the open. This method creates plants which can be simply dug up as soon as the roots are sufficiently developed.
|* In French boutures marcottes, literally "cutting layers," but it seems better to invent a descriptive English compound word.—W. W., Translator.|
Side-split Cuttings.*—This cutting is made in the ordinary manner with leaves on; then a longitudinal slit is made in the bark, from about three millimetres from the end, and of about three centimetres in length, from the bottom upwards. (Fig. 147.) This cut lifts up a strip of bark and wood two or three millimetres thick, which only remains attached to the cutting by its upper end, In a word, supposing you make an ordinary "layer," with a cut in it, and instead of leaving it still joined to the plant you treat it as an ordinary cutting, you will have an idea of the system. I use this method for small shrubs and other plants that are difficult to strike, and it succeeds admirably with Roses.
Those who are in the habit of layering many plants know that the roots form more rapidly on that part which is almost severed from the main stem, and to which it remains attached by its upper end only. Well, in the side-split-cutting (bouture marcotte), the result is the same: the roots always appear more quickly, and in greater number, on that part of the wood that has been partly severed, than on the base. Cuttings obtained in this manner are also stronger than those made in the ordinary way, because the callus (often very hard) which forms on the latter before the roots appear checks the circulation of the sap.
FIG. 147.—SIDE-SPLIT CUTTING READY FOR PLANTING.
Notched Cuttings.—Varieties that are difficult to increase may be prepared for cuttings by partially breaking them, or by cutting notches in them, as pointed out by Monsieur C. Potrat in the following passage:—
In the end of May and on into June the branches of those varieties you want to increase are pinched, which causes the pinched branches, in a marked manner, to throw out a number of secondary shoots, which are notched just at the bottom of the shoot: this cut tries to heal itself, and to shut itself up by forming a mass of cambium, which, when the branch is entirely detached, acts on the cut as the beginning of a callus and greatly helps to assist it in striking. Cuttings formed of branches thus treated give wonderful results, sometimes as much as 50 to 90 per cent. of plants for the callus thus set going continues at once to increase as soon as the cutting is placed in the ground.
Cuttings planted upside down.—I must not venture to speak too ill of odd ways of increasing plants, as I have myself invented at least two, which I will make known later on. Their object is to avoid mildew, like the one which I now quote, introduced by Monsieur O. Potrat, who published it in the Semaine Horticole:—
|* French onglet.|
You can work from the first fortnight in July until about September 10. The cuttings are detached either with or without heels, but instead of cutting them off immediately above the third eye, particular care is taken to preserve all the internode above it by not cutting till after the fourth eye. The part left is called the "claw."*
The cuttings thus prepared are planted under bell-glasses, in preference to frames, which in this case are not very suitable. A shaded plot of ground is chosen facing the north, and the bell-glasses are shaded in the daytime with matting. The soil ought, if possible, to be rather light. Generally one makes it oneself by using equal parts of river-sand and leaf mould mixed with old hotbed soil in about equal quantities, and the whole is covered with about 5 to 7 centimetres of pure washed river-sand. The position being chosen and the soil prepared, it only remains to mark out the places for the glasses and to dibble in the cuttings. This work should be done in exactly the reverse way to the natural law of planting. For the cuttings are inserted head downwards. In fact the cuttings are put into the ground upside down, so that the internode or "claw" preserved may be entirely under the soil, with the third eye of the cutting level with the ground.
When the circle made by the base of the glass is full of cuttings, they are lightly watered, and the glasses put on, and that is all for the present. Nevertheless, mark well, it requires a second operation to secure success.
A priori, you might think that the callus and roots must be formed and sent out at the end buried in the earth, but it is nothing of the kind.
