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How to Root a Confederate Rose Bush

Confederate roses grow on bush-like trees that are quite unlike most standard rose bushes. These plants grow best in the southern states of the U.S., which is where they got their name. The blooms are born in a bright white, and gradually fade into pink and then to blue. They resemble hibiscus flowers more than standard roses. These rose bushes are very successful at growing from cuttings. Take a cutting from an established Confederate rose bush and grow your own.

Take your rose cutting from an established plant, at the end of the growing season in fall. Cut 12-inch lengths of rose cane, using sharp pruning shears.

Cut the leaves off the Confederate rose cane, leaving only the two last leaves on the end of the stem. Cut the leaves at their base, but do not cut into the stem itself.

Fill a quart jar with water. Place the rose stem in the jar, root side down. Set the jar in a sunny window. Roots should form on the stem within a couple weeks.

Transplant the newly rooted Confederate rose into new pots when the roots have grown to about 2 inches. Use 6-inch pots, filled with a rich potting soil. Keep the rose in the sun as often as possible, to increase its growth. At this stage, water the roses once a week to keep the soil moist but not wet.

Keep the rose bush inside and treat it as one of your houseplants until April, when it will be ready to go outdoors into your rose garden.

Confederate Rose And A Rose Of Sharon?

Both types of hibiscus are easy to prune to grow as single- or multi-stemmed trees, but left to their own devices will tend to develop as multistemmed shrubs. The stems of the plant tend to cluster closer together than those of Confederate rose. Confederate rose is taller and often broader, however, maturing at around 15 feet tall with a spread of 10 feet or more. Rose of Sharon's three-lobed leaves range from 2 to 4 inches long and almost equally wide. Because the plant flowers so prolifically, blooms in various stages of life and color are commonly present simultaneously. Confederate rose flowers later in summer, continuing into the fall, and its flowers have a more ruffled appearance than the margins of rose of Sharon flowers. In hot climates, both species like a little shade from blazing afternoon sun in summer. The cuttings generally root easily in water or a pail of moist sand stored in a cool spot such as a garage. According to the Capital City Master Gardener Association's newsletter, "The Prairie Mud," legend has it that Confederate rose blooms were once pure white.

Tip

Confederate rose bushes are adaptable to almost any soil condition.

Warning

Confederate rose bushes go dormant in winter and lose all their leaves at that time. Sometimes they don't rebloom in the spring.

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