Many people choose to graft their roses to help them grow better and to bloom better. Grafting is not necessarily difficult, but it does require some skill and some forethought before making the attempt. There are many reasons to graft roses, and you can find that it is possible to create a more successful and uniform garden when you practice rose grafting.
Rose grafting is much like any other type of plant grafting. It is basically taking one part of a plant (usually a piece of the stem) and attaching it surgically to the root or stem with roots of another plant. The top portion of the graft, the stem, is known as the scion. It is called either a bud wood or a bud stick.
The bottom part of the grafted rose plant is called the stock, although some people refer to it as the under stock or the root stock. The union is the place on the plant where the scion and the stock are healed together. On roses, this is usually someplace below the soil line.
A rose graft works best when a superior scion is chosen to be attached to a root system that is adapted to growing in particular conditions. If you wish to grow a rose that is of a less hardy variety as compared to your areas hardiness zone, then grafting can help you.
You graft the less hardy scion rose to the roots of a rose plant better suited for the zone. The scion then receives its hardiness and nutrition from the roots that are adapted to the growing conditions, borrowing from its strength.
Here some other advantages associated with grafted plants. First of all, they are usually more uniform than plants grown from seeds. Flower color and season, as well as bloom size and shape, are usually much more in line with the other flowers when multiple scions from one plant are then grafted onto a variety of different stocks.
Additionally, because the scions are already in a stage where they bloom, grafted roses tend to flower much sooner than their seed-planted counterparts. The scion is mature and is aware that it should be flowering. It does so, long before a rose from a seed or juvenile plant would flower. Roses are often grafted because it makes it easier to propagate a wider variety of blooms if desired.
Roses are among the easiest plants to graft because they are nearly all compatible with other rose plants. Even most rose hybrids are compatible with other roses for grafting. It is possible to determine a rose root system that works well in the growing conditions of your garden and then plant only those.
Then, choose the roses you would like to have and graft them onto the well-adapted roots. This will give you the chance to grow just about any rose type you would like, without having to worry about whether it is a good choice for your particular growing situation.
There are a few things you should do to experience a more successful rose graft. First of all, make sure that the knife you use is sharp. A clean cut is essential for successful rose grafting.
It is possible to buy knives made especially for grafting at most garden centers. These knives are sharpened only on one side, so you need to make sure you get the knife made for your dominant hand (grafting knives come in left-handed and right-handed models).
Next, you should make sure that your scions are taken from firm, young stems of the plant you want to graft. It is a good idea to choose stems that have some wood (roses are considered a woody plant).
The best time for grafting roses is when the blooms are fading and their petals are dropping, but before the buds swell up in preparation for the next flowering.
When grafting, it is essential to do it quickly. The cut surfaces can dry out in seconds, so try to perform the surgery as quickly as possible. Make sure you are well prepared before the cut is made. It is a good idea to practice making cuts beforehand to get the hang of making a smooth cut quickly.
Another way to prevent drying is to put the end of the scion, cut side down, against your tongue while you work on the stock. Do not do this if you have recently sprayed your plants, as it can make you very sick.