How to Graft a Weeping Standard Rose

A weeping conventional rose has an strong erect stem with a spreading, cascading rose variety grafted to the top of it. Generally multiflora roses are used for your own rootstock. Any low-growing spreading rose can be utilized for your own scion, or leading part. In addition to the usual rose diseases and insects, the conventional rose can get sunscald on the exposed stem. It is also more likely to split strong winds because the graft union is so high above the ground. Grafting should be performed in winter, while both rootstock and scion are dormant.

Propagate the rootstock by cutting a large stem of an erect multiflora rose and sticking it in loose, fertile soil until roots are formed. Let it grow to the desired height, pruning off side branches as they develop. The rootstock must be 2 to 5 feet tall, depending on how tall you want the conventional rose to be.

Select a low-growing spreading rose number that you prefer for your scion. Cut healthy parts of cane which grew in the prior season. Search for scion wood one-quarter to three-quarter inches in diameter with chubby, well-spaced buds. Set them in a labeled plastic bag.

Cut the rootstock off perpendicular to the cane at the desired height. Use sharp clippers to make a clean cut.

Split the rootstock down 2 to 4 inches in the cut having a grafting knife. Be careful to make the split in the center of the rootstock. Hold the slit open with a wedge.

Cut 2 sections of scion, 4 to 6 inches in length, which contain 3 to 4 buds on the upper portion. Reduce the lower edge of the scion stick with gradually sloping cuts exactly opposite each other; the angle of the seams must match the angle of the wedge as tightly as possible.

Insert the scion sticks into each side of the slit from the rootstocks so that the cambium — the delicate line between the bark and the wood — of the rootstock and the cambium of the outer edge of the scion is matched exactly.

Remove the wedge holding the slit open. Cover the entire ending of the rootstock and the slit with grafting wax to prevent dessication.

Remove the less vigorous scion after growth resumes in the spring. Both scions can be permitted to grow for a month or so, but complete healing will not occur if both are left in position for the entire growing season.

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