Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hangin' in the Greenhouse With the Roses

I realized earlier today that it's been weeks and weeks since I mentioned the word "roses" here ... this did start as a rose blog, and roses are still some of my favorite things EVER.  Since it's winter, and the roses in the garden are sound asleep, there's not much interesting stuff to write about with them.  The roses in the greenhouse, though, need attention from time to time, and today was a perfect day for that.  The sun is shining (finally!) and by lunchtime the greenhouse had warmed up to a very comfortable temperature.

The first thing on my list was to pot up some of my rooted cuttings.  This fall, with my mist system dismantled because of the greenhouse construction, I went old-school with propagation ... using the milk jug and soda bottle method that I learned years ago.  (This is still the best low-tech method I know to propagate roses.  For details, click HERE to go to the tutorial on my nursery web site.)

These cuttings of 'Dr. W. Van Fleet' have been in this container for three months. 

There were eight cuttings in this container ... all but one of them lived and grew roots!

Each of the live cuttings has a healthy little root system.  I carefully potted each cutting into its own 3x3x6-inch pot, put the pots into a tray, and put the tray onto one of the greenhouse benches in the sunshine.

Look at those roots!

After I finished the cuttings, the next item on my list was to whip my own little potted roses into shape.  Most of the space in the greenhouse this winter is dedicated to my OWN roses ... the ones that I have collected but haven't put into the garden yet.  Most of these roses are miniature roses in one-gallon pots, and I don't want to take the chance of losing any to winter cold and wind, so I brought as many as I could into the greenhouse for protection.

The warm temperatures in the greenhouse have been ideal for weed growth, and most of the pots have varying concentrations of an assortment of weeds on the top of the potting soil. 

I carefully tipped each rose out of its pot, holding it in my hand, which makes it easier to remove the weeds along with as many of the roots as I can.  Then, I return the rose to its pot, add some potting soil to the top if necessary, and move on to the next one.

I kept this up at a pretty good pace, and I did fifty pots.

I only have about 150 more pots left to do.  I'm tired now, so these can wait till our next sunny day.

Working in the greenhouse during the winter is a great way to spend time ...

it's almost like Florida in there!


  1. I'm super envious right now!!! I'm sure it was a great day to be in there or even outside. I had the pleasure of sitting behind my desk at work...sun is shining on my back right now...so I do have that! I still have roses in the garden with leaves, and one of the EuroRoses actually bloomed around Christmas, which startled me! It still has it's leaves, is on the south side of the house, close to the house. :) Donna

  2. you've finally gone back to your root!

  3. grouchy, darling, you are such a wit! You make me smile.

  4. Do you have the rose that survived Katrina?

    It is blooming now, loaded, in my mom's Galveston Bay garden.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  5. I am thankful I found your blog because I love roses and need to learn how to propagate them correctly. I will visit your site that explains how to do that. Yours look so healthy and strong! Blessings from Bama!

  6. It is like Florida! At least today in Florida. It was 81 today and I spent the day outside soaking up the outdoors! Such an unusual winter but I'm not complaining!

  7. You are just amazing...200 pots of roses! I'm pleased when my 8 regular sized roses make it through the winter. The miniatures seem just as hardy and most have come from the grocery store floral department.♥♫

  8. This post made me feel almost like I was in there with you. Enjoying the warmth and the work of love that you do with the Roses! hugs, Linda

  9. Oh, to sit out there with you and soak in the warmth and dig in the dirt.

  10. Gone Country said it well, it was 81 here today in North Central Florida and this gardener did the same thing, moved cuttings into pots from the mist house, except outside with a fan blowing! Sending everyone at Hartwood Roses the very best from all of us here!

  11. You could darn well work up a sweat in those temps!

  12. I'll be showing Mr. Secret Agent this tutorial!!

    janet xox

    PS...maybe then he will let me hang with you again!

  13. I do love your rose posts and I can't wait for the right time to move a few from your greenhouse to my house!

    Happy Gardening!

  14. Oh, I can imagine how nice it must feel to work in that heat in the middle of winter! I'm very impressed with your new babies! It really is amazing how fast they can grow.

  15. This may seem like a silly question, but what do you do with the pile of weedy soil you took off the top of your rose pots? Do you compost weeds? I want to try starting roses with your method using milk and pop bottles, but not sure at what time of year this should be done, or does it matter? I live in zone 5 where we prune in the spring. I appreciate you sharing your vast knowledge of roses with us. I always learn something from you.


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