HOW TO Propagate Rose Stem Cuttings




Step 1: 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)

  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.




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    36 Discussions


    Question 7 months ago on Introduction

    What is the best time of year to take the cutting and stick it into water, or does it matter?


    Question 11 months ago on Step 3

    My husband gave me beautiful yellow roses and I was surprised to see sprouts coming out of the stems should I keep in fresh water or try to put in soil?

    de Oliveira

    8 years ago on Introduction

    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:

    4 replies
    gardenmodade Oliveira

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction


    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 Oliveiragardenmoda

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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...

    NamLeatherneckde Oliveira

    Reply 1 year ago

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

    CarolineG25de Oliveira

    Reply 2 years ago

    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


    3 years ago

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


    3 years ago

    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


    3 years ago

    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.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    4 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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.



    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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.