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How to propagate roses from cuttings

Roses have long been cherished for their elegance, fragrance, and vibrant colors, making them a beloved addition to gardens around the world. While purchasing new rose plants can be a delightful experience, there’s something magical about propagating roses from cuttings. This method not only allows you to expand your garden without breaking the bank but also lets you nurture new life from a favorite rose variety. In this guide, we’ll explore the art of propagating roses from cuttings, empowering you to cultivate your garden with these timeless beauties.

Understanding Rose Cuttings Propagation

Selecting the Right Cutting

The first step in successfully propagating roses from cuttings is selecting the right stem to work with. Look for healthy, disease-free stems that have recently bloomed. Choose stems that are about 6 to 8 inches long and have at least two sets of leaves. These leaves are crucial as they facilitate photosynthesis and nutrient absorption during the rooting process.

Timing is Key

Timing plays a vital role in the success of your rose cuttings propagation. The best time to take cuttings is during the dormant season, typically in late fall or early spring. This is when the rose plants are not actively growing, allowing the cuttings to focus their energy on root development rather than flower production.

The Propagation Process

Preparing the Cuttings

Once you’ve selected your cuttings, it’s time to prepare them for propagation. Use sharp and clean pruning shears to make a clean cut just below a leaf node (the point where a leaf is attached to the stem). Remove any flowers or buds from the cutting, as these can divert energy away from root development.

Rooting Hormone Application

Applying rooting hormone to the cut end of the stem can significantly enhance the success rate of your propagation. Rooting hormone encourages the growth of new roots and helps prevent diseases. Dip the cut end of the stem into the rooting hormone powder or gel, ensuring it’s evenly coated.

Choosing a Planting Medium

Choosing the right planting medium is crucial for the rooting process. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite provides excellent drainage and aeration, creating an optimal environment for root development. Fill a small container with this mixture and moisten it slightly before planting the cuttings.

Planting and Care

Insert the treated end of the cutting into the planting medium, ensuring that at least one node is buried beneath the surface. Gently press the medium around the cutting to hold it in place. Cover the container with a plastic dome or a clear plastic bag to create a humid environment that encourages root growth. Place the container in a location with bright, indirect light to provide the cuttings with the necessary energy for rooting.

Nurturing New Growth

Patience and Persistence

Propagation is a process that requires patience and dedication. It may take several weeks for the cuttings to develop strong roots. During this time, maintain the humidity within the container, regularly misting the cuttings and ensuring the soil remains slightly moist but not waterlogged. Monitor the cuttings for any signs of disease or mold and remove any affected cuttings immediately.

Transplanting Young Roses

Once your cuttings have developed a healthy root system, it’s time to transplant them into individual pots or directly into your garden. Choose a location with well-draining soil and adequate sunlight for your new roses to thrive. Gradually acclimate the young plants to outdoor conditions by exposing them to sunlight and temperature changes over a period of a week before planting them in their permanent spot.

Celebrating Success and Growth

Witnessing the Beauty of Success

As your propagated rose cuttings start to grow and flourish, you’ll experience a profound sense of accomplishment. The roses that originated as small cuttings will eventually bloom into stunning, mature plants. It’s a testament to your dedication and care throughout the propagation process.


Propagating roses from cuttings is an art that connects you to the essence of gardening โ€“ nurturing life and witnessing its growth. This rewarding process not only allows you to multiply your favorite rose varieties but also instills a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of nature. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can unlock the potential of propagating roses from cuttings and create a garden filled with the timeless beauty and fragrance of these beloved blooms.

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