An Encyclopedia of Gardening Comprising the Theory and Practise of ... Book II, part iii, p. 891 (1824)
John Claudius Loudon

Propagating Roses

6547. Propagation. By seed for new varieties, and chiefly by layers for continuing approved sorts, They are also multiplied by budding, cuttings, and suckers.

6548. By seed. Ripe hips containing the seeds are obtained from semi-double and single flowers, and to increase the chance of new varieties, these should be taken from plants that have been planted among, or near to the sorts of which a cross is desired. We are not aware that Knight's mode of extracting the stamina from the one parent, and dusting the stigma with the anthers of the other, has been applied to the rose, but there can be no doubt it might be done in many instances. In France and Italy, the usual mode is to form a plantation of double and semi-double sorts mixed indiscriminately, and take the result of promiscuous impregnation. Guillemeau has given lists of such as are adopted for this purpose: and Villaresi raised most of his beautiful varieties of the Rosa indica, by planting them among as many varieties of the European roses as he could procure. Austin, nurseryman at Glasgow, and Lee of Hammersmith, mix all the sorts of Scotch roses together in the same plantation. The other mode may be compared to cross-breeding at random; and this to random-in and in-breeding.

6549. Process. Few of the hips are ripe before October, but most sorts that come to maturity in this country, will be fit to gather by November. The seeds of the rose require to be one year in the soil before they vegetate; they may either be immediately rubbed or washed out, and preserved among sand or cinder-dust: or the hips entire may be so preserved a full year, when the husks will be perfectly rotten, and the seed being separated and sown in February, will come up in the May or June following; The best place to lay up the hips is the floor of a cellar, such as that used for storing roots; but in whatever way they are preserved, care must be taken that they are not laid together in such masses as to produce fermentation; and that the heap be turned over frequently in course of the twelve months, to promote decay. The seeds should be sown in a soft moist soil, such as that composed of equal parts of sand and vegetable mould, in a shady situation; it may be covered from a fourth to half an inch, according to the size of the seeds, and the surface should be kept moist by watering in the evenings, till the plants have come up and attained a few inches in height. Early in the second spring, they may be transplanted in rows a foot apart every way, and a year afterwards again transplanted to a distance more or less, according to the sorts. Here they are to remain till they flower, which varies in different sorts, from the third to the fifth year, but most commonly they flower the fourth summer.

6550. By layers. The common mode is to lay down the young shoots of the preceding summer late in autumn, or early in the succeeding spring, and then, with the exception of the moss-rose, and one or two others, they form rooted plants by the next autumn. But it is now found, that if the same shoots are laid down when the plant is beginning to flower in July, they will, with a few exceptions, produce roots and be fit to remove the same autumn, by which a whole year is gained. Such sorts as do not root in one year must be left on the stools till the second autumn; but layers made when the shoots are in a growing state, and furnished with healthy leaves, root much more freely than shoots of ripe wood. After the plants are removed from the stools, they are planted in nursery rows, and in a year, the blossom-buds having been carefully pinched off from the first laying down, they will be fit for removal to their final destination. The stools are then to be pruned, and the soil stirred and enriched on the general principles already laid down. (2004.)

6551. By suckers and dividing the roots. Many of the commoner sorts admit of being rapidly multiplied in this way; and the plants obtained may be planted in their final destination at once.

6552. By cuttings. Most of the sorts might, no doubt, be propagated from cuttings of the young wood; cut at a joint where it is beginning to ripen, and planted in sand and vegetable mould under a hand-glass. But this mode is only adopted with such sorts as strike easily, as the R. indica, and other eastern species.

6553. By budding. This mode of propagating roses is adopted chiefly with the rare sorts, and such as are difficult to propagate by layers; for it is found, that plants so originated, even though on stocks of the hardier sorts, are less durable than such as are raised by any of the other modes. But the chief use of budding in the culture of the rose is to produce standard roses, or to produce several sorts from the same stock. Standard roses are a modern invention, it is generally supposed of the Dutch, first carried to Paris, and about twenty years ago to England. They are highly artificial objects, of great beauty, and form magnificent ornaments to parterres and borders. The stocks are either of the tree-rose (R. villosa, W.), or of any sorts of woody wild roses, as R. scabriuscula, heterophylla, or surculosa, Sm. They are budded at different heights from three to seven feet, but commonly between five and six feet from the ground. A stock in the Paris garden, which carries several sorts, as a naked stem of nearly fifteen feet, and there are others at Malmaison and the Grand Trianon, of equal height. These stocks are, both in France and England, procured from woods and copses, and after being planted in nursery lines, are often budded the same summer, sometimes in spring by the scalope mode of budding (2059), l'oeil poussant of the French; and never later than the succeeding spring or summer by the common mode, l'oeil dormant, Fr. Generally two buds are inserted on opposite sides of the stock, but often three or four, or a dozen, in alternate positions on the upper six, or twelve inches of the stem. Every stock is supported by a rod, which should reach a foot or eighteen inches higher than the situation of the bud; to this rod the stock is tied, and afterwards the shoots from the buds, which are otherwise liable to be blown out by high winds. The Paris nurserymen being supplied with stronger stocks than can readily be procured in England, and having a better climate, and more experience in the culture of roses, excel us in this department of rose propagation, and their standards afford an article of commerce with other countries. Their common plants, raised by layers, are also in extensive demand, but in these we equal, if not surpass them. Fine collections of standard roses from Paris, may be seen in the Hammersmith nursery, in the Comte dc Vande’s garden at Bayswater, in the Duchess of Dorset’s at Knowle, and at various other places.