If you follow step by step the progress of propagation, you will see that little by little the extremities of the cuttings, which are then in the air under the bell-glass form a whitish ring, as if of mucilage, between the bark and the wood. This is the "cambium," otherwise called the reproductive zone, which performs its duty and spreads little by little over the whole surface of the cut to form the callus. This formation takes place in the twelve or fifteen days after planting. It is then that the second operation must be performed, which consists in removing the bell-glasses and examining the cuttings. To do this the cuttings are pulled up one by one, and all the "claws" which have been planted in the earth are removed with sécateurs as far as the third eye. All those which have formed a good callus or offer a chance of success are put on one side, whilst the others, as well as the removed "claws," are thrown away. It only remains now to gently. free the upper part from soil, and to replant the cuttings under the same glasses, but this time right side upwards, with the callus in the ground.
Cuttings laid upon the Soil.—These cuttings may be classed with those planted upside down, but they are at once planted in the ordinary way as soon as they have formed a callus, the first sign of the appearance of the rootlets. I owe the discovery of this method to chance. Not having had time to plant all the cuttings that I had made one Saturday evening, I put them anyhow under several bell-glasses, where they remained until Monday morning. Finding them to be in very good condition, I tried the experiment with fifty of them for a longer time, and they remained for more than three weeks under the bell-glasses without being planted; they all formed a callus, and I then at once planted them the right way up, with the exception of five, which were not removed from their horizontal position under the bell-glass, and these formed roots like the others. It is only fair to state that these leafed cuttings were syringed as if they had been planted in the ordinary way. Monsieur Mortinier Scholz described in the illustrated Garten Zeitung a way of increasing Roses on their own roots, which consists in laying the branches on the ground during the winter and covering them over with leaves. In the spring, in April, some of the branches will have rooted; and it is only necessary to cut them through to get Roses on their own roots. This method has been proved a success by Monsieur L. von Nagy. It comes under the category of layering.
Cuttings of the Flowering-tips.—Monsieur Henri Flémal invented a method which he declares to be excellent, as he has practised it for fifteen years. It is in every way a method which deserves to be mentioned here:—
The time having arrived for propagating the queen of flowers, I think that Rose-lovers will be glad that I should describe to them the method I have practised for fifteen years. All the books I have read on striking Roses assume the use of bellglasses, frames, &c. My method is far more simple, and its success is always complete. It is as follows: I make the cuttings from the lower part of the stem of the Rose, leaving them of a length containing three or four eyes; I cut them horizontally about five millimetres under an eye. 1 remove the leaf from this eye, but leave the petiole. I make two longitudinal incisions, a centimetre long, in the bark on either side of the eye. I out off half of the other leaves. I cut off the top of the cuttings obliquely, one centimetre above the top eye, and then put them in water, where they ought to remain for three or four days.
The plot in which the cuttings are to be planted should not be clayey, nor too sandy; it should be well rammed before planting, and situated where it gets most sun. Before planting the cuttings, which should be inserted into the ground about a centimetre, the border should be well watered. When the cuttings are put in place they should be watered again. During the eight or ten days following the planting it is necessary to keep the earth very moist, by watering it as often as necessary, until the callus is formed, from which the roots will soon break forth. It naturally follows that the watering is continued as necessary, and according to the growth of the plants. It is also well to give them a little liquid manure. I was brought to strike Roses in this way by pure chance. A Rose, 'Perle des Jardins,' remaining several days in a vase, formed a slight callus. This circumstance was a guide to me, and from that time I have put all my Rose cuttings into a basin of water in a greenhouse. In order to warn everyone, I think it as well to say that, generally, my cuttings are from plants cultivated under glass. I think it also useful to state that 'Maréchal Niel' strikes very readily, but that it is better to bud it upon a Brier stock.
