Toilet paper hack to ‘boost’ rose cuttings taken in autumn and winter

Alan Titchmarsh gives advice on growing shrub roses

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Autumn is the ideal time to take rose stem cuttings as the summer growth spurt comes to an end and shrubs are left top-heavy. Unlike softwood cuttings taken in late spring and summer, semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings taken in the colder months are often slower to root and need a boost. Gardening experts have shared a clever toilet paper hack to trap moisture and speed up the root development of your new rose plant.

Successfully propagating cuttings relies on good timing, a healthy parent plant and a balanced environment to establish new roots.

When it comes to roses, moisture is crucial to get the classic flowers off to a strong start.

Experts at the Balcony Garden said: “If the level is not right, the cuttings may die. Toilet paper traps moisture within the lower part of the stem, which keeps it evenly moist, thereby boosting the chances of successful propagation.”

For the best results, you will need to start with healthy cuttings taken from an established rose plant.

Using sharp, clean secateurs, snip long stems from the plant – around six to eight inches long.

According to an Instagram gardening enthusiast, Johnson Engleng (@johnsonengleng), it is important to remove extra leaves and branches from the cuttings.

This focuses the energy on the new plant growing fresh leaves from the buds.

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In a video demonstration on his Youtube channel, Johnson noted that all cuttings should have a 45-degree angle on each end.

To achieve this, simply angle the secateurs to create a slanted edge for better nutrient absorption.

Once the stems are prepared, grab a roll of toilet paper and start wrapping each one until it has a few loose layers around the lower third of the stem, covering the angled edge.

Johnson said: “You can use normal tissue paper or newspaper to bind the rose cuttings.

“It is very easy to grow rose cuttings this way and will take around 10-15 days.”

Before planting the cuttings, spray each one with water to bond the paper to the green stems.

Gently squeeze each one to firm the wet tissue down and prevent it from slipping off.

Fill one-third of a medium-sized plastic pot with peat-free compost ready to plant the cuttings.

Position each tissue-wrapped stem in the soil so each one is stood upright.

Johnson said: “Place all the cuttings in the same pot so when they grow well and the roots establish, it is easier to transplant them into individual pots.”

Add more compost to fill the pot and spray with plenty of water.

The pot should be left in indirect sunlight in a bright area and watered once a day to help the moist roots flourish in the soil.

Once the stems grow taller and produce new leaves, they are ready to be lifted and planted out.

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