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How to Successfully Propagate Roses From Cuttings

Dorothy is a master gardener, former newspaper reporter, and the author of several books. Michael is a landscape and nature photographer.

There's no flower more beautiful than a rose, and if you have one that looks like this, you could have many more that look the same.

There's no flower more beautiful than a rose, and if you have one that looks like this, you could have many more that look the same.

Using Rose Cuttings Is Not a Speedy Process

  • It takes a rose cutting about six to eight weeks to root, but when you know you are going to have the perfect rose, the wait will be short because you can rest easy knowing you have done your part to eradicate viruses and disappointing rose bushes that never are up to par.
  • And, it is so easy. If you already have what you feel is the perfect rose, take a cutting about six inches long and "wound' the bottom of the stem, which should have been cut diagonally. (Just take a small, thin slice up the cutting with a sharp knife). Remove the bottom leaves, but keep some leaves on at the top. Then, dip the cutting in a good rooting hormone and place in a moistened mixture of potting soil and perlite, a great blend that should encourage the rose to grow quickly. Further, you can speed up the process by putting a clear Mason Jar on top of the cuttings (just like your Grandma always told you to do).
  • Keep your cutting moist at all times and provide plenty of air and sunshine - they're free!
  • I like to take cuttings from new growth in the spring right after the roses have bloomed. You can also take cuttings from older growth, but it is better to do that in late fall.
  • When you find the perfect rose, don't let it slip through your fingers! Clone it and enjoy it for years to come.
  • Note: For integrated pest management, try some ladybugs in your rose garden. They are essential for controlling aphids, spider mites, whiteflies and all scale insects, which are all natural prey for ladybugs. They can also help with rose scale. When you avoid pesticides you will reap great benefits - the beneficial insects will flourish, and only a few aphids will remain which will keep the ladybugs very contented so they will keep doing their job contributing to the health and beauty of your roses. Remember, ladybugs are transient, so a few remaining aphids will keep them there for quite a while.

Tips for Successful Roses From Cuttings

  • Make sure to use very sharp cutters so you don't accidentally crush the rose stem while taking the cuttings.
  • Although rooting hormone is optional, you will have the best results if you use it.
  • If you have different rose species, label each cutting that you take (you won't remember which one is me).
  • It should take from four to eight weeks for a cutting to root (depending upon the weather and the variety of rose you have chosen), so be patient - they are well worth the wait.
  • Keep your rose cuttings moist at all times, and provide them with plenty of air and sunshine.
  • Rose cuttings will always root faster when they are placed in full sun.
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  • If you put several slits in the bottom of your cutting, it will encourage more roots to find their way into the ground.
Actually, all roses are beautiful, regardless of the color.

Actually, all roses are beautiful, regardless of the color.

Read More About Roses in These Great Articles

  • Mother Earth Living's Tips for Growing Healthy Roses
    Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, learn how to plant and maintain roses successfully, treat common rose bush disease, and pick the right variety for your garden.
  • How To Take Care Of Roses
    Roses are some of the most popular and beautiful flowering shrubs grown, but starting a rose garden may seem daunting to new gardeners. Read this article for growing information on roses, especially if you are a beginner.
  • Planting, Growing, and Pruning Roses
    Planting roses, pruning roses, types of roses, and rose garden tips from The Farmer's Almanac.

© 2011 Mike and Dorothy McKenney


Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on June 24, 2014:

Thank you for the quick tips and suggestions that I was wondering about (when and how). I have great plans to do some rose propagation in the Fall this year! I'm sharing this.

KaCees Attic from Spring, Texas on April 27, 2011:

I've always wondered how you go about doing this. There are several plants that I would like to do root but didn't have a clue where to start. Thanks.

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