Cuttings of Eyes.—I learnt the following method from the Gardeners' Magazine, and have proved that it often gives good results. It is little used; but it may nevertheless be of service in particular cases
In some shallow earthen pots place on a drainage of broken crocks a mixture of leaf mould and white sand, and on this compost spread a layer of pure sand two centimetres thick. Select some branches furnished with eyes, as if you were going to bud; and in the same way cut out well-formed eyes as if for budding, but do not remove the wood, and leave the leaf intact. Then plant your buds so that the eye is above ground, but the bark entirely covered; when the pan is quite full, with the leaves upwards and touching each other, lightly water them on the top and cover the whole with a bell-glass. Eyes treated in this manner root easily. As soon as the callus begins to send out small white roots, proceed to repot them singly, or if you like you can pot them as soon as the callus is well marked and firm. The young plants should not be disturbed as long as the sides of their small pots are not' covered with roots. Winter them in a frame if the season is advanced, or plant them out in a border with a good position, where the little plants may be easily protected during severe cold.
This method of propagation is much to be recommended; it is not costly, and is one of the quickest.
Cuttings of Shiraz and Kasanlik Roses.—Monsieur J. F. Grossen at Simferopol in the Crimea has explained the method used in the East for propagating the Roses of Shiraz and Kasanlik, which are largely cultivated for the attar of Roses. The following is the way in which our Eastern friends proceed:—
The propagation of Roses in the East is very simple. In the autumn, after having worked the soil to a depth of 50 centimetres, small trenches are made 10 centimetres deep, and 1 metre apart; in these are laid Rose branches 40 to 50 centimetres long, which are entirely covered with earth. In the spring each eye or bud develops, and at the end of three or four years each line forms a hedge. During the summer they only require a small amount of attention in removing weeds; the Roses have no need whatever of pruning.
Cuttings in full Sunshine.—The following method is, in my opinion, of very little practical value, for such frequent waterings are necessary that it requires a workman to be always at work, and unless one has thousands of cuttings the game is not worth the candle:—
Cuttings prepared in the usual manner are made about August 15 in frames in the full sunshine. The frames are kept quite closely shut. Do not give them any air, and above all do not shade them, but water frequently, and more or less according to the strength of the sun heat. On hot and clear days the waterings should be repeated about every quarter of an hour or so. You may work without heat, but it is better to make a slight hotbed, about thirty centimetres deep, either of leaves or rotting manure. On top of this bed should be spread, for good drainage, fagots or, better still, rubble or leaf mould. The whole being evenly pressed down, so as only to leave a space of .25 metre under the glass, the soil prepared for the cutting is laid on to the thickness of .10 metre, and is composed of two-thirds fine river-sand and one-third leaf mould mixed with earth. The soil is trodden down and levelled, and then covered with .05 metre of washed river-sand, in which the cuttings are planted.
Striking from Roots of Roses.—We know that the roots of certain kinds of trees and shrubs are capable of producing shoots which can be used for purposes of propagation the Elm, Acacia, Ailantus, for instance. Sometimes Roses can be increased in the same way. I have obtained from the roots of old stocks of the Bourbon section very good cuttings by working in the following manner:—Choose stocks of three, four, or five years old (it must, of course, be understood that they must be on own-root stocks), and in the month of October cut them down level with the ground. From all the suitable wood you can make cuttings under bell-glasses in a north aspect. In the spring, about the first fortnight in March, carefully dig up the stumps of the cut-down Roses and cut their roots into lengths of five centimetres. Do not make use of any roots of less than four millimetres in diameter. When this operation is finished prepare against a north wall a frame into which put a bed about ten centimetres thick of fine river-sand: this bed should rest upon soil presiously dug and well manured. Spread the lengths of root on the sand-bed, taking care to mingle the large with the small. When the roots are arranged they are covered with another layer of sand about four centimetres thick and watered freely for the first time; then a light is placed on the frame, so that heavy rains may not flood the roots thus prepared. About the first fortnight in May, as soon as young shoots appear, the lights may be taken off. New shoots will continue to develop until about the first fortnight in July. From 100 pieces of root I one year obtained sixty-five well-rooted plants, 50 centimetres high, and another year 70 per cent. grew. The object of mingling the pieces of root of different size is that, as all do not grow equally well, those making the most growth may not be unduly crowded. This method is a good one whenever, having old stock plants, you wish to renew them, in which case you cannot do better than treat the roots as I have described.
