Rose grafting question

Not directly a question about hybridization, but the somebody recently asked me to graft a rose for them. They can provide dormant scion wood. I know that roses are commercially budded (T-bud or Chip?), but can they be dormant (i.e. whip & tongue) grafted? Are there any special techniques to use?

Sorry for being slightly off-topic. I appreciate any replies.

Chris Mauchline

Chris, “Rose Hybridizing: The Next Step” ($12 from RHA) contains the answer to that question and many others. You’d want to look at Chapter VI (pp. 73-76). Diagrams are included. Write to Larry D. Peterson, RHA Treasurer, 21 South Wheaton Road, Horseheads, NY 14845. Please make check payable to Rose Hybridizers Association.

Malcom Manners has diagrams and descriptions of several types of budding and grafting on this page:



Thanks, I have “he Next Step”, I just hadn’t remembered it had a section on grafting. I’ll check it out.

Chris Mauchline

Looked over “Rose Hybridizing: The Next Step” last night. Although it has a nice section on budding, it does not discuss whip & tongue type grafting, nor the topic of “dormant” grafting. If anyone does have any experience or knowledge about this topic, I would welcome it. Otherwise, I guess I’ll just have to try it and see.

Chris Mauchline


I have almost zero experience with rose grafting (just several citrus inarching grafts and two successful citrus bud grafts). I also don’t have a lot of good history of rose rooting successes. With that said, I thought I’d offer this possibly useful bit of observation: I’ve lately been having modest success rooting roses using hardwood cuttings. I’ve been treating them like grapevine cuttings – wrapping them in damp paper towels and storing them in the dark for a week or two at around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. I thought this might be relevant because the cuttings are producing an incredible amount of callous tissue in a short time and maybe a similar treatment would be helpful in joining a scion and rootstock.

Let us know how your experiments go.

Good luck, Tom

Hi Chris,

I wrote an article on whip and tounge grafting using stenting that was in the winter 2001 RHA issue.



Unfortunately, I just joined this year. I’ll have to see if that back issue is available.

The term “stenting” I haven’t seen used in regards to grafting. Could you explain?


Chris Mauchline

Hi Chris!

Stenting just means doing the graft on stem sections and then trying to have the graft heal and the cutting root at the same time. It seems like a lot to ask, but with some roses and other species like dogwood and such it can work.

The article I wrote just describes some stenting I did with a R. multiflora hybrid of Dr. Bucks as a rootstock and a R. eglanteria hybrid that I just cannot get to root from cuttings as the scion. I used a whip and tongue graft and had a couple leaves on the scion and have good success. There’s pictures of whip and tongue grafting in the article, but basically it involves taking two approximately equal sized stems. Make a long diagonal cut on the top of the rootstock and bottom of the scion about the same angle. Next cut parallel to the stem about 1/3 from the long end of the cut into the stem about half the length of the diagonal cut on both the scion and rootstock. (I know it sounds confusing, sorry…) Then unite the pieces interlocking the sections with your whip (long end of the diagonal to cut) and tongue (shorter end of diagonal to cut). After this I like to use parafilm to wrap the wound. THe whip and tongue just add extra stability and surface area as the graft heals. One can just match the diagonal cuts and wrap them up too.

I hope this helps,


P.S. I’ve also tried stenting using T-budding onto a rootstock cutting with leaves on it and had some success.

Thanks David,

That’s the best information I’ve had so far. I’m familar with the w&T process. It’s the rooting process I generally have more problem with. I’ve heard about the root & graft at same time. Didn’t know it was called “stenting”.

Thanks again,

Chris Mauchline

I do chip budding at all times of the year, Chris, and I find that doin chip budding onto fully dormant understock can be just as successful as doing it on actively growing stock. I suspect that you can fairly easily root hardwood cuttings of R. multiflora at this time of the year by wrapping them in damp sand, peat or paper towels and storing them in the fridge. I have no experience in doing this at room temperature as Tom described, but perhaps that will work also.


PS: I have put hardwood cuttings of that ‘Basye’s Amphidiploid’ seedling (yes, F2 from the original plant, ie: open pollinated seedlings) in rooting media and I’ll let you know if they take.


Found a web page that has drawings of many types of grafts. The ones of the whip and tongue are very good. Check out these at

Sorry I haven’t got the link part of this e-stuff worked out. Have to use the old standby of cut and paste.

Good luck with your efforts.