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Grafting roses

latorrelatorre Posts: 4
I've just joined the forum to pick some brains about rose grafting, but as my wife and I are relatively keen gardeners I'm certain we'll stay.

We bought two Rambling Rectors about 5 years ago to cover the gable end of our cottage and they are doing the job very well indeed. We ignored it being labelled a "thug" by Eric Robson, and haven't regretted it. Three years ago we bought a Kiftsgate to create a screen, and it isn't just doing that job exceptionally well... it truly is a monster. It has been putting out 8ft whips in recent seasons, although I think... hope... we can keep it tamed by hacking it into obedience when the time comes.
Despite the masses of perfumed creamy-white blooms, they both have very short once-a-year flowering period. So, despite having never tried grafting... on anything... and being almost completely ignorant about the process, I'm wondering if either of the two roses (especially the Kiftsgate) could successfully have other varieties grafted onto some of the stems.... but still keeping the host plant going. The prospect of using the host's vigour to turbo-boost some repeat flowering heavily perfumed varieties very much appeals to me.
I suspect I'm being rather naive though.
Any rose grafters out there who can educate me on viability?
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  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,495
    What an interesting question!
    I don't know the answer myself, but I hope it's a yes!
    I hope @Marlorena won't mind me asking if she'd chip in?
    Welcome to the forum btw :)

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 2,106
    There are grafting tutorials on youtube, so you can certainly try it.
    My worry would be that the ramblers completely outgrow and suffocate the grafted branches. In the same way, that rootstock can take completely over a grafted rose.
  • latorrelatorre Posts: 4
    edhelka said:
    There are grafting tutorials on youtube, so you can certainly try it.
    My worry would be that the ramblers completely outgrow and suffocate the grafted branches. In the same way, that rootstock can take completely over a grafted rose.
    Yes, I've had a bit of a look on YouTube but not yet found a tutorial that seems to be specific to this particular method of grafting. Will look harder.
    If I were to do it, I'd chose a part of the host within easy reach and therefore easier to keep tended and maintained so that the grafted-on variety isn't smothered.
    Re "rootstock can take completely over"... by that, do you mean that the grafted-on variety risks not growing true and might end up eventually being genetically modified by the host and becoming the same as the host plant? Maybe I've misunderstood, but is that really possible? Does that happen?


  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 2,106
    latorre said:
    edhelka said:
    There are grafting tutorials on youtube, so you can certainly try it.
    My worry would be that the ramblers completely outgrow and suffocate the grafted branches. In the same way, that rootstock can take completely over a grafted rose.
    Re "rootstock can take completely over"... by that, do you mean that the grafted-on variety risks not growing true and might end up eventually being genetically modified by the host and becoming the same as the host plant? Maybe I've misunderstood, but is that really possible? Does that happen?
    Rootstock can produce suckers from the roots and when these are left to grow, they use most of the nutrients supplied by the roots, and the grafted plant can slowly decline and die. It is more probable to happen if the grafted rose is seriously neglected or if it gets frost-damaged.
    It doesn't get genetically modified, that can't happen. It is simply replaced.

    This is a good video, exactly for your situation:

  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,314
    No, and on so many levels, it just doesn't work.. if it did work it would have been standard practice by now in the rose world, all down the decades and centuries..

    All you would be doing is wounding a part of the stem, which will die back with canker as the rose will reject the introduced scion.. the apical dominance will be moved to lower buds which will grow and take over..  

    Don't waste your time on it, and perhaps grow something else through your rose, although even that will be a struggle with 'Kiftsgate'... 

    The only occurrences where you get a repeat flowering rose on a once blooming one, is when a shoot from the main framework 'sports' to a repeat flowering form, which is a genetic mutation.  It does happen, the most famous rose that developed this way is one called 'New Dawn'... 
  • latorrelatorre Posts: 4
    Marlorena said:
    No, and on so many levels, it just doesn't work.. if it did work it would have been standard practice by now in the rose world, all down the decades and centuries..

    All you would be doing is wounding a part of the stem, which will die back with canker as the rose will reject the introduced scion.. the apical dominance will be moved to lower buds which will grow and take over..  

    Don't waste your time on it, and perhaps grow something else through your rose, although even that will be a struggle with 'Kiftsgate'... 

    The only occurrences where you get a repeat flowering rose on a once blooming one, is when a shoot from the main framework 'sports' to a repeat flowering form, which is a genetic mutation.  It does happen, the most famous rose that developed this way is one called 'New Dawn'... 
    I had assumed in my ignorance that when roses are grafted, as they are by commercial growers, the type of rootstock is chosen because it imparts vigour, and the grafted-on variety takes on the vigour... and nothing else... of the rootstock, so that the resulting plant has all the positive attributes of the scion and few of the negatives of the root-stock. So Marlorena, life isn't that simple after all and I suspect the reasons are as complex as life itself.
    If you have the time/inclination, I'd appreciate further education on this little topic.
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,314
    @latorre
    ..If I've not misunderstood you, and I sometimes do misunderstand, what you want to do is graft some bud eyes of your rose onto an already large and growing Kiftsgate rose, using its established framework, whilst keeping Kiftsgate growing and flowering as well.   I've never known anyone to do that successfully and without wanting to sound too harsh or critical, it actually sounds ridiculous.. and I guarantee you it wouldn't work for the reasons I've stated.

    However, you could graft to a rootstock.  It's a skilled process but amateurs do have a go, but you need to obtain the rootstock first of course..  but this wasn't the question I thought I was answering..

    Do you now want to know about bud grafting to a rootstock?  Sorry for the confusion but I don't want to be at cross purposes so to speak.. Edhelkas video probably links to that, I know there are lots of youtube...

    The rootstock used mainly here is Rosa 'laxa'.. it might only be obtainable in  bulk form..  another is Rosa multiflora which produces a different growth habit, quite upright, and is preferred for those who exhibit roses at shows.. so the rootstock does affect the growth pattern..  other rootstocks may be available but most are used on the Continent more than here..
    Not only does the rootstock provide vigour, but may be less soil ph sensitive than the scion grafted onto it..

    I've never heard of Kiftsgate being used as a rootstock, although I expect somebody has tried it...
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 2,106
    He actually grafts it higher on the stem of an existing climber, and if I remember correctly, claims a decent success rate (it is some time I've seen the video).
    After the bud grows together with the stem (assuming it isn't rejected), the stem above it needs to be cut, forcing the bud to grow.
    Grafting higher up on a cane is certainly possible, it is done with standards. Many roses would probably happily accept the scion, not only rootstock roses. It's the long-term viability that's uncertain.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,049
    I think Kiftsgate would out-perform and shade out anything that you grafted onto it, even if the graft took. I've seen the one at Kiftsgate Court - it's absolutely humungously big, by far the biggest rose I've ever seen.
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,314
    I'm sorry but the idea of doing something like that with any rose, especially climber or rambler like Kiftsgate is absurd to me, and to be brutally honest, it's not worth giving the time of day to.. [sorry]..  but people will try anything once or pretend that it's doable to prove a point...
    ...  enjoy your once blooming roses for what they are, and the hips that follow..

    .. best of luck now..
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