How to propagate roses from cuttings


Ever had a plant that thrives remarkably in your garden? Or perhaps, a rose bush in your neighborhood that captivates you? Maybe a beloved rose is nearing its twilight years?

That's the prime time to consider a cutting.

Propagation through stem cutting allows you to duplicate a plant that you adore. This means you could multiply that perfect floribunda you're infatuated with into several copies.

However, a dose of reality: the success rate of your cuttings is likely to be around 50 to 75 percent. Rose enthusiasts are always experimenting to increase the success rate of their cuttings, and their efforts and experiences can be quite enlightening. Despite this, even seasoned rose cultivators often hover around this success rate.

Don't be disheartened! This only implies you should plant a few extras to ensure you have more than what you need. In case more flourish than anticipated, they make an exquisite gift.

With this guide, you're set to be on the higher end of the success scale. We've gathered top-notch advice and experiences from rose enthusiasts globally.

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Can't wait to get your hands dirty? Let's get started!

When to Take Cuttings

If you look up the best time to take cuttings, you'll get a variety of answers. Some websites suggest late winter or early spring, others recommend summer, while some vouch for autumn, with some even declaring fall as the absolute worst time.

Simply put, there's an overload of conflicting information out there! The perfect timing depends on your location, climate, goals, and circumstances.

In theory, you can root cuttings at any point during the growing season, but the success rate is usually higher when conditions are moderate.

Extreme cold or hot weather, when plants are stressed, aren't the best times. This generally leaves spring and fall in temperate regions, and winter in areas that don't experience freezing conditions.

Numerous experts advise taking cuttings in the fall, post the fading of all the blossoms. I've had significant success during this period, but you'll need to keep the starts indoors throughout winter, so bear that in mind.

If you plan on rooting your cuttings directly in the garden, spring is ideal, once new growth has commenced. This method works best when you don't want to exert energy in maintaining a plant indoors for months.

In my experience, rose cuttings started directly outdoors typically grow faster than those started indoors and later transplanted.

Maybe it's because they've had more time to adjust to your conditions, and they don't have to endure the shock of transplanting from indoors to outdoors.

Preparing the Cuttings

Before making a cut on the plant, ensure you're taking your sample from a healthy plant. Avoid any plant showing signs of rust, mildew, fungus, insect infestation, or any pest or disease.

In case you observe any of these signs, refrain from taking a cutting.

You should also avoid taking cuttings from old, woody stems or extremely soft, flexible material. The newest growth is often red or purple. A small amount of red (or young) growth is acceptable, but the majority of the stem should be green where you plan to cut.

While you can technically take cuttings from both hard and young growth, I've found that these typically don't root as well.

If you're taking cuttings in the fall, look for a stem that has a spent flower or even the beginnings of a hip, with at least six sets of leaves.

Choose an eight to nine-inch piece from an area with growth as thick as a pencil, using a sharp knife or clippers that have been sanitized. Make the cut at a 45-degree angle. Repeat as necessary.