Grow Alaska


I was desperate to find a way to keep my overabundance of bare root roses alive. I had received my order of Weeks Roses a month early. I tried burying the roots in moist sawdust and even perlite but that was not only messy, it was ineffective. Sunshine and spring came and I still had too many roses (yes, it is possible). I placed them in a spill pallet (see large picture above) with lots of water, propping the plants up at the edges so they weren’t totally submerged. They lived but unfortunately, I had created a prime environment for the Alaska state bird, the mosquito. Well, I knew what to do about that! I went to the pet store and bought a couple dozen feeder goldfish. Not only did the mosquito larvae disappear but the fish ‘byproduct’ (poop) in the water caused the plants to thrive. I later found that 5 gallon buckets were the right size for a couple of plants and a fish or two. I could bring these inside for the colder parts of the day and let them stay outside the rest of the time. Not only was I getting great plants and big, beautiful flowers, I was saving a fortune on potting soil and containers. Customers took home their leafed out (and sometimes blooming) plants wrapped in newspaper and plastic. Some placed the roses in pots, some in the ground, a few kept them in buckets with water and one lady ‘transplanted’ hers into her large fish pond with great results.

Another great aspect of keeping roses in water (at least up here in Alaska), you can leave town and not worry about watering the plants. If they’re outside, the rain will replenish the water that evaporates. Sounds like a lazy gardener’s dream to me. Try it, you might like it. Just don’t forget the goldfish.

Water roses


There are more ways to grow a plant than in the ground. And more ways to fertilize, too. Don’t limit yourself: explore!

All photos were taken by Dani Haviland and are not to be reposted or reprinted without permission.

God created the method of growing in water; I just found it and put it to use.