Beginners Guide to How to Grow Rose Cuttings in a Banana – Step-by-Step Instructions
You have probably heard of using potatoes to help grow rose cuttings, but have you ever tried using a banana?
Bananas are the perfect vehicle to deliver the necessary nutrients for rose cuttings to develop strong and healthy roots for propagation. They are high in potassium, which provides an important boost to the rose cuttings immunity while it is working hard to establish a new root system. Bananas also contain other important nutrients essential for a rose plants’ growth, such as manganese, copper, calcium and iron.
Welcome to the Garden Bench Top where today we’ll be walking you through the process of rooting rose cuttings using bananas. You can expect to find a detailed guide, including our best tips for increasing your success rate in growing new roses from your mother plant. We’ll also take you through general maintenance and care once your cuttings have developed a healthy root system.
Get ready to be amazed, because you’re going to be surprised how easy it is to propagate new roses!
Steps for Growing Rose Cuttings in Bananas
Bananas are amazing fruit! Not only are they delicious cut up fresh in a bowl of cereal or blitzed up in a smoothie. They can also help you to root your rose cuttings! Simply amazing!
What You Will Need:
- rose cuttings
- sterilized garden secateurs
- chopstick or pencil
- loamy potting soil
- pot or container
Below are the steps for how to grow rose cuttings in a banana:
STEP – Selecting Your Rose Cuttings
When it comes to selecting the right parts of the rose to use for propagation you need to look for the following characteristics:
- strong and healthy stems,
- that is approximately pencil thickness and approximately 10 inches (25 centimeters) in length ,
- disease and pest free stems, and
- new green wood from the current years’ growth, not old brown hardened wood.
Choosing a part of the rose bush that satisfies all of the above criteria will give your propagation adventures the best chance of success.
STEP – Clean Rose Cuttings
Once you have chosen your cuttings, clean them up by snipping off any leaves and stray branches. We like to leave a few leaves at the top of the stem to help the cutting receive some energy from photosynthesis – however this is optional. Finally, shave the bottom of the cutting at a 45° angle that is approximately half an inch in length. This will encourage your cutting to callous over the wound, and provides more surface area for roots to develop.
STEP – Prepare Your Banana
Now it’s time to prepare your banana for your rose cuttings. Place your banana on the ground and firmly push the chopstick (or pencil) into the center of the banana. You can twist the chopstick from side to side to help it penetrate the skin of the banana without crushing it. Push the chopstick all the way through the banana until it comes out the bottom.
Repeat this step for the number of rose cuttings you plan on propagating. We recommend a maximum of 4 rose cuttings per banana.
STEP – Insert Your Rose Cuttings
Carefully insert your rose cuttings into the holes you made in your banana.
Some stems may be at cross angles with each other due to the shape of the banana. Don’t worry about this for the moment. We will fix this in the following steps.
STEP – Prepare Your Cutting Soil Mix
Prepare your propagation soil and fill your container until it is 2 inches from the top.
We like to use a loamy soil, which tends to be light and airy, with superb drainage properties. You can purchase loam soil or make it yourself using our loamy soil recipe.
Our Special Garden Bench Top Recipe:
- 1 part of your choice of highly absorptive material that has been presoaked with water (peat moss, sphagnum or coco coir),
- 1/2 part perlite,
- 1/4 part sand and
- 1/4 part standard potting soil.
For those that are wondering how much exactly is a ‘part’,
Part(s) – is in reference to the ratio (or amount) of material you use. This is where a measuring container comes in handy. It is your reference point for your ‘part’ measurement. In this recipe, ONE FULL measuring container is equal to 1 part.
STEP – Planting Your Rose Cuttings (With Banana)
Make a channel in the middle on the surface of the soil about the width and length of the banana.
Carefully place the banana with your inserted rose cuttings into the soil and push the banana down at either end to make sure all the cuttings are standing straight.
Backfill more loamy soil to just below the top of the pot.
STEP – Water Your Cuttings
You’re almost there. Now it is time to give your cuttings a healthy watering to reduce any transplanting shock.
This is also a good opportunity to test the drainage in your container. You should be able to see any excess water begin to flow out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the container.
For a quick visual representation of how to grow rose cuttings in bananas check out this video by J.o.h.n Garden
Growing Rose Cuttings in Bananas – Maintenance & After Care
There you have it, you have successfully set up your cuttings with the best start in their lives as individual rose plants. As they grow, the banana will slowly decompose, releasing the essential nutrients your rose cuttings need to grow and establish a strong root system.
Even though you’ve done most of the hard yards, we feel like we have to remind you this is not a set and forget set up. You still have a few responsibilities to ensure your cuttings make it through to the other side.
Position of Your Cuttings
For the best chance of success, try to keep your rose cuttings in a humid environment. The best option would be a greenhouse. However, for those that don’t have the space, you can try making your own humidifier. We’ve got some great ideas for boosting humidity levels in our article DIY Humidifier for Plants.
Watering Your Cuttings
One of the most important responsibilities you have while your cuttings are doing their thing is to ensure they have enough moisture to stay alive. Regularly misting your cuttings will keep them happy. However, don’t get too carried away. Make sure the soil isn’t soggy, otherwise you’ll have issues with fungal diseases and rot.
Feeding Your Cuttings
This isn’t necessary, as the decomposing banana should provide plenty of nutrients for your rose cuttings to thrive. However, if you feel they need a bit of a helping hand, you can always add some fish or seaweed-based fertilizer when you water your plants. We’d suggest diluting the fertilizer to a 1:4 ratio, so it doesn’t overwhelm your cuttings.
Tips for Growing Rose Cuttings with Bananas
Here are a few tips for putting the odds of success in your favor when you choose to grow rose cuttings from bananas.
When to Cultivate Rose Cuttings in Bananas
We find the best time to grow rose cuttings is between late spring to early summer. This way, you have enough new growth (and new wood) on your rose bushes to choose some healthy specimens for cuttings.
Plus it also means your cuttings have plenty of time in their growing seasons to quickly grow a new root system that will see them through to the next season.
When to Transplant Your Rose Cuttings
You will be able to recognize when your rose cuttings are ready for transplanting when they show strong new growth. This is generally displayed by new leaves, new shoots beginning to grow from the nodes or even a beautiful flower bud developing.
If you are uncertain, the best way to confirm they are ready is to gently tease the cuttings out of their containers. This should be relatively easy because you are using loamy soil, which will have a high sand component that will easily fall away as you pull the cuttings out.
Final Thoughts on How to Grow Rose Cuttings in Bananas
Hopefully you are excited about the new prospects of your next rose cutting propagation adventure with bananas. We wish we’d known about this technique years ago when we first began our rose garden journey. It definitely would have saved a lot of frustration and heart-ache at the many failed attempts!
Have you tried propagating rose cuttings with bananas? Send us pictures of your success (or fail) attempts – we love hearing from our community!