Cuttings And Cloches

By Nikki Tilley | March 2, 2022
Image by stsvirkun
by Nikki Tilley
March 2, 2022

Many people use cloches in the garden to protect their plants from freezing temperatures. They’re also pretty popular for use with terrariums. But they can be useful for propagating plant cuttings outdoors too, like roses.

My Garden Cloche for Rose Cuttings

While we do get our fair share of freezing weather, typically North Carolina winters, outside the mountains, is reasonably mild compared to a lot of other regions. So, if you’re rooting cuttings from specific plants outdoors during this time, you may need to keep the tender cuttings protected. Hence, the garden cloche plant dome, or in my case just an average upturned Mason jar.

Years back in early autumn I decided to try my hand at propagating a rose cutting from one of my bushes, in particular my favorite rose (over twenty years old now). This potted rose bush traveled with me year after year until I finally planted it in its current, and permanent, location in the garden. It was my first time propagating a rose and I wasn’t sure it would even work, but what could it hurt, right. 

Rather than putting my cutting into a pot, I wanted this one to go ahead and take root out in the garden, so I stuck it directly in the ground where I wanted it to grow. I just dug out a small spot and mixed in some potting soil. Then I added my rose cutting. I covered the cutting with a large jar (it works just as well) to keep it nice and toasty throughout the cold weather as it rooted. The jar acted like a mini greenhouse. On nice warm days, I would simply lift one side up and prop with a stone to allow for some airflow. Before nightfall I would let it back down. I kept my rose cutting protected this way over the remaining fall months, throughout all of winter and well into spring. By this time, it had already rooted (you can tell by giving it a slight tug and also when you begin to notice new growth).

Amazingly, the rose cutting not only rooted but had thrived! It continued to grow well that following summer and by fall, it was hardy enough to survive the next winter without its protective garden cloche. Although it took another year or so before the rose bush bloomed, when it did, I was ecstatic – and the wait had been well worth it. The fragrant pink roses were spectacular, and as each year passes, I’m reminded of where this rose bush got its start”¦ a little cutting that took root in the same place I finally did, from a plant that’s held special meaning to me for decades.

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