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Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Rose is a Rose is Amazing!

At the monthly Newton Falls Area Commerce Association meeting on Tuesday, May 12, the Newton Falls Public Library was given a rose with the NFACA’s logo on it. All the members received one to publicize a new business, Speaking Roses at It was purchased the day before at Nordlie in Newton Falls. The white rose bud was set on the library’s circulation desk, and there it has been for almost 4 weeks. Not only does it still look lovely as of June 8, it has grown new leaves. Our staff has been Asking the Librarian, “Can we plant it? Can we start plants from the new growth?”

The Rose Bible by Rayford Clayton Reddell, given in memory of Janice Kolacz, has a chapter on propagating. It explains how to grow “roses on their own roots from cuttings [p.215].” Cuttings are inserted into good rooting soil with two budding eyes above and below. For a rose novice that wasn’t quite enough information. The Ortho book All About Roses by Rex Wolfe and James McNair has more detailed instructions on softwood cuttings, accompanied with drawings showing each step. Remove the flower; dip the cuttings in a root hormone stimulant, set into a damp soil mix, and then cover with a plastic bag until the new shoots appear. At that point the cutting can be transplanted to the garden [p. 62].

Neither of the books addressed the fact that a cut rose was growing new leaves. An online search revealed that others have experienced this phenomenon. There was a posting at the site iVillageGardenWeb [] with similar questions about planting a growing cut rose. The responder gave similar instructions to what was recommended in All About Roses. It was suggested that a two liter bottle can also be used to create the greenhouse effect needed to root a rose cutting.

On June 8, a member of the library staff took this lovely rose home to try to root it, and hopefully patrons and staff will be able to enjoy this small gift for years to come.

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