Rose cuttings: beginning new roses from scratch

Are there rose bushes in the garden that you would like to propagate? Rose cuttings are an easy way to grow more rose plants. In this article we will discuss what is needed to grow roses from cuttings. It really is a simple and fun process that will help expand your rose garden in no time.

There are other forms of rose propagation, such as growing new plants from seeds or grafting cuttings onto a root stem. We learned how to grow roses from cuttings as it is a reliable method that results in an exact replica of the mother plant. This is great when there's a rose bush that has been in the family for years and you want to grow more of the strain or maybe share other favorite plants with the family.

Remember that many rose bushes have patents. Therefore, it is best not to grow roses from cuttings for resale unless you have written permission from the patent owner. The patent expires after 20 years. However, patents are more commonly seen on modern hybrids. Choose old roses that are native to your area and take rose cuttings to create a beautiful space that will also attract beneficial insects.

Now let's dig deeper into what plant propagation is and then move on to the step-by-step guide on how to take rose cuttings for optimal success and have the joy of planting new roses in your garden.

Good products on Amazon for plant cuttings:

What is plant propagation?

Hard-to-find roses like this Clytemnestra can be rooted to create more plants. Source: mmmavocado

In its simplest form, plant propagation is the process of creating new plants, and in this case, new roses. It can involve growing a plant from seeds, taking cuttings, dividing, stratifying, or grafting an existing plant. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is always good to know which method is best for the plant you are trying to propagate.

For example, some plants can only be propagated from seeds. This process is also known as sexual reproduction because you usually need to have male and female plants to produce the seed, resulting in a mixture of gene combinations. Asexual reproduction involves the production of new plants from parts of an existing plant that is essentially a clone of the parent. If you are growing roses, the best form of propagation is by cuttings taken in late spring through early winter.

Preparation and setup

The preparation is easy to propagate roses from cuttings. Most of the supplies may already be there, if not, easy to find at your local garden center.

Materials you will need

To take steps

First, prepare your materials and have everything ready so that your rose cuttings have the best chance of survival and take root. Put moistened soil in the pots, fill the glass with water and put a small amount of rooting powder in a shallow container. Now put on gloves and grab the scissors because you are ready to take rose cuttings.

How to take rose cuttings

Red rosesBy rooting cuttings you can level your rose garden. Source: James Jardine

Rose bushes have different types of wood at certain times of the year. If you are growing roses, then you have probably noticed the variety of canes. You need to know whether you are taking softwood cuttings, hardwood cuttings, or semi-hardwood cuttings. Each of these methods involves a slightly different method, although there are many similarities in the actions taken from pruning to planting.

Regardless of the type of cutting, choose healthy plants and healthy stems that are disease-free. The secateurs must be sharp and clean to avoid damage to your established rose bush and / or the transmission of disease from the scissors to the cut stems. Cutting at a 45 degree angle prevents damage to the stem. Also, if the rose stems are flexible and pliable, use a pencil to make a pilot hole in the soil to avoid damaging the stem when it is planted in the soil.

Most types of soil will do, as long as they are easily and quickly drained, with plenty of organic material to provide nutrients and retain moisture to support new growth. The reason for the glass of water is to keep the rose cuttings hydrated and moistened so that the root hormone powder will stick to the ends.

Alternatively, you can dig a narrow trench in the garden in a sheltered place without direct sunlight and fill it with a good soil mix. Then let the cuttings take root outside and transplant them once a good root system has formed. The downside to this method is that you don't have that much control over the weather, especially if you live in a cold climate. In a later section, we'll discuss how to care for rose cuttings, whether in a pot or out in the garden.

Take cuttings from softwood roses

Softwood rose cuttings are best taken in late spring or early summer on the current season's growth. Choose new stems with flexible green growth and shortly after the rose has bloomed. This type of cutting has the highest success rate because the new growth forms new roots quickly, but they are also more prone to fungal diseases and do not get used to environmental changes as well.

Step 1: Choose flexible new stems from a healthy rose that came from the current year's growth. The best time of day to take these cuttings is in the morning.

Step 2: Use secateurs to cut off a 6-8 inch long stem that's just below a leaf knot.

Step 3: Remove any lower leaves and make sure you have at least two to four knots as the knot is where the new roots will grow. Also remove any flower buds so that the energy from the cutting flows into the formation of roots. This process is sometimes referred to as "gluing" along with the following two steps.

