Introduction: HOW TO Propagate Rose Stem Cuttings

Picture of HOW TO Propagate Rose Stem Cuttings

Step 1: How to Tell Which Rose Cutting End Is Up

Picture of How to Tell Which Rose Cutting End Is Up

The Bud (^-shaped) will always be above the Node ring (sometimes a darker line around the stem, and/or a wider bump).

Step 2: Soak the Cuttings (optional)

Picture of Soak the Cuttings (optional)
  1. Fill a clean jar halfway or more with water.

  2. Place the cut ends of the roses making sure the ends are in water.

  3. Leave the cuttings in for a week or two or longer.
    I like to leave my cuttings in the water for even 1-3 months.
    You may wish to change out the water periodically, but I rarely do, if it gets to that point, I just plant them in soil.

NOTE: During my move, I had cut several rose branches and placed them in a grocery paper bag in my garage--only to have forgotten to bring them home for a week. The branches had been in a broiling hot enclosed garage without water, and needless to say, they looked pretty dried out to a crisp. But I didn't want to just toss them out yet (these were the climbing Charisma roses), so I got an empty plastic detergent tub and completely immersed the stems for 2 weeks (no changing water). Then I stuck them into soil and hoped for the best. Well, I got about a 50% survival rate.

Step 3: Plant the Cuttings

  1. Stick the stem cuttings about 2" into a pot of garden soil.

  2. Keep in shade to partial sun until new shoots have sprouted from the buds, and then move the growing cuttings into sun.

  3. Your roses may have its first bloom in about 6 months from placing into soil.

  4. You may even wish to cut your cuttings down to 3" to 4" and double your plants, but they will be more prone to rot or dry up faster if you let the soil dry too long. The cuttings that are 6" to 8" seem to do much better, and if cuttings are even longer, the water has a longer length to travel up and down, and the cutting may end up more dehyrated with the upper part dying off. So 6" to 8" is a happy medium.



de Oliveira (author)2010-10-27

Hi! Get hormones this way - get Cyperus rotundus (I don't know the US name) all parts, root, leaves, etc. Wash. Put in a mixer and torture everything with a little water, just to cover. Filter. Mix clean water - ratio 65%-Cyperus juice and 35% water. Now spray on cutted stem. Store the 'potion' in refrigerator no more than 3 days.
Cyperus rotundus controls growth its neigborhood releasing excessive hormones by roots and leaves. We may use this hormones in smaller quantities that cause the opposite effect.
We may use homeopathy too. Take 5 Cyperus 'potion' drops on 20ml alchool 70%.
Shaking 100 times beating on stuffed hard pillow (sing a blues to keep pace). Use clean ambar glass to store for 2 years (away from light, heat, magnetism and electricity). Now we have the first centesimal hannemanian dynamization - 1CH. Label it this way: Cyperus rotundus 1CH
Use 5 drops in 200ml of water to spray stem.
This is also used for fevers in human - 5 drops on the tongue..

Cyperus pics here:

Deseases here:

gardenmoda (author)de Oliveira2011-09-09


thank you for the tip!
i started out using a rooting hormone, then pushed the stems into soil, kept out of direct sun. they did allright, and i think just as well as not using the rooting hormone.

i stopped using the rooting hormone because i dont want to get more chemicals on me (in addition to our fluoridated, chlorinated tap water, amongst other environmental pollutants in our daily lives) :)

i find i can root plants in water alone--even succulents, by using a very thin layer of water in a styrofoam cup.

i believe the key to rooting a plant cutting in water is to keep it warm, but not sunburnt in strong full sun. my african violets all seem to root better in water than perlite or soil! the water level is determined by how the mother plant takes water--roses can take lots of water, so root in 3-5" of water. succulents dont like to stand in water, so root in 1/8" of water standing with only the base touching the water.

i'll put up an instructables on rooting various plants shortly.
thank you for your comments!

de Oliveira (author)gardenmoda2011-09-09

Thank you for your attention and other instruction!

Don't worry about these hormones. They only actuate on plants. We need to drink a pipe to feel something... :)

You are correct about warm water. When the soil is warmed there are chemical reactions running very well. Until 39Celsius in the soil the roots are going well. More than that is dangerous. The best temperature is close to the child milk bottle.

Good gardening!

And sorry about my English...

Your English is just fine. I understand it perfectly well. (Especially for it NOT being your Native tongue.

