More than 20 men and women, including college students and World War II veterans, attended a free class Monday on rose propagation led by Bell County Master Gardener Gary Slanga and Heights Activities Specialist Sarah Mylcraine, as part of the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department Gardeners Education Series.
Attendees received a single rose cutting, but were advised to get several more to propagate.
“Even seasoned horticulturalists find a 40-percent success rate with propagation of rose cuttings, so it’s best to make several at once,” Slanga said.
Perpetuating the rose bush that Grandma planted 50 years ago and preserving antique roses is easy with propagation, and perfectly legal, Slanga said, as long as it is done for a personal garden and not for giving away or selling. Permission must be gained from the hybridizer to give away or sell roses.
Participants attended the class for many different reasons. Paulin and Marie Olvera of Killeen hoped to learn the ins and outs of starting trimmings, and Mike Ford of Harker Heights wanted to learn when to prune roses.
“There was all kinds of growth last week when the temps were in the 80s,” Ford said.
Lorena Malave, also of Harker Heights, attended because she is trying to get into graduate school at University of North Texas to study environmental anthropology.
“I’m interested in vegetables and herbs in the Southern Seeds Legacy, how they are grown, used, and studying plant diversity in a cross cultural perspective,” she said.
Upcoming classes in the Gardeners Education Series include vegetable gardening from 6 to 7 p.m. March 11 and rainwater harvesting from 6 to 7 p.m. April 8.
Classes are free and held at the Harker Heights Activities Center, 400 Indian Trail. For more information, call Mylcraine at (254) 953-5466.