Encouraging Runners to Root

Hi, folks,

Anybody have a good way of encouraging runners to root? A rose for which I have very high hopes has finally consented to send out runners. I’d like them to root so I can cut them off and pot them up so I can send this rose out for testing. Any ideas?

Loosen the soil beneath the place you want the runner to root, push the runner slightly under the soil, then put a large, flat rock or brick or something on top to hold the runner down and keep that area from drying up. The darkness will promote etiolation, and that will improve the chances for rooting. Some recommend making a small slit in the cane and inserting sphagnum and a toothpick, as for air layering, but it’s probably not necessary, and a slit gone bad will ruin your plans. Maybe a small scrape and a bit of hormone powder where you want the rooting to take place will speed the process. You can do this at fairly frequent intervals if the cane/runner is long enough. This is an old-line method of propagation–see “stool-layering” in the references.