Hulthemia propagation

Just a passing thought…

Might it be possible to develop a rootstock out of hybrid hulthemia material which accepts hulthemia scions, roots easily, and possibly also benefits the top growth because of superior root health?


There’s a recent paper in China (I think it’s a Chinese effort) on propagating hulthemias. It’s not on the search engines that our library subscribes to, and all I could read was a title, but maybe you have a university nearby with a great research librarian?


When I began importing in the early 80s, I was volunteering at The Huntington propagating roses. I’ve run Tigris, Nigel Hawthorne and Euphrates through that mister and found all three to root very easily. We used half coarse builders sand and half perlite mix. The unit fogged a mist over the cuttings for ten seconds every minute during daylight hours. It turned off at night. There was more than half day, full southern sun exposure with the other three directions shielded by lathe from the lathe house. When temperatures were steadily at least 70 degrees F. at night and in the nineties or better during the day, they rooted in about ten days. The hardest part was creating the potting mix to prevent them from damping off after rooting. When they were removed from the table after rooting, we’d plant each one individually in four inch pots and place them on the ground where the prevailing winds would blow the fog over them to harden them off. It required a VERY loose potting soil, nearly a cactus mix, to get the rooted cuttings going without rotting them. Once they began growing, we could use the standard potting soil used for all the other roses and the Hulthemias took off. It was just getting them over that hump of coming out from under the mist without rotting them that was a problem. Kim

So far, it seems like most of my Hulthemias root better than average as compared to standard roses. Today I was repotting recently rooted Hulthemais from a plug tray and noted that some of them had fairly dry soil, but the plants looked very good. So maybe there is a bit of a carry over in them for drought resistance.

Also, they seem to bud as easily to standard rose rootstock.

One thing that I have noticed about some of them is the tendency for die-back like what is seen in ‘Tigris’. Most fortunately, do not exhibit this trait.

Jim Sproul

Thank you all for your contributions.

At the risk of getting my hand slapped… again… does this easy striking mean they grow well, long term, on their own roots too?

Simon, in my experience, most roses that root well do very well on their own roots. I think that one of the important evaluation parameters to test is easy rooting ability. I would suggest that seedlings that root poorly should be discarded unless they have something to offer in carrying ones breeding goals forward (or if you just happen to like the seedling!)

Jim Sproul

“I think that one of the important evaluation parameters to test is easy rooting ability”

I agree with this totally.

Hi George, I just re-read your original post and may have misunderstood what you were suggesting. Are you suggesting that hybrid Hulthemias might be good plants on which to graft Hulthemia persica selections? That is a great idea! I wish that I had access to H. persica seeds. If you could grow out a bunch of them, it might be possible to choose better selections and propagation might be eased by grafting to hybrid Hulthemias.

Jim Sproul

I wish that I had access to H. persica seeds.

If a source can be found, I would be willing to import and germinate the seeds.

Jim, I assume that a rosa/persica hybrid cane, such as any of your easy-to-root varietals, could be used as a rootstock onto which one could then propagate the “impossible to propagate” persicas (like R. Persica species).

I would love to have my hands on the R. Persica species seed also, but how on Earth can I achieve this in Australia??

Ummm… sorry if I’ve missed something along the way… does this mean that persica (or its hybrids) won’t graft onto standard understocks that we already use?

George… also… you saw that with enough perseverance ‘Euphrates’ will produces viable pollen and has produced seedlings… I think this is a very positive sign… I reckon if we throw enough of its pollen around sooner or later it’s going to stick to something. Mistydowns is the only place I know of that sells plants. You can also purchase budwood from Ruston’s (it’s about 25c per eye with a minimum order of about 20 eyes… will have to check the email I got from them earlier this year to confirm this though… I’m putting an order in with them this season for Tea and Sequois miniatures when it warms up a bit… you could almost do it now couldn’t you?).

Simon, species R. Persica supposedly cannot be propagated by means other than seed.

I am proposing that it could be possible to multiply the species (R.Persica) by budding onto hybrid persica/rosa material which is known to root easily.

Ahhhhhhh… I see now. On another note (getting them into Australia), I contacted AQIS about this a little while back and was directed towards this website: . The instruction was to type the name ‘Rosa’ into the commodities section and leave all countries and all end uses selected as options. Then, scroll through until you get to " Rosa spp as listed, All countries, Seeds for sowing" about 2/3 of the way down. On this list is a list of all the Rosa species whose seeds we are allowed to bring into the country in non-commerical quantities. Rosa persica is not on that list and when I asked what needed to be done I received this reply:

"Dear Simon,

Thank you for your enquiry to plant quarantine.

I have included herewith AQIS’s New Plant Introduction form for the Rosa persica seed species. Please ensure that you complete an application for both parent species of each hybrid as ICON, AQIS’s import conditions database will need to reflect both parent species, ICON link hereunder:

A tip for searching ICON: Insert the genus (first name only) into the commodity field, do not change the ‘From country’ or ‘For end use fields’, this may result in a negative search. The import conditions and importer responsibilities are outlined for each separate case.

The completed application forms will be forwarded to Plant Biosecurity Australia for a formal weed risk assessment, this may take several weeks and you will be notified of assessment outcomes.

An Import Permit will be required for these seed species on completion of assessment, an import permit will only apply until the Quarantine Proclamation 1998 Schedule 5 -

Just to clear things up a little here, by “species R.Persica” I am referring strictly to the original species Hulthemia Persica as it is found growing wild in Iran etc…

Jack Harkness did a lot of pioneering work with R. Persica, and the following is from the 1977 ARS Annual. My guess is that it would not make a good rootstock given its tendencies.


“H. persica, according to repute, cannot be propagated by cuttings or budding. I have not tried. But it will produce runners, which on three occasions in our greenhouse have travelled under concrete paths, to surface some 6 feet away.”


I am going to have to say it in a different way…

Andy, as you say, H. persica cannot be propagated, BUT H. persica hybrids CAN be propagated. That is the whole point of this discussion. The hybrids may be useful as a rootstock to propagate the impossible-to -propagate species.


I’m sorry, but I saw the discussion heading back to sowing seeds of the species. If the species is known to have a major suckering habit, why not propagate it through division of the runners?



If layering was possible, then why do the experts say that replication is not possible by the usual means other than sowing seed?