Friday, June 24, 2011

Rose Propagation Burritos ... An Update

Two weeks ago, I experimented with a new propagation method for rooting my roses.  I wrapped some of my prepared rose cuttings in damp newspaper, instead of immediately putting them into little pots in the greenhouse under mist like I usually do.  (If you missed the post about how to do this, click HERE.)

Less than a week after I put the baggies full of 'burritos' into the basement, I began to get nervous.  What if this didn't work?  I would have wasted the best cuttings of the season, and I would be scrambling again (like I was last year) to root enough roses to have a decent crop to sell next year. 

I admit it ... I caved.  Last weekend, I sat in the pavilion with my little pots and I planted all of the cuttings and took them to the greenhouse.  At least I THOUGHT I had planted all of the cuttings.  It turns out that I forgot one packet.  This packet was too long to fit into a gallon bag with the others, so I wrapped it in plastic wrap and set it aside ... and promptly forgot it.  I found it this morning, and I was SUPER EXCITED to see what had happened inside the burrito during the past two weeks.  The results are STUPENDOUS!!

The white, powdery stuff is rooting hormone.

There were 14 cuttings in the packet, 11 of them are shown above, and ALL 14 of them looked wonderful!

Every single one of them showed healthy callousing (the white, overgrown looking stuff that you can see very clearly in the photo above).

With callousing like this, real roots cannot be too far behind!

What rose is this, you ask?

It is 'Pink Pillar', a climber that was introduced in 1940.  It was hybridized by Robert Brownell, who was a very imaginative amateur rosarian who worked in Rhode Island and introduced WONDERFUL roses. 

I love Pink Pillar because of its sunset colors, its semi-double form, and the fact that no two flowers are ever truly identical.

I grow Pink Pillar, along with some other Brownell roses, on the pillars of The Arcade.  It is super easy to spiral the canes of a climber like this around a post to create a great feature in your garden ... and it is an imaginative way to use a mannerly climber.  (I have a photo of the Arcade in THIS post from last year.)

This was Pink Pillar last spring ... it's bigger now.

Anyway .... let's get back to the original subject of this post.

Now that the Burrito Method has shown such promise, you can be assured that I will try this on just about every rose in the garden.

I'm so excited, I can hardly contain myself!!

Edited to add:  To date, I have had no success at all with this method of propagation.  The promising callusing that happens while the cuttings are in the newspaper has not resulted in roots.  I am quite disappointed by this, and I am returning to my tried-and-true methods to root my roses. 

If you are looking for a method of propagation that has yielded good success, Click HERE to visit my web site, and click on the How To tab.


  1. I am so happy that worked out for you. I am so in love with your Roses! This one is a beauty for sure.

  2. Woohoo, very cool! I wonder if this will work for other types of cuttings?

    Kat :)

  3. Glad the cutting method is working...I have five burrito's in my basement and I'm trying to resist the urge to open Tuesday is 2 weeks.

    Pink Pillar looks like a winner! Will she be for sale next year?

  4. What a fascinating post. I like planting roses, but I haven't tried propagation. YOu might have inspired me.

  5. I have had cuttings of my lilac bushes in a burrito-packet for a week now. We'll see next week if anything has happened in there.

    Professor, most everything that roots THIS year will be available for sale NEXT year. I'm excited to see how many Pink Pillars I get from these 14 cuttings.

    Rose propagation isn't hard, but there's no sure-fire way to do it either. If you haven't tried the method I show on my nursery web site, it might be cool to combine two-week-old burrito cuttings with my milk jug/soda bottle containers. I think I'll have to give that a try, too.

  6. You have me excited to try this now! If only I had a rose that I really wanted to propagate. I think I need to add another climber somewhere... I may need to talk to you about that sometime this summer.

  7. I can't wait to get settled in my old family cottage house this winter, so maybe I will be able to buy roses from you next spring. Must. Have. Patience. :) Your roses look amazing & I can't wait to try and match some heirloom roses for my garden!

  8. How exciting! I'm so glad you updated us - I may give the burrito method a try.

  9. I'm giggling at the fact you couldn't stand it and had to do what you knew to be "tried and true".

    It may be hard to teach old dogs, new tricks, but when you do... the tail wagging is SO worth it! LOL! (not that you are old, or a dog)

  10. I will have to learn how to do this. From the picture, I would have thought they were "bad" and thrown them out. I have a LOT to discover about roses!! ♥♫

  11. Can you believe it? Isn't it wonderful when something like this happens and is so unexpected?! How wonderful!! xo Diana

  12. Excellent news, Connie. I need to get some new rooting hormone. I think I'll try this method on SdlM. She's been difficult to root.

  13. Hey lady! Just stumbled upon your "burrito" post as I have been absent from the blogging scene lately. I am so intrigued! I think I'll cut a bunch today and see what happens! So question, when they hit the callous stage what is next? Potting up? or continuing to be a burrito until visible roots form? I have a basement that would work so well for this. Thanks for any info!

  14. That burrito method looks really interesting. Congrats on your success!

  15. Just wanted to let you know Donna showed me this post and I just had to try it. I took a few clippings and tried it out. I know have 3 new babies with new foliage growing. Thanks for the information I am about to do 6 new dawn clippings that I snagged from the bushes at work. :)


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