How to start a successful rose cutting

Roses are many gardeners’ favorite flowers. It has taken a bit for me to grow a good rose but with time and killing a few bushes I have a nice rose garden.

One rose I have always wanted is a rose that grew at the farm where I grew up. It’s been there so long no one know what variety it is but it is an old fashioned heirloom rose. It’s so delicate and the fragrance is unbelievable!

So I have taken a few cutting from the bush and plan to start a few of my own bushes.

There is a small trick to growing roses from cuttings that will give you a successful cutting and plant every time.

The trick is in when to take the rose cutting.

With your thumb, gently push sideways against the green thorns on the shoot you are considering cutting.

·  If the thorn bends over and doesn’t easily come away from the shoot,
the cutting is too green. It will not root easily.
·  If the cutting resists and doesn’t release easily, it is too woody. At this stage the thorn may even stick you.  Again this cutting will not root well.
·  However, if the thorn will not bend and will suddenly release from the shoot with a little pop with a medium amount of pressure, the cutting is at the perfect stage for a successful cutting to be made.

This time is roughly when the flower buds start to open up on the first flush of blossoms.

Rose Tips:

Spraying rose cuttings with an anti-desiccant works very well to assist in the rooting process. Why? Because it stops the cutting from losing moisture.

Growing roses from cuttings taken in the morning are more successful than those clipped later in the day. There is less plant stress or water stress early in the morning.

I use a liquid rooting hormone and a sandy soil mixture that will allow the roots to grow easily. A clay soil or rocky soil will not work well. Many people mix peat into a potting soil mix.

Bottom heat is almost a necessity for fast healthy rose clipping roots. I used a heat mat with a temperature of 72F to keep the shoots warm. I also use warm water when watering and misting any plant. Cold water gives a plant shock and that is bad for any plant. Room temperature water is always the best.

Roots should appear after four weeks. Do not jiggle the rose cutting – it disturbs the roots that are forming and will slow the process and perhaps even kill the root. Treat your rose cuttings like any other shrub or woody cutting

You’ll know you’ve been successful when the rose cutting starts growing new leaves.

My grandmother could root roses in a glass of water, but I have never had luck doing this.

The difference between roses grown from cutting and roses that have been grafted is that grafted roses are hardier and will flower more. The tenderer a rose is the harder it is for them to be over-wintered.

But if you have an old heirloom rose that you cannot identify a cutting may be you only choice.

And if you decide to graft a rose this information should help you, grafting roses.

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3 responses to “How to start a successful rose cutting”

  1. Gene Davis

    I love roses,but only have one 14 year old bush because I can’t aford to do much. I have a desire in my heart to start others off that one,and have tried unsusessfuly. when I was a boy I seen my dad start roses,cross roses graft them too. he had a nack for all that. he even grafted fruit tree limbs to other fruit trees . he had a peach tree that also grew apprecots on it. I could go on and on about things like that i’ve seen him do. Guess i just haven’t got the gift.I really liked your site here!

  2. Linda Gardner

    I want to start a rose bush from a cutting of another rose bush. I have 2 cut it because my neighbor has it hanging over the fence in my yard and the police are complaining. So instead of cuting & throwing out. I thought I just start a new bush. I’ve got a white, blue and this one is red. Thought it would blend in. So please help!!! My dad use 2 do it from single roses given my mom but he is gone so I can’t ask. Thanks, Linda

  3. Denise

    I know that you should take a small clipping, several inces long and below what they call a node. If you use a liquid root hormone the cutting should root

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