How To Grow Roses From Cuttings: All The Tips And Tricks

Do you want roses in your garden? Their sweet fragrance fills the air, and their delicate and vibrant colours catch the eye. Just imagine having raised garden beds full of roses waiting for you back home after a long day! If so, you might grow them from cuttings. This experience will make you feel like a pro gardener, that’s for sure. 

bush of red roses in the garden

Don’t think roses are hard to grow from cuttings. It’s not that hard at all. Seeds produce unique plants, but rooted cuttings give the striking image of mother plants. The propagation is excellent if you want to continue your favourite family heritage legacy or have a variety you like or want to share.

How to take rose cuttings

If you want to get more of your favourite houseplant, cutting is ideal for preserving and propagating a variety you enjoy. By the end of summer, you’ll have a beautiful rose garden that everyone would be jealous of!

All rose varieties are suitable for cutting; some will be more softwood cutting than others, so make sure to maximise your chances by making several cuttings.

The equipment needed to do so:

  • A clean disinfected pruner or a sharp knife
  • A pot
  • Rooting hormone
  • Light soil potting mix
  • A watering can
  • A plastic bag or a greenhouse

Rose cuttings can produce new, vigorous and beautiful shrubs. As with many other plants, it is essential to choose a sunny location with moist soil. Remove young, strong rose stems just above a group of leaves to maximise their success rate and soak them in cutting hormones so that the roots will grow faster. Water the cuttings, and you’ll get young roses with solid roots in no time!

woman cutting rose from bush of pink roses in the garden

Step-by-step guide to grow roses from cuttings

1. Take cuttings

Choose vigorous rose stems 15 to 20 centimetres long and cut them over their first set of leaves with pruning shears or a sharp knife while holding the tool at a 45-degree angle. Try to remove cuttings in the morning to be well hydrated. Then clean your tools with household alcohol before using them.

Put the new stems in water. The rooting roses must remain hydrated not to dry out before you plant them. As soon as you have taken them, dip them in a glass of water at room temperature and leave them until you are ready to plant them. Ideally, it would be best if you were prepared to put the new roots in the ground as soon as you cut the stems.

Remove the bottom half leaves. You have cut each stem just above a set of leaves, but there must be others higher. Keep only the group at the top of each cutting. Cut all other leaves with a sharp pruner or scissors.

2. Apply rooting hormones

Let the stem pieces soak in a bit of water for a few minutes. Then use a rooting hormone on the section of the stem that will be planted in the soil.

3. Look for a sunny location

Where you plant the new roses is essential, especially if you grow them outdoors. Look for a bright spot, but not in full sun, as the young new plants should not dry out. You can also plant the rose cuttings in a pot or other container as long as it is wide and deep enough to allow them to grow. Make sure to measure and find the right pot for your plants!

If there is a sunny location near a pipe connected to a gutter or other water source, it is perfect for ensuring that the soil is always moist. If you use a pot, it should be at least 15 centimetres deep.

Expert hand of farmer checking soil health before growth a seed of vegetable or plant seedling. Gardening technical, Agriculture concept.

4. Prepare the soil

To grow root roses, you need a growing substrate consisting of sand and fine gravel or perlite. The mixture should be well-drained. Work it to a depth of 10 to 15 centimetres beforehand. You can buy sand and gravel in a garden centre, a DIY store, or online.     

5. Choose vigorous cuttings

When cutting a bush of roses, look for long, robust, and healthy stems without wilted or brown parts. It is best to take cuttings from young green twigs in late spring or early summer to maximise their chances of taking root quickly. Look for young, flexible stems.

6. Dig holes

Push a small stick or a pencil into the ground to make a hole 8 to 10 centimetres deep for each stem cutting. The holes should be wide enough to accommodate them.

7. Plant the cuttings

Gently push each one into the ground a few centimetres or half its length. Once it is pressed, put soil around the stem to hold it in place. If you plant several cuttings, arrange them in rows 15 to 20 centimetres apart.

Farmer gardener hands in gloves planting rose seedling in the soil during spring season in the garden

8. Water the stems

The most important thing for rose cuttings to take root is to ensure that they remain hydrated. Water them frequently (several times a day in hot, dry weather) to help them form vigorous roots. To keep the soil moist, you can position a plastic bag around the cutting after watering it to create a mini greenhouse.

