"I have come across a rose that I believe is the Hybrid Perp, President Lincoln, Granger, 1863. It belongs to a 91 yr old lady, Mrs. Sharpley, here in Roanoke. She can trace it for certain to 1900 and the family history says they planted it, in Delaware, when Lincoln was president. It was then moved to Maryland, where the family had to keep quiet about the name because Lincoln was not popular. She herself has had the rose since 1940. She moved it to her current house in 1960. Two years ago it was nearly killed by "those folks who spray houses." She moved it and it is recovering but it is still small. The surviving [own root] trunk is appx 1.5 diameter. She says it was a big bush, "nearly tall as I am" (4'10") in its prime. On a scale of low-to-high 1-5, it is about a 2 in fragrance, maybe a 3, as it was cool and overcast this morning. Attached are photos. Do you want cuttings and if so, when should I take them? It is a truer red than my photos, matches perfectly the red photo on the hmf site (there are only two) and, as you can see, has fingernail clipping of white at the center). She would like cuttings for her grandchildren, tho at present there isn't that much from which to take cuttings."
That's a silly question ... of COURSE I want cuttings! Any rose with this kind of story is one that I will do my best to propagate and preserve.
A Fed Ex truck arrived here the next afternoon, delivering a document envelope which contained a small piece of Mrs. Sharpley's rose. That piece was adequate to yield two fairly decent cuttings, which gave me twice the probability of getting at least one of them to root.
I decided that I would have the best chance of success by using my favorite low-tech milk jug/soda bottle method of propagation ... placing the container in the cool north-facing window in my basement workshop. (Photo tutorial is HERE on the Hartwood Roses web site.)
It's been a month since I received and planted those two cuttings. Two weeks ago, one of the cuttings turned black ... indicating that it was dead. The remaining cutting has appeared to be doing fine. The leaves are still attached, which is always a good sign.
This morning while I was in the basement, I checked on the cutting and found that it has rooted!!
That's a nice strong, healthy root ... and I am confident that there are more roots in the pot that I cannot see yet. I will leave the cutting in its little bottle greenhouse with the lid on till I see signs that it is beginning to grow new leaves. At that point, I will begin to transition the cutting out of the bottle by removing the lid for a week or so ... then I can remove the bottle all together. The little rose can stay in the milk jug till it has a dense root system.
I know Mrs. Sharpley will be pleased when she finds out that the cutting of her rose has rooted, and that we can continue to propagate from this new plant in the future to share her rose with the rest of her family.