Autumn and Winter Cuttings without Leaves.—Many Roses (notably Teas, Bourbons, Noisettes, and almost all Indian Roses, and such of their descendants as have retained their physiological characters) do not strike well from cuttings without leaves; but this is not. the ease with Hybrid Perpetuals, which are now so numerous in gardens. They can be struck successfully from September to March. The following is the way to set o work:—Good, well-ripened shoots of one year's growth are chosen and cut into lengths of about 15 centimetres, taking care not to use the tips of the shoots, which are usually too soft. The cut should be close under an eye. A border with a good aspect is prepared of earth well mixed with sand if the soil is too heavy, and the cuttings are placed ten centimetres apart, taking care only to leave two eyes of them above ground. The soil should be heaped up sufficiently to firmly hold the buried part. When it gets very cold the border should be covered with litter or dry leaves, which should be carefully removed when the temperature becomes more moderate. One year after striking, Roses thus treated are ready to be planted out. In clayey soils, instead of mixing sand with the earth of the border, small trenches are made with a trowel, about fifteen centimetres deep, and these are filled with sand.
Another excellent way of striking H.P.'s consists in making the cuttings in winter and keeping them in a cellar until February or March, when all that have formed a callus are potted (three in a pot of six centimetres diameter) and put in frames in a hotbed, giving them a temperature of 12 to 15 degrees centigrade. They generally root very well, and in April are planted out in a well-manured soil, where they grow vigorously.
By the first method I have obtained magnificent plants without having been obliged to transplant them.
Cuttings on a Hotbed.—Instead of working with a cold frame or in the open air, particularly in September and October, certain varieties strike much quicker, and sometimes much better, if one takes the trouble to plant them in a hotbed giving a bottom heat of 15 to 25 degrees centigrade. There is, moreover, no further trouble to take with them than when in a cold frame. For wintering they should be placed in pots with soil similar to that in which they will afterwards grow.
The Editor of the Revue de l'Horticulture Belge remarks that hotbeds made of manure give bad results from the emanations of the bed blackening the leaves of the cuttings. To avoid this defect he advises the following
Instead of making the bed of manure I have used turves and grass, not too fresh cut, but mown about twenty-four hours and slightly dried. This bed gave a very strong bottom heat for a fortnight. The experiment was made in a two-light frame, filled exclusively with cuttings of 'La France.' The cuttings were made in August, as usual, of lengths bearing three leaves each, and preferably with heels. The bed was covered with two layers of earth, composed of lumps of rough peat laid upon crocks, and then a bed of .06 metre of old soil mixed with coarse sand. In this compost the cuttings were planted, then sprinkled with water, the lights put on, and shaded with Russian matting. The shading remained until the cuttings were rooted; they were watered four times a day, air being given sparingly as long as the bed was in a state of active fermentation. Treated in this way for about three weeks, 90 per cent, of the cuttings when lifted from the bed were found to be furnished with a good tuft of roots. The others had a few roots, or simply a callus, but very few had blackened, as one knows so often happens with cuttings made in a bottom heat of dung. The method I have just described appears to be worthy of every consideration, since cuttings rooted in August or September can be planted out in the autumn, establish themselves in the winter, and make fine bushes in the following year.