After planting, the roses are necessarily watered, and the potting soil is sprinkled with large sawdust to preserve moisture. Keep an eye on them, as it is essential that they remain hydrated and adequately rooted. Make sure they never dry out. Keep in mind that rose bushes need direct sunlight but not too much as it can harm them

9. Plant cuttings anytime

Some people plant rose cuttings during the cold season, while others prefer to plant rose cuttings in early summer. You should be able to do so at any time of the year. However, they need to be hydrated all the time. If you plant them in the summer or live in a warm area, they will dry out faster. A rainy season could be the best period.

Smart tips and tricks for success with roses

The planting of rose cuttings in the garden should be done in late spring or autumn. The soil temperature should be above 10-12 degrees, and the outside temperature should be no less than 15 degrees. The work is recommended to be completed in mid-October, beginning in mid-September. It is necessary to give the cuttings at least two weeks, preferably more to grow roots before the cold arrives

For plant propagation, you can also transfer rose cuttings from a pot to your garden. All you have to do is dig a hole 5 to 6 centimetres wider and deeper than the pot’s size. Then just transfer the whole content of the pot into the hole. Cover with more soil and water with care. The cuttings should have roots already, so there are higher chances of growing into a bush faster after moving them to the garden.

The first weeks after the cuttings are planted are the most critical for their survival. To maximise their chances, you can cover them with plastic bottles to protect them from pets or other potential damage types. If new leaves grow, then your project was successful, and you can remove the bottles.

cuttings of roses are rooted under plastic bottles. Planting roses under a transparent shelter. Breeding roses cuttings. Green shoot in the spring.

How to care for your roses

You love roses so much that you’ve decided to plant them in your garden! That’s a great idea! This way, you can enjoy them to the fullest; here are some tips to care for your rose bush and allow it to flourish in your garden. Once they’re in bloom, all you have to do is give them to your loved ones.

Roses can adapt to any landscape. There are rose varieties in sizes and shapes for any taste, from large shrubs that form hedges to small miniatures in containers. It’s no wonder that roses are one of the most famous flowers globally, with such a unique fragrance.

Some think it’s complicated to take care of them. However, with a few simple watering tips, fertilising, mulching, and pruning, growing roses can be easy and enjoyable for everyone.

Plantation

To thrive, roses need direct sunlight every day for at least six hours a day. The morning sun is preferred because it dries the moisture on the foliage earlier than the afternoon sun. Good drainage and air circulation will keep the roses healthy. To enrich the soil, mix 1/2 soil and 1/2 organic matter, such as compost, when planting. The best time to plant roses in a container is in spring.

hands in blue gloves of agronomist planting red roses in garden

Pruning

The pruning shapes the rose and promotes new growth and large flowers. For a specific type of roses, prune at the end of February. Remove dead or diseased wood parts. Cut the remaining canes with a diagonal cut, just above the outward-facing buds. It will promote outdoor growth.

Fertilisation

Roses grow faster when given extra plant food and nutrients found in fertilisers. Use an excellent organic fertiliser with natural materials. It’s good for plants and soil. Start fertilising in the spring and follow the packaging recommendations for gorgeous roses.

Watering

A beautiful rose will grow best in moist, well-drained soil. This means watering your plants the right way and regularly throughout the year. Not enough water and the tops begin to wilt, too much water and the lower leaves turn yellow and fall. Avoid aerial watering, which can cause fungal diseases, such as black spots. Try using drip irrigation or low sprinklers so that the foliage is not wet.

Closeup view of woman watering rose bushes outdoors. Gardening tool

Mulch

A 5 to 10 centimetres layer of mulch around the roses could help the soil to retain moisture during dry summers and reduce weeds. To minimise winter damage, also cover the graft fitting or plant base with mulch during this season.

Pests

Fleas, spider mites, scales, and caterpillars can damage a rose plant, leaving behind ugly foliage as they chew and suck the plant. Some parasites, such as aphids, can be washed with a powerful stream of water. Insecticide soaps and neem oil sprays are natural products that also control many rose pests. Make sure to get rid of midges and pests but also keep away moles and cats, that can prove dangerous for your favourite plants.

Rose diseases

The most common fungal disease is the black spot. It looks like circular black spots on the leaf, often surrounded by yellow. Constantly inspect your plants for signs of insect or disease damages. Clear the ground of any tainted leaves and then treat them with a Neem oil spray to stop the infection spread. You can also spray the area around your roses with weed killers to keep your flowers looking beautiful.

A hand spaying water with tobacco mixture from a pink spray bottle on moss rose plant for insect repellent.

After studying cutting roses techniques, you can be sure that it is quite possible to grow a magnificent rose bush from cuttings. The trick is not to be afraid of challenges and approach the matter at hand with optimism.

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