CarolineG25 (author)de Oliveira2016-08-26

I do not think this works. nut weed inhibits other plant growth. Cyperus rotundus gives off "chemicals" that slow grow of neighboring plants. Parts are edible and was used in ancient times to prevent tooth decay. Can you show a study where this is true? Cinnamon is a good substitute for root hormone products - rub a little ground cinnamon on the cut

11206juti (author)2016-05-21

We received so many flowers from my Dad's Funeral. It would be great to plant most of them.

RosieO1 (author)2016-03-01

Rose circulating approaches have transformed over the years, from the basic own-root ranges of the Victorian era, and progressing to the fledglinged hybrids of the 20th century with its many options of exotic understock such as Rosa multiflora

KzooK1 (author)2015-10-22

Thanks for the post. I'm getting ready to move several rose bushes across the country, and will be using your cutting method to increase the chance of survival. Glad I found this.

Paloma80 (author)2015-08-06

Hi, I put almost 30 cuttings on water for 2 weeks until buds and little leaves came out from approximately 20 of them. I've put them on separate pots afterwards and gave them a little bit of water every day in order to maintain humid the soil but they are all drying to death! Do not know what to do! Anybody that could help? Not putting the bag as I have them inside with a room temperature around 73,4 F.

Thieland (author)2015-06-09


RabiaQ (author)2015-06-06

can someone help me. I am trying to propagate roses and planted the stems around 5 weeks ago. The stems beautifully grew leaves etc on its own but today when I took out one stem, it has only grown a callus so far. So my question is how long does it take for the roots to grow? When I started I moistened the soil a bit at that time and since then never again. Each stem is in a pot surrounded by a ziplock bag tied to it. All stems are growing leaves. Should I start watering them more often? Would that mean I have to take the bag off every time and then tie it again? Hoping to find some answers from more experienced people.

Thieland (author)RabiaQ2015-06-09

i would replant in larger pots and add water every week

Wolfbird (author)2009-11-26

I am curious... it seems that you are just supposed to "soak" the cut stems for a week or more in water.... which is mostly what people normally do with cut roses. But whenever I put roses my boyfriend brings me in water, they just fade within a week or so. I'll "feed" the roses with either sugar in the water or with the packet of plant food that comes with them. I'll cut off a small bit at an angle from the bottom of the stem evert day or so. But after a week or so they start wilting and drooping, so at that point I just take them out and hang them upside down to dry.

I'd really like to be able to grow my own roses from his presents. Do you know what I am doing wrong?

Thieland (author)Wolfbird2015-06-09

a lot of times, store bought flowers have pesticides that make them unable to regrow, which could be your problem

gardenmoda (author)Wolfbird2009-11-26

The part that roots the best is not the flowering upper part of the stem, but the stem that is closest to the trunk of the plant.
Also, when the flowers/leaves/hips are left on top, the energy of the stem goes to the production of these parts, so it takes away from the rooting process. It also has to do with the hormones, in particular the:
— auxins (which are concentrated in the leaves, branches, flowers, and regulate cell elongation) and the
— cytokinins (which are concentrated at the shoot tips & roots, and which regulate cell division).
So, if you cut off the top part of the stem, this causes the flow of the cytokinins to flow down toward the bottom of the stem, thereby encouraging root formation.

I too, have tried the cut rose flower method, but haven't yet been successful--perhaps because there are chemical additives that the roses have soaked up, or because there are no nodes (which are the points where new shoots grow out), or because the stems have spent much of their energy producing the flowers...BUT, perhaps if the flowers were immediately cut off and some rooting hormones applied to the bottom cut ends, that may work.
I'll have to try that next time I see some really nice roses I want to try growing.

If you try that, keep me posted!
Thank you for taking a look, and for your question.


mmould03 (author)gardenmoda2010-06-29

Wonderful instructable! And THANK YOU! I have the most beautiful smelling rose in my backyard that was there when my father purchased the house (I purchased it from him... the house, not the rose, the rose just came with it :) ) and I've never been able to identify it or find anything that smelled nearly as sweet. It blossoms with two buds a year, consistantly, never producing more or growing any further. Both buds are now dead so I think I will cut them off the moment I get home and start this process. Maybe in a couple of years I'll have a whole patch of these magnificent bushes. Again, many kudos and thanks.

Wolfbird (author)gardenmoda2009-12-01

Wow, thanks for the in-depth reply!

I will definitely try this out next time I get my hands on some. It would not surprise me though if commercially-bought flowers are treated with something to discourage root growth though. Guess I'll have to select a few "guinea pig" stalks to experiment with rooting and just enjoy the rest as-is.

