Well, I said that I'd try to keep updates on my progress... and lately I've been having much better than usual luck with rose cuttings. This first picture shows a softwood rose cutting forming some nice healthy callous tissue all along the two inch scrape I made on one side of the bottom of the cutting. The scraped surface is intended to give more area for callous to form. Hopefully roots will be next!
I think the loose and relatively drier potting media may be the key to my cuttings not turning black and rotten this time. I added a LOT of perlite and crushed charcoal too so the percentage of actual potting soil is pretty low. I also have been just barely keeping it damp. Seems to be helping. Oh and with this softwood cutting, I've been keeping it inside a clear plastic container like baby spinach comes in.
Now on to some hardwood cuttings. These were the ones recently calloused inside damp newspaper "burritos" in plastic trash bags. After callousing I dipped them in rooting hormone [which I'm not so convinced isn't doing some tissue damage to them] and put 5 cuttings of 3 different hybrids in this clear plastic storage bin. The soil is once again very high in perlite especially at the top layer where the cuttings bottoms are located. I have them almost laying on their sides, with all but the tops buried.
Here are the ones in the middle. The big one sticking up a little, is the one I pulled up to see how the callous was looking.
Here's how it looked. Woo hoo!!! There's even a little root!