Picture of HOW TO Propagate Rose Stem Cuttings

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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.

LorienG7 days ago

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!

lee.daly22 days ago

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.

nghosh7 months ago

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

nghosh7 months ago

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.

de Oliveira4 years ago
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 Oliveira3 years ago

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!
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...
andrevs4 years ago
very interesting instructable. thank you for sharing it.
one question: what it the best time of the year to take rose cuttings?
gardenmoda (author)  andrevs3 years ago

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.
Wolfbird5 years ago
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?

gardenmoda (author)  Wolfbird5 years ago
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.

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.
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.
suezq5 years ago
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.
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_0155 years ago
my brother uses "root compound" rather successfully.. good luck
ChrysN5 years ago
Wow, I didn't realize it was that easy.
gardenmoda (author)  ChrysN5 years ago
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,