Growing Roses From Cuttings: It’s Easier Than You Think

The next time someone gives you a rose, don’t throw it away after the petals have fallen. Stick it in the ground in a shaded spot, cover it with a glass jar and keep it watered. It may reward you with a plant.

Propagating roses from cuttings is not at all problematic. It’s a fascinating experiment. Cuttings may be taken at any time during the growing season. 

roses cuttingsPin

Shoots with flower buds just about to open are fine, but experience shows us that stems taken after the petals have fallen also satisfactory.

The Best Rose Cuttings

The best rose cuttings are hardened greenwood, intermediate between soft and hardwood. Cut the stem 6” to 8” inches long, so there will be two or three eyes or buds and about the same number of leaves. Plunge the slips in cold water for a half-hour or more.

Sand and fine gravel are my favorite mediums to root soft-wood cuttings, but we have had good results with peat moss and humus working into the propagating bed for the last few years. 

We feel, then, that nourishment is supplied to the cuttings as soon as the roots form, and the need for disturbing the roots by early transplanting is eliminated.

Removing The Leaves

Remove the lower leaf but retain the upper ones. Dip the stem base in a rooting hormone before inserting it into the rooting medium. Make a hole in the soil with a stick and insert the cutting so that it is about 3” inches deep and one or two nodes (junction of the leaf and stem) are buried.

The soil should be pressed firmly about the slip and given a thorough watering.

Some of the cuttings will have new shoots in about six or eight weeks. The jar cover may be removed at this time, but we prefer to leave it on until the following spring when the tiny plant is moved to its permanent location.

It is essential to protect the cutting from direct sunlight. An adequate moisture supply is another “must;” never permit the soil to dry out.

Propagating roses from cuttings is slow, for it takes several years before a reasonably good plant can be grown. If, however, you don’t mind waiting, try your skill at starting a few – you may find it quite fascinating.