Gardens Galore

How to plant roses from cuttings


A rose garden is something many people would like to have. The problem is that to purchase rose plants can be pretty expensive especially if you want some of the more exotic roses. The way to a succesful rose garden is to take cuttings off rose bushes you or your friends already have and plant them to produce more rose bushes. Rose cuttings can be quite finicky and difficult to grow if you don't know the steps to follow. Below I will set out the steps to follow to be succesful at planting roses from cuttings.

Gardening Tools Required

A sharp knife or pruning shears.
Pots to plant roses in
Rose potting soil
Anti dessicant spray
Rooting hormone
Large shopping bags or plastic bags and elastic bands
Spray bottle with a misting nozzle

Other preparations

To prevent bacteria and diseases spreading between plants always use sterile tools. Wash all your plant containers, water containers and shears in water with two capfuls of bleach mixed in. Allow the tools to dry before using them.

Selecting the cuttings

There are a number of things that one needs to know about rose cuttings if you want to be succesful.

The main one is to select the right plant material to use as a cutting and the correct time to make your cuttings.

Choose the rose bush you want to take cuttings from and then then do the thumb trick on the thorns of the stem you are considering using. The thumb trick is to push your thumb against the green thorns on the stem and if they bend against the pressure and the thorn stays on the stem the stem is too green to use as a cutting.

If you select a stem and press against a thorn which pricks you instead of coming off the the stem it is too woody and will not root.

The ideal stem to choose for your cuttings is one where you use the same technique set out above. The only difference is that the thorn should not bend and should not prick you but pop off the stem when a medium pressure is applied to it. This stem will be mature enough to root.

The ideal time to look for rose cuttings is when the first flush of buds start to open.

Preparation for Planting

Prepare your pots for planting the cuttings by filling them up with potting soil and watering them well. Ensure that there are holes in the bottom of the pots to allow drainage and that when you water the pots you don't lose soil through the holes. To stop soil loss add a layer of small stones before adding the potting soil.

Preparing the stem before taking a cutting.

Spray the stem with an anti dessicant spray which will help slow down the drying out process. These sprays are obtainable at your local nursery. Once you have sprayed the selected stem allow the spray to dry and then make your cutting in the early morning as the plant is less stressed in the cool of the day.

When making the cutting cut the stem at a sharp angle ensuring that the end of the cutting is not damaged. Cut the selected stems into 10 to 15cm lengths and ensure that each cutting has at least two leaves left on its stem.


Before planting your prepared cutting dip the end of the stem into a rooting hormone and then using a pencil or stick make holes in the potting soil up to 10cm deep and place your cutting in the hole. Press the soil down tightly around the cutting without injuring it. Depending on the size of the pot you are using you can place more than one cutting in the pot. The trick however is not to crowd the cuttings. Plant them at least 5cm apart in all directions.

Caring for your new rose cuttings.

Roses need warmth to encourage root growth. There are two ways to keep your roses warm.

The first is to place your rose pots on a heated mat at about 72 degrees fahrenheit to keep them warm. This you can do in a greenhouse or enclosed area.

A second and possibly easier method is to place your rose pots inside a large plastic bag which will let in a lot of light and keep the humidty up.

You should mist water the plant several times a day using a spray bottle. Use lukewarm water instead of cold tap water. The reason for this is to keep the humidity in the bag high. Do not overwater the plants as a very wet soil can result in the soil going rotten. The soil should however be moist at all times.

If the cutting is going to grow it should start showing signs of new leaves in a period of 2 to 4 weeks after planting. Do NOT get inquisitive and start pulling on the cutting to see if it is rooting as you will damage the young roots that are forming and most probably kill the new rose plant.

Once the rose cuttings have taken you will observe new growth as the stems lengthen and leaves sprout on them. Keep watering them and watch them grow. Once their roots are about 3cm long you can repot them into their own pots Its best to wait about three weeks after growth has started before repotting.

Instead of using normal pots an idea is to use 2 litre plastic cooldink bottles which are seethrough then you can see if their are roots forming. Plant the stem close to the edge so that the roots can be seen. One you have repotted your new rose plants treat them as you would treat your other rose plants.

Enjoy your new gardening skill!

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Grow Roses from cuttings
Page updated 29.8.2017

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