Mad About Berries

How To Reproduce and Grow Roses From Cuttings

While wild roses propagate themselves via the abundant seeds or the ever-busy sprouting roots, on the other hand, cultivated roses, especially climbing, bedding, shrub, etc. roses can often be propagated from cuttings with little effort.

While many gardeners prefer buying certified grafted roses, growing roses from cuttings has its own benefits - whenever a grower stumbles upon a specially beautiful rose, taking one little branch allows the gardener to grow exactly the same rose in its own garden.

The following article explains how to grow roses from their cuttings and what one needs to watch out for.

Published: June 27, 2022.

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How to Propagate Roses Using Cuttings

Rooting and propagating roses from the cuttings is easier and simpler than most people think - for short, take a cutting from the plant, put the cutting in the soil, keep it moist, let it root, and replant it.

Or, a little bit longer:

  • When looking for suitable cuttings, look for at least half-mature, just withered, and about between 6-8 inches (15 - 20 cm) long rose shoots with at least four eyes/nodes (that's where leaves emerge on stems).
  • Ideally, they are cut in August and planted immediately, however, it can be done a year long - it is even possible to take rose cuttings from the bouquet of roses that You got for Christmas or Valentine's Day. However, the success rate is not the same, of course.
  • Take the suitable rose cuttings using sharp garden scissors. Keep the cut angled - from this cut the roots will sprout later and having a larger surface increases the chances of success. Also, this makes it easier for the cutting to absorb water.
  • Remove all leaves, all flower remnants, or new flower buds and side shoots except for the top pair of leaves. Also, it helps to remove any thorns that are present - this aids in working with the cutting, not so much with the success rate.
  • Take a sufficiently large flower pot/container and fill it with good growing soil or light sandy garden soil - the soil should be well aerated and should keep the moisture well, but it also must drain well. Also, be sure to make several drainage holes at the bottom of the pot/container - roses don't like "wet feet".

Note: roses prefer soil with a pH of 6.3 - 6.8, but they will grow in pH 5.5 - 7.0. The ideal pH is ~6.5.

  • Plant the cutting in the soil so that only the upper half of the cuttings with the pair of leaves is sticking out.

Note: Using rooting hormone or not - rose cuttings are generally easily rooted and the use of rooting hormone is not mandatory. However, in order to increase the success rate, feel free to use the rooting hormone, especially when rooting the semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings.

  • After the cuttings are planted in the soil, water the cuttings thoroughly. In order for the cuttings to root, the soil must be moist all the time. If You don't have time to water the cuttings on a daily basis, consider making gravity assisted drip irrigation system using large plastic water bottles (soda bottles will do fine) - these systems are cheap and reliable, but they can drip too much water at once and can cause water spills. But other than that, simple and excellent garden aids.
  • If the cuttings are taken during winter or early spring, You can even make a small greenhouse - put a halved plastic bottle or a preserving jar or even a plastic, transparent bag over the cuttings (place a few twigs around the edge to support it).

Most roses will root in 10-20 days, depending on the rose type, season, rooting hormone applied or not, and similar. The very easy test includes pulling the cutting gently out - if there is a slight resistance, the cutting has started to root.

After the roots are established, and cutting shows the signs of strong growth, replant the new young rose in the permanent location.

Note: Not all roses root the same - old varieties root more easily than new hybrids, for example. But, with enough cuttings and especially with the use of the rooting hormone, everyone can grow a rose from the cuttings and enjoy its flowers rather quickly.

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