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How to Grow Roses From Stem Cuttings

Published July 22, 2015        by Matt

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How to Grow Roses From Stem Cuttings

Learn to Grow Your Own Roses From Stem Cuttings

Whether you are trying to create a rose garden or just wanting a beautiful recreation of your favorite rose, you can save a lot of money by growing your roses from stem cuttings. Growing roses from stem cuttings is very budget friendly and quite easy as well.

With simple guidance and a few 'tricks of the trade', you too can be growing your own roses from stem cuttings. This is a great way to grow your rose collection while saving a fortune. Not to mention, with stem cuttings you will get a replica of the parent plant, not so with seeds. Seeds are great for new varieties but that's for another day... Here you will learn how to grow roses from cuttings as well as the different methods used.

Special THANK YOU to Connie at Hartwood Roses for allowing me to utilize some of her rooting images from a great tutorial she wrote.

What You Will Need to Grow Roses From Stem Cuttings

The first step to growing roses from stem cuttings is to have everything you need together before you start. This is important because the time you spend looking for supplies, washing supplies and trying to find your marker, will be more time that your rose cuttings have to sit and dry out before you can get them planted.

What you will need:

  • A healthy rose to take cuttings from
  • Small sterile pots
  • Sharp sterile shears
  • Rooting hormone (optional- but works the best)
  • Sterile potting soil
  • Optional Depending on the Method:
  • Glass Jars
  • 2 Liter Soda Bottle
  • Clear Gallon Bag
  • Greenhouse Dome and trays

1) Choose Your Rose Stems for Cutting

When choosing your rose bush and the stems you plan on using for cuttings, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Make sure that you are using a healthy rose bush. There's no need in taking cuttings from a sick rose bush because your cuttings will most likely die long before they get a chance to root.

In addition to using healthy long rose stems you need to make sure your stems are mature. The rule of thumb is to use a stem that has just bloomed. This will insure that you are getting a rose that will be a bloomer as well as a stem that is mature enough to root. Stems that are too old or too young will not produce.

Look for stems that are about the size of a pencil, maybe even a little bigger. Once you have your stem chosen, cut the stem back as long as you would like. I usually cut the stem back as far as I can without it getting any thicker then my finger. This usually leaves me with 1-2 feet to use or you can simply do tip cuttings.

With the tip cuttings, you still follow everything above but you just cut about 10 inches from the top of each stem that has already bloomed. When you cut the stem from the bush, cut it like you would if you were pruning it; cut it at an angle just above a set of leaves.

2) Prepare the Soil For You Stem Cuttings

How to Grow Roses From Stem Cuttings

Next, you will need to prepare your soil. Using sterile pots and sterile potting soil, fill the pots with soil. Water thoroughly and allow excess water to drain out. Make sure that you are using pots with good drainage.

Next, using a pencil or popsicle stick, create a hole for your cuttings. Depending on the size of your pots you can put more than one in each pot. I usually use 3 inch mini flower pots that can hold 3-5 cuttings on each one.


3) Cut Your Stem Into Sections and Preparing Them For Rooting

How to Grow Roses From Stem Cuttings

Now that you have your stems, cut your roses into 6-10 inch pieces. BE SURE TO USE SHARP

SHEARS or a sharp knife. Using dull instruments will crush the inside of the stem and injure it. Always make your cut at an angle and just above a set of leaves.

If you are using a rose that has large leaves you can cut the tips of the leaves to cut back on the stem having to carry as much water to the leaves. It's not a requirement but some do choose to do it.

The next thing you need to do is to take a sharp knife and cut about 1 inch of the outside of the stem off. Kinda like 'shaving' a thin layer off on one side of the stem. Only about an inch long. This will leave an open area for more roots to form.


4) Planting Your Rose Cuttings

Next, dip the bottom tips of the stem cuttings in water, tap off excess and dip in rooting hormone. Tap off any excess. Lightly press the stem into each hole that you previously created in the soil. Firm the soil around the stems to make sure there are no air pockets.

