Using Potatoes to Start Rose Cuttings

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Sophie Gale
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An interesting article on propagating roses by cuttings

It seems like this would be a good way to start a hedge of roses--and I wonder if you could being a hedge of osage orange by the same process.  Osage orange makes a stout wall to keep livestock in and intruders out.  The traditonal method of starting a osage orange hedge involves all the ditch digging and then grinding up lots of hedge apples and making a slurry of seeds and pulp.  Then each year's growth is woven together to create a solid hedgerow.

A rose wall probably wouldn't be as impenetrable, but heirloom roses could be cultivated for aromatherapy and for rose hips.

ClareBroommaker
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I worked on the are where I

I worked on the are where I threw those osage orange fruit last year.  No seedlings so far.  No sign of the fruit, either.  But I mulched it in thelate winter and again today, so they might be too covered to ever see light of day.

Interesting what the fellow said about mulberries attracting flies.  I've never noticed that.  There is an old mulberry where I rest when I do my orcharding.  Definitely feeds the birds, if not the flies.

ClareBroommaker
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I think of potato  as a means

I think of potato  as a means to keep the cuttings alive without forming roots until you get them to where you want to root them.  For example, if you wanted to travel with cuttings it would be better not to have them form roots before you are moving, as the new roots are fragile and easily broken off.  Instead, stick them  into a potato just to keep them moist until you can put them in real soil.  And you don't have to refresh the water on a cloth or paper wrap, nor worry about sloshing, evaporating or putrifying water in a jar as you transport the cuttings.

Something to keep in mind if you are using a commercially sold potato is that it may have been treated hormonally to retard sprouting.   Would that affect rooting?

Many roses root pretty easily anyway. I use cuttings from a stem which has already bloomed. I set five cuttings into one pot last summer and four of them are ready to transplant.  I didn't root the cuttings directly where I wanted to plant them, simply because I was unsure where I wanted them. 

Your suggestion of propagating osage orange from cuttings made me discover that I have lost most of the index pages from my go-to propagation book! Hm.

This article will give you some ideas for propagating osage orange other than by seed. http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/yard/2009/may-20-2010.html

Last year I tossed a bunch of osage orange fruit onto the area where I intend to plant winter squash.  I'll have to watch for seedlings.

Sophie Gale
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Potato Boots

I admit I don't know much about cuttings and such--though I would think that you would want to use an organic potato--preferably home-grown.  But the article says:

"Before planting cuttings, he pushes the bottom end into a small potato, which he believes keeps the cuttings moist as they develop  roots. It sounds crazy, but his row of allotment roses is proof it works."

All I can say is, somebody try it and report back.

Apparently this is the old-time method of creating an osage orange hedge:

Planting Hedge Trees - Old Timers told our friend Clark Knapp that they started Hedge Rows by dumping the Hedgeapples in a barrel, letting them sit over the winter allowing them to freeze and thaw until spring when they were soft. They then mashed them, added water and poured the slurry into a plowed furrow and cover about a inch or two. They kept the hedgeapples moist during the winter by drilling holes and letting about 2 inches of water stand in the bottom (if all the fruit is left submerged for extended length of time, they will not sprout). Mr Knapp is only 86 years old, and claims he is a few days away from being an Old Timer himself. I assume this method would be a good technique if one would want the hedge row to act as a fence. Mr. Knapp knows his business. Picture at right was taken on his farm. I tried this planting technique last spring and it works (over 300 seedlings in a 8 ft hedgerow). 

http://hedgeapple.com/

Mr. Hedgeapple warns, "Small Osage orange trees can also be snatched from pastures. Identifying the tree can be tricky, hedgeapple trees have leaves very similar to Mulberry trees. You definitely do not want a wild Mulberry tree attracting flies to your front yard."