Difference between roses grow from cutting

Hello everybody,
I read every topic on this forum with enormous pleasure.
My question is:
there are difference between roses grow from cutting of the same rose?
I try to explain (english is not my forst language… :slight_smile: )
If i took cutting from a rose (example New Dawn), can i expect all the roses are the same as the “mother”, or some roses can have some difference in the traits (florifl… florifouln… oooh, quantity of flowers, grow habit, scent, and so on)?

Thank you for every answer.
My best regards,

Hi Riccardo, welcome! Yes, generally, you can expect rooted cuttings to be the same as the parent plant from which they were rooted. It is possible for roses to mutate, sport, and plants propagated from mutated cuttings or buds can demonstrate the mutated traits. Sports do occur, but they are sufficiently rare that rooting cuttings commercially works just fine.

Hi Roseseek,

thank you for the quick answer.
Someone told me that some roses that are massively reproduced from cutting, somehow get less strenght the more you reproduce them.
I hope it’s not true… It’s like a watering down of the genetic material that result in roses that present diversity form the “mother rose”.
I think is false, but with the roses almost everything is possible… :slight_smile:


Riccardo, perhaps your informant was speaking generally, not just about cuttings.

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence (stories) that some roses seem to run out after some years, while others are as good as they ever were. That is not unreasonable. Many perennials have a finite life span. Taking cuttings, or grafting them onto new roots may rejuvenate them, but perhaps not in every cultivar (CV). There are various writings by famous rose growers that describe what they believe to be decline in such famous roses as Crimson glory. I think that there the claim was that the stems are much shorter (internode length) than they were originally. Others have said that careful bud selection is needed to keep the vigor of grafted roses. Others have claimed that there can be bud selection for abundance of bloom. Sometimes it seems that New Dawn reverts to the once-blooming Dr. van Fleet. Whether that is real, or just careless labeling of plants, I don’t know.

One can even speculate that plant architecture is selectable. With Taxus (yew) the upright and spreading types are purportedly selections based on growth habit of cuttings of the same species, even a single plant. I’ve not tested that myself. There are many epigenetic events happening in plants all the time. We know very little about most of them. There is also the possibility (or likelihood) of virus infection. This can bring down a CV over time as the virus load increases. It is likely that many CV carry multiple kinds of virus. Some will have no clear symptoms. Rose mosaic virus and rose rosette disease are exceptions. But we know so little about RRD that we can’t say for sure whether the apparent resistance of some CV or species is based on uninfectability, or insensitivity to the virus so that no obvious symptoms are produced.

One thing that is true about cuttings- an own-root rose will have different vigor from a grafted one. It might be better or worse. Older CV that were exclusively grown by grafting (or budding) might be CV that make very weak root systems, yet still are acceptable commercial CV if grown on the right roots. Recent CV selected for healthy own root growth will not show such a contrast in behavior.

There is also the issue of how plants are held in storage between harvest and shipping. A semi professional nurseryman here in California promoted for years the issue with strongly Foetida types was the long, dry, cold storage there were subjected to. Cultivars such as Peace, Sterling Silver, Angel Face, among others, which were known for being vigorous initially but have “lost vigor” over the decades. Foetida does not do well being held under cold, dry conditions. Plants of Angel Face, Peace, Sterling Silver, even other Pernetiana types budded in the fields demonstrate performance approaching that originally described in the introductory literature. After harvest and storage, many hit the market as devitalized, weak, runt plants which often never recover and regain their original vigor. I have seen five foot Sterling Silver bushes in Wasco and I have seen many dozens of 18", weak bud and bloom canned plants in retail and wholesale nursery outlets. It’s possible to bud your own from these types to regain more of the original performance.

There is also the issue with Angel Face of a “brutus gene degenerative mutation” having made it into the market place. The plant is more vigorous with degenerated flowers of a muddy color. Similar degeneration occurred with French Lace, Circus and perhaps others, where the plants grew more vigorously though flowered less with muddy color. I heard years ago it cost J&P many thousands of dollars to replace the French Lace sent out and their stock in the fields of that degenerative sport.

And, as Larry wrote, originally budded types now offered only as own root can frequently under perform their original descriptions. Betty Uprichard was originally described as having vigor like Frau Karl Druschki, yet no own root plant I have ever encountered approached anything resembling that. Until relatively recently, health and vigor weren’t major characteristics considered in the selection of new varieties. The ability of the plant to root and grow well own root wasn’t even considered in the selection process for major commercial introduction during the last three-quarters of the last century. The assumption was made that if a plant grew, it would probably work own root. J&P announced Henry Fonda would become part of their New Generation (own root) selection the next year, until they discovered that even though it WOULD root, it wouldn’t grow well own root, so it continued being available only budded. The same thing occurred at Week’s with Midnight Blue. They announced it would be offered as a “Shrublet”, their own root shrub rose selection. It didn’t happen. Midnight Blue isn’t good own root, so it remained available as a budded plant.

It seems logical that plant architecture is selectable. Isn’t that what is done when isolating a climbing mutation? It’s what is accomplished when selecting for more ground cover-like growth, weeping architecture, even upright, columnar growth such as the Colonnade Apples. I would offer the wide range of plant habit encountered in Iceberg roses is a demonstration of lack of selection. Some remain shorter, bushier, while others grow into large, almost semi climbing types. The climbing mutation expresses itself to a very wide degree of change resulting the wide range of performance. Had more attention been paid to actual selection for architecture, perhaps it would be possible to state the variety grows to a more uniform size.

Oh gosh… Thank you Kim and Larry, you are really a very precious source of information. :slight_smile:
From what i read, the roses are a truly unknown plant. Every day, for us working with roses, is a surprise.
Better this way, we remain like a child, always surprised at the little things. :slight_smile:

You’re welcome Riccardo! Yes, they do continue being surprises. Hopefully, pleasant ones! Much is known, but ‘she’ takes her time revealing all to anyone who takes their time studying her. I like your description of remaining ‘childlike’, so remaining surprised. Perhaps that is what “seeing with new eyes” truly means? Of course, it helps that, as Ralph Moore said for many years, “Just when you THINK you know the rules, the rose changes them!”

I enjoyed browsing your site, thank you. It would be great fun to grow several of the roses you grow. I’ve long wished to study Cl. Mrs. Aaron Ward and Climbing Irish Fireflame. I’m glad they aren’t extinct, but are still around to be enjoyed!