Example of

I posted a few photos illustrating that “layering” propagation method I use on difficult to root roses. I had mentioned this technique on Rob’s thread about mini L83 seedlings, and I thought it was worth showing as a photo essay. See URL:

Link: paulbarden.blogspot.com/2010/10/having-difficulty-propagating.html


Thanks for the link. I was thinking as I read it that if it is in a pot above ground level, why not fill a similar size pot with soil and place it adjacent and layer the cane in the new pot where when it roots will already then be “potted up.” Will have to try it next year. If the canes are fairly rigid, I wonder how one can go about it (some of the HTs for example).

Sorry I always go on your blog as anonymous; I don’t know how to join ;-(.

Jim P

jprov at comcast period net


I’ve been wondering if air layering might work for HT’s.



I’ve had no luck at all with R. Gymnocarpa under mist or the old mason jar method. I’ll try layering in the spring.

Paul, layering (by whatever manifestation/manipulation) has to be the least fuss and most reliable method of rooting those “impossible-to-root” plants I have ever come to use, I agree totally!

For potted roses with inflexible canes, you can achieve the same “layering” success Paul has demonstrated here by potting the whole plant in a larger pot, at a much deeper level than the original planting, making sure there are several of the lowest branching points buried in the potting mix. That way the plant develops roots on several of the lower stems by the layering principle. Later you divide the one plant into rooted multiples.

I should have tried that on Rosa primula. That rose would not take from cuttings no matter what I tried. It was grafted on Rosa rubiginosa, which I thought was hilarious. I wish I knew what nursery had sold it. I bought the Rosa primula through Portland Nursery eons ago. It did not have a tag showing source – or any tag at all.

As far as AIR layering (wet moss, baggy and ties) method, is a half cane notch better than being fully collared? Last year I collared them fully and I had difficulties (although they did eventually callous and root). This year I’m thinking about just doing a half collar cut. Anyone tried both and noticed a difference?

I have used a form of air layering for the last 2 years.

I bare the stem of any selected cane and slip a small plastic pot over it and fill the pot with any suitable medium(I have used everything from wet newspaper to potting soil) that will hold moisture(surprisingly spagnum moss appeared to be the least effective) Some care is needed to assure that the pot is placed so the bare stem is “centred” in the pot You need to water if it appears very dry but not very often.

Then just leave it alone for some months.

So far I have not had any complete failures and most are well rooted in the pots when cut free and then simply potted on in the usual way


Thank you for the link Paul. I will try this method this fall and hope that I get some root development during the winter. This seems like such a better option than the baggy method I’ve been using…which has had little success for me.

Here is an easy way to air layer using a “Rooter Pot”. It is not necessary to get this commercial since spagnum moss and a heavy baggie work well, but if you are truly having a problem with a hard to root specimen (it works with lilacs, curry, etc.)this will work for even the root challenged. I have used the ‘stick the limb in the soil, cover, and repot when you tug on it and it doesn’t give’ method outlined above, and it truly works.

Link: www.leevalley.com/us/garden/page.aspx?cat=2,47236&p=46938

I totally didnt even get to use the rooter pot set my gf’s family bought me for Christmas =( I ran out of time, lol. I was so bummed. I dont even know how efficient they are but it seems like an exciting toy for us plant nerdy types :slight_smile: