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Emergency Rose Rescue Operation

Debbie Downer
6 months ago

Greetings - wish Id found this forum two weeks ago when I went to visit the cemetary and found that they had taken upon themselves to destroy and remove a big rugosa rose that my mother had planted on my fathers grave in 1975. Yes that thing was huge, but no one had ever said anything to us in all this time so we figured it was grandfathered in when the rules changed maybe 10-20 yrs ago.

I came back with a shovel and loppers and tried to remove what I could, which wasnt much - there was some new growth coming up from the roots so I managed to get a couple of small clumps with viable roots (white feeders) which I put into pots and seem to be doing ok but not out of the woods yet - hopefully arent dying a slow tortuous death. I had to cut off the big root that connected the clumps with the mother plant.

I also got a few 12-16 inch sections of 1/2 - 3/4 inch roots thatwere closer to the surface and which had some green growth coming up but no white feeder roots. These arent doing so great - green growth is shriveling up. Is it a lost cause? I wasnt sure how deep to plant these - would the new roots be growing from the old brown root or from the juncture where the green stem is growing from the brown root?

I have been reading the excellent info in some of the propagation and cuttings threads - and have already learned that Ive made two major mistakes - watering too much and feeding!

Would love more input re: what I can do now to ensure sucess with what I have, and if I should go back and find more green growth coming up how should I go about taking more cuttings or rooted pieces? Is it possible to get a new plant from sections of brown root that have no white feeders or green growth on top? I used a combination of 1/3 potting soil and 2/3 perlite for everything, not knowing what else to do, and I also soaked roots in a rooting hormone solution.

THANKS! Oh - btw, I did talk to the cemetary and they did indeed intend to kill it. Wasnt just a radical pruning job. Didnt tell them that there is a massive woody root ball that is probably going to be sending up more growth....

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