The Bearing of Climate on the Question of Own-root versus Budded Roses.—We know that some varieties are as vigorous and floriferous from cuttings as they are when budded on Brier or other stock. It is at least so in some regions. To mention only one example, taken at Lyons (the country above all others for Roses) 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' grows very well on its own roots, and also equally well budded on the Brier. But if this be true of any particular variety cultivated in a particular climate, it often ceases to be the case when the same variety is transported into another country. For example, having written in the Lyon Horticole that certain Tea Roses on their own roots did not make strong plants at Lyons, I drew upon myself the following answer from a Roumanian lawyer, Monsieur EL J. Béjan:—
I have read in the Lyon Horticole that Tea Roses on their own roots are not ecommended because they do not grow strongly. I grow Roses largely, and can assure you that Teas from cuttings grow more quickly and are much stronger than when budded. There are very good reasons for this. The Brier is neither floriferous nor a perpetual bloomer, and only pats forth fresh shoots once a year; and to make it flower oftener it is necessary to induce it to shoot by inserting a bud of a better-bred race than itself, whilst, on the other hand, Tea Roses are by nature vigorous and floriferous.
Thus plants of 'Souvenir du Dr. Passot' have in my garden reached a height of one metre in two months, as also have other varieties of Teas, grown always from cuttings, and they are covered with flower-buds. I have been lucky enough to make the method of striking so perfect as to obtain 80 per cent. of plants from them for certain. The plan I have followed for three years has never failed: it gives regularly the same quantity. I use pots of three centimetres diameter, and for potting soil, leaf mould mixed with chopped-up sphagnum. The points to be aimed at are: a bottom heat of about 25° C., and to be kept quite close under glass; remove every day any signs of mouldiness or excess of damp, and at the end of twenty-five to thirty days all the cuttings will be rooted. I can guarantee this method as absolutely certain, and with it you can produce thousands of Teas in particular, but also of Polyanthas and Bengals.
With the object of rendering service to horticulture in general, I have thought it well to inform you of this my method of making cuttings. As you will see, I follow the ordinary plan, except as to the soil I use, and it gives astonishing results.
I wrote, in answer to Monsieur Béjan, that the climate and soil of Roumania, in which his Rose cuttings were planted, must be exceedingly favourable to their growth for them to attain so rapidly the sizes mentioned in his letter. In other countries things are not always so, and particularly in France. Tea Roses budded on the Brier or on Rosa indica major (this latter being generally used in the South) grow vigorously, whilst plants from cuttings remain weakly for several years, even in the most favourable soils. Indeed, some varieties never make good bushes unless they are budded. As for thinking that a bud on the Brier can be affected detrimentally as to the amount of its blossoming power by the stock it is on, this is an idea which experience contradicts. Tea Roses budded on Rosa canina flower almost throughout the whole year, from May to November. I fully recognise that the method pointed out by my correspondent is a very practical one. Except as regards the compost he uses—chopped-up sphagnum and leaf mould—I have struck Roses in the same manner with entire success. But I repeat—in France Tea Roses on their own roots do not make as good a growth as those which are budded on the root of the Brier or on R. indica major. It is well known that the different species of Roses do not all grow in a wild state in the same climates ; some inhabit the colder parts of Europe; others Southern Europe; others Asia, Africa, or America. Nature has assigned to each one of them certain well-defined regions where they flourish vigorously, each with its own particular characteristics. When they are suddenly transported to other skies, their growth becomes weakly, and it is often only with great attention, skill, and care that they can be made to thrive at all. It is certain that when an Indian Rose is united by budding to a Rosa canina stock, it will grow very well in lands where R. canina is indigenous, but very badly if taken to India or similar climates, such as the South of Europe. In this country it was long ago noticed that this union between Briers and Tea Roses was not a happy one, so another stock was substituted for it, well known under the name of Rosa indica major.
For making cuttings of Roses like considerations must guide the cultivator. A Rose on its own roots which grows as well as if it had been budded is better than a budded one; but if it continues weakly, it is not so good, and cannot be recommended. It sometimes happens that a Rose from a cutting grows a little less vigorously than one of the same variety that has been budded, but flowers oftener. In this case one is free to choose which of the two is the more satisfactory. But it is only reasonable that in every country and district Rose-growers should satisfy themselves more or less of the fitness of the best varieties of Roses to grow well and to flower abundantly when on their own roots.