Sunday, 08 July 2012
Every summer I like to propagate a few new rose bushes. These days I only show Miniatures and Minifloras. My pal Mike Thompson seems to come up with a few new varieties, and he's kind enough to let me have a stem to use as propagation material.
Budding is a form of grafting using a single eye as opposed to a piece of stem as we would do in apple grafting. I grow my miniatures in pots, so I pot up Rosa Laxa root stocks in the winter, into 3ltr deep rose pots. By June they are ready for budding.
Making the T Cut. First of all use the budding knife to gently scrape away the loose bark so that it doesn't get into the cut and prevent the cambium layers on the scion and rootstock coming together and healing to become one plant. Then make the T cut. one inch long maximum with a half inch maximum across the top of the T. Use the beveled edge on the back of the blade to open up the T to take the single eye (Bud)
Cutting the eye from the scion wood. First of all we need dormant eyes, so often we have to take them from wood before it finishes blooming. Varieties differ. Some varieties eyes break before blooming has finished. I remove the thorns, and cut the leaves off but leave the leaf petiole intact so that when it comes to the time of inserting the bud, you can handle the bud by the leaf petiole. Position your knife about a quarter of an inch above the bud and cut into the stem. Keep the blade quite shallow as you want a flat bud so that it will sit in the T cut snug and neat. Once the blade is a quarter of an inch below the bud, tear the bud downwards. turn it over and use the tip of the blade to find the end of the wood behind the bud, grip it with the blade and thumb and pull it from the bud.
The Bud. The important thing now is that the embryo eye is still intact and didn't come away with the wood. Trim the bud to length, about three quarter of an inch.
Insert the bud. Insert the bud, (the right way up) and if it protrudes above the T cut, trim it off and put the tie on to prevent dehydration, until the union heals.
Beheading. This takes place in February leaving the neck (Hypercotyl) eye and root system to grow into a new bush.
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