LorienG (author)2015-05-21

LorienG (author)LorienG2015-05-21

I normally have great success in my gardening, but growing roses from cuttings seems to be the bane of my existence. I have tried several times, with no success. The leaves and stems get moldy, whether I use an inverted plastic bottle or inflated plastic bag. It's very important to me that I get cuttings from family roses from a former home to grow in my new home, but I am running out of ideas. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Jenniferv9 (author)LorienG2015-05-30

TRY THIS...For mother's day i got a bouquet of beautiful flowers. It only had one rose in it. But it was big, red and smelled so nice so I took the rose out and clipped a bit of the outter skin off of the bottom end of the rose stem i then clipped the leaves off as well as the rose bud it's self. I got a non see thrw glass pot about the size of my fist and filled it with good potting soil. I simply stuck the budless and leafless stem into soil no rooting compound or hormone was needed. Gave it a lil water and put a sandwich bag on top to keep the moisture in. I put it on a window ledge with not too much light. ..forgot about it for about three weeks when i finally checked on it, it had a bunch of new growth and is now ready to be put in a bigger pot

Thieland (author)Jenniferv92015-06-09

never tried that in my experiments! Thanks for the idea

Thieland (author)LorienG2015-06-09

I would say to propagate from cuttings.... place in water about 1/4 way up from stem, and hope for best!

P.S. Don't forget to change out the water, after you have about an inch of roots, replant in soil.

Thieland (author)2015-06-09

Jenniferv9 (author)2015-05-30

For mother's day i got a bouquet of beautiful flowers. It only had one rose in it. But it was big, red and smelled so nice so I took the rose out and clipped a bit of the outter skin off of the bottom end of the rose stem i then clipped the leaves off as well as the rose bud it's self. I got a non see thrw glass pot about the size of my fist and filled it with good potting soil. I simply stuck the budless and leafless stem into soil no rooting compound or hormone was needed. Gave it a lil water and put a sandwich bag on top to keep the moisture in. I put it on a window ledge with not too much light. ..forgot about it for about three weeks when i finally checked on it, it had a bunch of new growth and is now ready to be put in a bigger pot?

lee.daly (author)2015-05-05

My dog pulled up and chewed one of my rose bushes, it was a reasonably new one which I had not yet transplanted to the garden. I put the main bush back into dirt, because it had roots. I have placed another stem in water as you suggest, here's hoping it takes as it will give me two beautiful Tuscan roses it they survive.

nghosh (author)2014-10-12

Sorry for the typo -- I meant original "big" plant, not "bug" plant.

nghosh (author)2014-10-12

Thank you very much for the nice instructions, I followed them and got my six rose plants propagated successfully, well almost. One of the cuttings, grew some new leaves and started dying... I started watering it more frequently from the moment I noticed it, but no luck yet. Any idea why that could happen ? Any way to revive that now? Unfortunatey, I have already destroyed the original bug plants because I saw new leaves from these ones. Thanks much again.

andrevs (author)2010-10-15

very interesting instructable. thank you for sharing it.
one question: what it the best time of the year to take rose cuttings?

gardenmoda (author)andrevs2011-09-09


sorry for my laaate reply, been on extended vacation :)
i have taken cuttings all throughout the year, but i do take more cuttings in the summer.

i have rooted rose cuttings cut at various points on the branch--of course close to the the main stem seems to root faster, but i have had them root just as well at cuts between nodes.

they form a ring of roots around the opend end perimeter of the cut.

suezq (author)2010-05-24

This is interesting and I had no idea you could produce roots from a rose stem just by submersing in water. I wish you would have shown where on the rose bush you harvested your cutting from and a shot of the roots in one that had started to produce. I understand that the cutting should be roughly 6 inches and to cut the top half of the stem off. When I take my cutting off the mother plant, do I remove the whole stem close to the main stem and then cut the top off where it flowers? My rose is a climber as well and at the end of the small branches, off the thicker stem there is a cluster of buds. I'm just confused is all as to where to take the cutting. Thanks for the info on this. I love this old rose and would really like another on the opposite end of the house.

crazypantsjones (author)2010-02-22

Fantastic! I second the comment about having no idea this was so easy.  I'm going to give it a try on the weekend!

barry_015 (author)2010-02-22

my brother uses "root compound" rather successfully.. good luck

ChrysN (author)2009-11-15

Wow, I didn't realize it was that easy.

gardenmoda (author)ChrysN2009-11-26

Roses are one of the easier plants to propagate--they can withstand a wide range of weather climates, just need to be kept from drying out during the rooting process.

Thank you for taking a look & for your comment,

About This Instructable




Add instructable to: