Similar to other plants like rosemary, roses are propagated through stem cuttings, since using the seeds of a rose will not likely result in germination. Just like normal gardening, hydroponic roses use the same stem cutting method to increase the chances of blooming. However, it can be rather difficult to do so since the stem cuttings are not able to support itself before the roots develop, and hence, external physical support has to be provided for your roses to bloom eventually. If you are interested in growing roses in the comfort of your own home, be it to give your apartment a touch of color or to save some coins when Valentines Day draws near, this is the ultimate guide to growing roses hydroponically so be sure to read on!
Propagating your roses
When you obtain your stem cuttings, ensure the rose that you are getting it from is growing vigorously, preferably during early summer. These roses should neither be too young nor too mature to get the best stem cutting, and it is usually indicative in their petals where they are either fading or do not have petals. For starters, fill a container with your growing mix, and ensure that your pit is light and able to drain out water quickly. However, it should also not have too large holes such that the organic matter can easily slip out of the pot. Water the mix and ensure that it is moist, but make sure that it is not too soaked as well. After you have chosen the plant suitable for stem cutting, use a blade and cut the upper part of a plant at an angle, just below a leaf node. Make sure that it is about 4 to 6 inches, with a few leaves intact. Remove flowers or buds from the cutting, and the leaves that are located near the bottom of your cutting. Next, cut the remaining leaves in half to minimize moisture loss, and to promote a faster rate of developing the roots.
After this, immerse your cutting 2 inch deep into the solution, and add a little rooting hormone if available, though it is not necessary. Make a hole in the growing medium big enough for the stem to sit comfortably in, and gently pat the side so that the stem cutting can stand by itself. Place your plant in direct sunlight, and ensure that the growing medium is always moist. When the roots appear in about 3 to 4 weeks, it is time to transfer it to the hydroponic system.
One of the most suitable and effective systems for hydroponic growth is the nutrient film technique (NFT), especially for roses. They are easily available online or at local nurseries, and are usually packed with little trays and plastic humidity covers where your roses can grow in, as well as a water nutrient pump. It is also advisable to place a mat below your set up, as water spillage is quite a common occurrence, and may cause the trays to slip off and break into pieces. It is also crucial to ensure that your set up is beside a window to receive the maximum amount of light. If you are housing your plants in a basement or any other dimly lit area, it is advisable to purchase some grow lights from your local hardware store, to give your plants the sufficient amount of light it needs. Grow lights are also able to supplement a light source during cloudy days since roses thrive under 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sunlight every day.
Growing your hydroponic roses
Before you start growing your roses properly, set up your nutrient film technique system by following the instructions on the packaging. Install the water nutrient plug and make sure it is secure. Souce for some net pots with ample room, and use distilled water to soak up the roots of your rose cuttings. Place your growing medium into your pots and ensure that they are moistened. If you do not have a pH analyzer, you can purchase one separately from your local gardening stores. These meters will measure and maintain the level of acidity and alkalinity of your growing medium and nutrient solutions. They should always be kept at a range of 6.5 to 7.5 pH for optimum growth.
As you allow your roses to grow, keep a lookout for the water nutrient pump to ensure that it is working properly, even if it is on a timer system. Ensure that the growing medium is always moistened, and remove dead or damaged branches of your plant. Since roses can bloom to a relatively large size, be sure to give each rose bush sufficient space of about four square feet so that it will get enough sunlight and avoid any entanglement within the branches. It is also best to attach your plant to some sort of physical support so that it will be able to stand upright, while also allowing the roots to hang down in the solution to absorb enough nutrients.
Since hydroponic roses require a steady supply of moisture and air, it is best to get an aerator to pump water continuously past the roots, to ensure that an even amount of oxygen is distributed throughout the water. Temperatures should be kept between a range of 65 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that they are growing well.
Before you get down to business, it is a good tip to do extensive research on growing your hydroponic roses. It is best to be familiar with the best nutrient solutions, fertilizers, and growing medium for your roses, as well as the rough period of time that it will take at each developing stage. Just like babies, plants require a lot of attention as well, so make sure that you are taking good care of your roses, to ensure that it blooms healthily and beautifully. You should also bear in mind that every plant’s developing rate is different, and hence, you should always give it more time and patience for it to grow at its own pace. With that said, you are now officially ready to start growing your hydroponic roses!