The roses on my propagation table are developing roots (finally!), and it's time to pot many of them into larger pots.
All of these cuttings were planted during the latter part of October. Almost all of my summer cuttings, planted at the usual time in June and early July, turned brown and died. Without rooted cuttings, there are no roses for sale next year.
Etoile de Mai
Summer last year was hot and catastrophically dry. This made for miserable conditions for the roses in my garden (where the cuttings come from) and the cuttings taken at this time didn't stand a chance of producing roots.
Even roses that root readily and reliably for me at other times (Mutabilis and Alberic Barbier come to mind) failed to root. I estimate that I lost at least 2000 cuttings last summer. What an inventory this would have been!
In October, as the weather cooled and we received some blessed rain, and the fall flush of bloom waned, I took cuttings from every rose I could ... hoping to salvage some sort of success for next year.
As you can see from the healthy roots on the cuttings in all of these photos, things aren't as dire as I feared they might be. I am seeing roots on a much higher percentage of my cuttings, and I am cautiously optimistic about next year. I may not have as many roses available as I wanted to, but the ones I will have should be really nice ones.
If you're in the neighborhood, and you want to escape from the cold and hang out with me in the greenhouse, wear grubby clothes because I'll put you to work.