Rooting a Rosebush

Q: I would like information on how to multiply my great smelling rosebush. I have heard about rooting hormones, but does it really work, and how do you do it?

Hardiness Zone: 6b
Marion from Fort Meade, MD

A: Marion,

The easiest way to propagate your favorite smelling rosebush is by layering. Simply take a long, flexible branch on the outside of your bush, and using a sharp knife, make a small upward cut in the stem 4 to 5 inches from the end. You don't want to cut it completely through, but you will want to stick a small pebble or piece of a toothpick in it to keep it propped it open. This will be where the new roots emerge. Bend the branch down and bury the wounded portion of the stem in the ground. Pin the branch into the soil with bent wire if necessary, and remove any foliage that would end up underground. Before you bury it, you can apply a small amount of rooting hormone to speed up root growth and increase your chance of success. (Yes, it really does work!)


Prop up the tip of the branch that sticks out of the ground and it will continue to grow. Keep the buried stem watered and over several weeks roots will emerge from the wound. When roots have formed, cut the new plant from the mother plant. Wait a few days to see if the roots can sustain your new plant before transplanting it. If your rose bush fails to propagate this way, make cuttings and root them instead.

Good luck!

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June 7, 20060 found this helpful

I have had good luck using the product Root Tone. Make your cutting, dip it in a little water, and then in the Root Tone. Place in a small pot with your soil medium. Some people will say to cover the pot with a plastic bag with holes punched in it to increase the humidity, but I don't think that is necessary for most rootings, just keep it moist. Remember - some roses are patented and you could get in trouble if you start making large numbers of cutttings or try to sell them.

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June 7, 20060 found this helpful

make sure that when you have a cutting its next to a jount cut a slit in the bottom slip a bean into the slit then dip it in root tone and plant it then forget about it thats what i do but make sure that its in the fall as it will give the roots time to grow and take hold i have done this for over 40 yrs and had no problems try it

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June 29, 20060 found this helpful

I have read that you can start new plants by cutting off a slip of the rose bush, poke it into a potato and plant the potato, the potato feeds the slip while it is rooting. Leave the top of the cutting above ground and water regularly.

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January 22, 20090 found this helpful

I have good luck most of the time rooting roses & other flowers by just cutting off the new growth on the bush or plant. I punch a hole in the soil deep enough to bury most of the cutting. I keep a large pot in my patio just for rooting plants,I let it grow for at least a year then transplant it in the spring time where I want it. I also root fig trees the same way for friends,keep the soil wet before & after planted. Good luck.

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