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Propagating Roses from Cuttings

One of the experiments I am excited about this year is learning to grow roses and other hardwood perennials from cuttings.

Before we talk about rose propagation, it is important to note that it is illegal to propagate a rose with a current plant patent (trademarked). Plant patents last twenty years after which time a rose can be legally propagated. Do your homework and make sure that the rose you want to multiply is not patented. I will be using cuttings from Rosa Seafoam that was introduced in 1964.

As discussed in the post on planting and pruning roses, many roses are grafted onto hardy root stock that is more able to survive different climates. When you grow a rose from a cutting, it develops its own roots. This means that you may be creating a rose that is not as hardy as the plant from which it came.


There are a few different ways that people can propagate roses at home. The method I am trying is to cut a section of cane. You can see the cuttings that I took above from a friend's rose bush. New growth is the easiest to propagate.

After cutting the longer sections of cane, I trimmed them back to 5-6" cuttings with one leaf at the tip.

Then, I prepared three pots with potting soil, making sure the soil was moist before adding it to the pots.

I pushed a chopstick into each pot to make three holes, three roses per pot.

I snipped the end of the cane open in half, about 1/2".

I dipped each tip in rooting hormone and pushed the cane into the hole.

Over the last two weeks, I have kept the soil moist and the cuttings in indirect light. The leaves have dried up, and some have fallen off. Tiny roots have started to develop! I will continue to monitor the cuttings over the next few weeks until they have a robust root system and new leaf growth and then plant them out.

There are other ways to propagate rose cuttings. I look forward to experimenting in the future with those methods.

Other posts in this series:


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