Step 4: Take several cuttings and place them each in the water glass after you have cut them off from the mother rose.

Step 5: After you prepare the coniferous cuttings, dip each end in the root hormone powder and place it in the prepared soil. Firm up the dirt around each stem with light pressure and water the soil well. Make sure it is not soaked and that there is good drainage so the end of the cuttings don't rot. Try placing at least half of the cutting under the potting soil in a deep pot for the best root potential.

Take semi-hardwood rose cuttings

Semi-hardwood rose cuttings are partially ripened and lie between softwood and hardwood cuttings. They are even more flexible at the top, with slight resistance near the base. These take a little longer to take root, but are better able to withstand diseases and environmental influences. These cuttings are best taken in late summer through early fall, when the current year's growth has stopped and the bush has stopped blooming.

Step 1: Choose roses with stems that show healthy leaves free from disease. Take several cuttings and keep them 6-8 inches in length. Also, cut just below a leaf knot, making sure there are at least 4 knots along the cut stem.

Step 2: Remove the remaining leaves from the bottom half and expose 2 to 4 knots. Put the prepared stems in the water.

Step 3: Now dip each stem in the rooting hormone powder and place it in the prepared soil – make sure that at least 2 knots are covered with soil. Use a pencil to make a planting hole if you have trouble pushing the stem into the soil.

Step 4: Lightly press the soil around the stem to secure it in place and water it thoroughly.

Take cuttings from hardwood roses

Hardwood cuttings are taken in late autumn or early winter when the plant is dormant and the stems are mature and hardened. In a warmer environment, it is possible to safely bring rose cuttings into late winter. This type of rose pruning is the most difficult and slowest to root. However, it is often considered the most reliable method, especially if you place it outside in a garden ditch. It's the perfect time to collect cuttings as it is the pruning season for winter.

Step 1: Choose a long, straight stem that is at least 6 inches long and one with 4 or more leaf nodes. Cut the stem at a 45 degree angle to avoid damage.

Step 2: remove the leaves to expose 2 to 4 knots, and when you collect multiple cuttings, place them in a glass of water until you are ready to dip the ends in root hormone powder.

Step 3: Once the ends are submerged, place the stem in the prepared potting soil or garden bed. Remember to place it deep enough so that the exposed knots are in the dirt, then the dirt solidifies around the stem. Soak the water deeply so that the cutting gets plenty of moisture.

Caring for your rose cuttings

Prepare rose cuttingsThe pinning of rose cuttings is essential for the rooting process. Source: mmmavocado

Growing roses from cuttings takes a little care and patience. Keep the soil moist, but not wet, to prevent the cutting from developing mold or a fungal disease. Add gardening grits to your soil to increase drainage if this is a problem.

It's also important not to let the soil dry out, so water cuttings that are in pots more often than those that are in the ground. You can also put a plastic bag (with small air holes) over the potted cuttings and secure them with an elastic band to help hold in heat and moisture.

Place your potted cuttings in a warm place that receives bright indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can be too harsh, especially the hot afternoon sun. When planting your cuttings in the ground, consider placing plastic wrap or a plastic or glass bottle over them, essentially creating a mini greenhouse. This is supposed to provide protection, warmth and moisture and keep the soil soft and moist.

As mentioned earlier, softwood cuttings root faster than hardwood cuttings, and one way to tell if they have roots is to gently pull on the stem. If you encounter resistance, then you have rooted cuttings.

Growing roses is a fun endeavor, but don't rush to transplant them into the garden. It takes time for good root development to help them endure and thrive during stressful times.

frequently asked Questions

Pink rosesGreen cuttings of softwood roses are relatively easy to root. Source: DBduo Photography

Q: Can you root rose cuttings in water?

A: Yes, you can root rose cuttings in water. It takes longer and the success rate is lower, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't try this method. Simply take softwood cuttings from a new, healthy trunk and place it in lukewarm water. Make sure you have plenty of heat and sunlight, and change the water once a week. Root formation should begin within a month.

Q: How long does it take roses to grow from cuttings?

A: It depends on what type of cutting is used. Softwood cuttings usually take root within two to four weeks, while hardwood cuttings take a little longer. If you are pulling cuttings in spring, you should be able to plant the new rose outdoors in late summer or early fall. If you start a rose pruning in the fall, it should develop roots and be ready for planting the following late spring or early summer.

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