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Roses by a Novice

by Mireille Bourgeois

My brother the landscaper was cleaning up a client’s property and had to clean up a white rose-bush. In a plastic bag, he brought a few random roots of various sizes, and some branches. I took his word that these were from a rose-bush, but honestly, it looked like a bunch of dead twigs. This was in April. When he brought the loot over, I was working long hours and just couldn’t get a minute to plant. He said we could just burry them for a few days until we found a good spot. I had some empty planters with good soil, so I took his word for it again and just buried them up!

A week later, I dug a big hole behind a lovely natural stone in out backyard and then careful dug out the roots and branches. They were very prickly: wear gloves! We buried the root systems completely, and then stuck the branches mostly in the ground, with the tips poking out.

Some tips:

  • The branches and roots are full of tiny thorns but could potentially break or bend. Try to be careful when burying them.
  • Get yourself some good quality, rich garden-soil to make sure they have a decent chance to “rise up”!
  • When topping them up with soil, think about how they will grow. It’s nearly impossible to bury them in a perfect symmetrical way, however, be mindful of spreading out the “tips” in a circular shape. That being said, we almost covered them completely horizontally. New growth will develop underground and from many parts of the root or branch. (not just the tip!)
  • You will have to water the root system for a few weeks in between rainy period. I use compost tea whenever I’ve got it made to enriched the root system even more.

It took a long time, like a couple of months before we saw anything happen. I was worried about whether or not the dead looking  branches would actually amount to anything. My boyfriend likes pruning our trees, I had to slap his hand away multiple times when he wanted to clip off the “dead” branches.

Low and behold weeks later still a few little leaves started to sprout and now in July, many sucklings have even grown from the root system below! I didn’t realize just how well it was doing until I weeded the whole area and realized that most of the greenery was the rose-bush! We even found a little bud!

I will continue to water, compost tea the area, and hope that by next year, we can start coaxing the branches into a nice shape, and many more blooms will appear.

PS: I WAS going to take a picture of the rose in full bloom (it turns out the rose-bush is of the pink variety, and with multiple petals, don’t know the official name though.), but we had the craziest thunderstorm today and it was washed away completely. booh!



3 thoughts on “Roses by a Novice

  1. exciting! I just discovered roses sprouting in my front yard after the whole front yard was dug out to repair the main water pipe a year ago. such a nice surprise to find that prickly little delicate branch reaching out.

    Posted by jen | July 2, 2012, 8:36 pm
  2. How exciting to begin to cultivate this rose. Some are easier than others. Looks like you have a winner!

    Posted by RedneckRosarian | July 4, 2012, 7:24 pm

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July 2012
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