I'm still rooting roses, though. Instead of producing the same popular roses over and over every year, now I have a limited number of roses that I am rooting for my own garden, for friends, and there may be some leftover that I could offer for sale. We'll see how it goes.
Rooting roses isn't rocket science. Years ago, I attended a propagation workshop given by a rose friend, and the method she teaches changed my life! She showed how the top of a two-liter soda bottle will fit into the bottom half-gallon milk jug, making a little self-contained greenhouse. Genius!!
My collection of jugs of cuttings live on a shelf in the north-facing window of my basement workshop.
I keep the lid on the soda-bottle top until the cuttings show good root development ... like this:
To harden the cuttings to outside conditions, I simply remove the screw lid on the soda bottle to let them acclimate. (Look at the first photo and you will see a couple of jugs without lids.) After a week or so without a lid, the cuttings are ready to be carefully separated and planted into small pots.
I had quite a few containers of cuttings that were ready to pot up, so I spent some time doing just that yesterday afternoon. It seems that one of the cuttings in this container was being impatient and was already heading for the sky ... I've never had one grow through the lid like this before. (These are cuttings of a yellow Tea rose at Hollywood Cemetery. I think it may be 'Isabella Sprunt', but I'm not sure.)
Look at these beautiful roots!!
It feels wonderful to have my hands in dirt ... no wonder I can't keep a decent manicure. After a couple of hours, I had potted up 42 new plants. I will let these little babies settle into their pots for a few days, sitting under the grow lights in the basement window, then I will take them to live in the greenhouse for the rest of the winter.
Speaking of the greenhouse, I should go out there and tidy things up a bit. I practically shoved all my potted roses in there to protect them in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, and it's going to take some effort to get them arranged in any sort of logical order. Working in the greenhouse doesn't feel like work at all, though ... it's warm and comfortable in there on sunny days. For example, our current outdoor temperature is 50 degrees, and my remote thermometer in the kitchen window tells me that the inside of the greenhouse is 77.9 Shirt sleeve weather! What a great way to pass the time till spring.