Lightly water to help settle in the stems. Don't over water to avoid excess moisture and washing off the rooting hormone.


5) The Final Step...

How to Grow Roses From Stem Cuttings

Now that you have your rose cuttings planted and they are waiting for roots, all you need to do is maintain a great growing environment for them. They need to remain in a humid location so that they can take moisture in through their leaves and stem since they don't have any roots yet. However, you don't want the soil to be too wet. If your soil is too wet they will NOT make it. The rose cuttings will rot and die within a few weeks.

Once you have them planted and water them lightly again, you can nearly forget about them. Using a dome, greenhouse, gallon bag or other moisture barrier, you should create a 'greenhouse effect' for them. This will help keep the moisture in the air.

If you choose not to create a greenhouse effect you can mist with a spray bottle 2-3 times a day. Make sure that the soil remains moist at all times but not soggy wet.

Checking Your Stem Cuttings for Roots

The Finale Finally... What You've Been Waiting for the Whole Time

How to Grow Roses From Stem Cuttings

Rose cuttings usually begin to root with in 1-3 weeks depending on the variety of rose and the season. I prefer to do mine in early Spring. They usually form roots with in 1-2 weeks.

Never pull the rose stem cuttings out to check and see if it has roots. I know, this is very hard to not do. I have killed several cuttings this way when I first started and was very impatient. When the roots start to form, they are like tiny hairs. When you pull the cutting from the soil you are breaking the tiny roots off and injuring the plant.

The best way to tell if they have rooted is when you see new leaves appear. You will begin to see new growth and then you can be sure that you have roots!!!

Also, don't be too quick to take them out of their pots. Let them be as long as possible so that they can grow stronger roots before being transplanted. One good thing about planting them in small separate pots is they will have their own 'home' until they are moved.


When to Plant Your Roses Cuttings in the Garden

This is a very crucial part of growing roses from stem cuttings. If you get eager and put them in the yard too soon, you will lose your precious little baby plants. Just like anything else, roses grown from cuttings need to be hardened off. After your cuttings have been well established for a few months and are starting to grow well, you can consider planting them.

Harden-off you roses by placing them outside (if not already) for a few hours a day in the warm sunshine. Be sure not to let them stay out too long or they will sunburn. Each day add a little more sunshine to their stay. You can also place in a shady spot and allow them to get the sun they need as the sun moves east to west.

Do not leave out in the cold, in the wind or bad storm. You plants are too fragile for this. Once you have hardened them off for a few weeks you can then plant them. Be sure to keep them well watered!!!

Some growers choose to leave them in their pots for the first year so that they can be moved in and protected on their first winter. This is the best option. However, depending on your space, other arrangements may need to be made.


Rather Eat Roses Than Grow Them?

How to Grow Roses From Stem Cuttings

I like to do both!

We have all kinds of adorable decorated cookie flower arrangements, but some of my favorites are the pink and red rose cookie bouquets like the one shown in the photo to the right. They are available with either 5, 7, 9 or 12 cookies and you can even get them in gift boxes if you prefer. So maybe you don't love growing roses, but that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy them!

Better yet if you know a garden lover, you could send these cookies as a Mother's Day gift or Valentine cookie gift!


More Information On How to Grow Beautiful Roses

Now that you have your new roses all nicely planted in the ground, keep them up to par with the best methods on growing roses. For more information on growing beautiful roses check out How to Grow Beautiful Roses. There you will find everything from growing, pruning, fertilizing and other propagation methods! Really nice place!


Don't Have Time To Root Your Own Roses?

Here are some beauties from Amazon!

Want To Feature Roses At Your Wedding?

Rose Favors

Roses are THE most popular flower choice for weddings, but did you know that you can incorporate your love of roses into the wedding favors as well?

You can find all kinds of things like crystal roses, personalized coffee packets with a rose motif, and rose petal bath soaps. Check out all the beautiful rose wedding favors available at Wedding Favors Unlimited.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas and everything else related to growing roses from stem cuttings in the comments below!


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