Rose Bush Cuttings?


How do I take a cutting of a rose bush branch for replanting?

Hardiness Zone: 5b

Gale from Missouri



How you take cuttings can vary a bit depending on the variety of rose, but here are some general tips:

  1. Select straight, healthy, disease-free stems to take the cuttings from. The cuttings should have 5 or 6 leaves attached.

  2. Cut off about 12 inches from the top just below a leaf node. A node left near this cut end may help the cutting root more easily. Pull off the leaves along the stem, leaving two at the top for photosynthesis. These soft stem cuttings are usually taken in the late spring or early fall from the young stems of the current year's growth.

  3. Some rose varieties will also root well without leaves. Cuttings from these can be taken in the winter (November-January).

  4. Place the cuttings in a sealed plastic bag and put them in a cool place (about 40ºF)like the refrigerator overnight. This will give the wounds time to seal without letting the cuttings dry out.

  5. There are several ways to root the cutting from this point. The no fuss way is to poke a narrow, pencil-sized hole directly into the ground where you want to plant it, dip the butt end of the cutting in rooting hormone, insert the cutting 6 inches, mound up the soil around it, water it and pray it works. Lots of times it does, especially if you have quality soil and a humid environment. The appearance of new leaves after several weeks is your sign that all is well.

  6. Another method is to dip the ends of the cuttings into rooting hormone and insert them into the ground or into small pots. Use the top half of a 2-liter soda, plastic baggy or a glass jar to cover the cuttings and create humid, greenhouse-like conditions, but remove it to allow for air circulation once in a while. If the cutting gets too wet, it will rot. You can use shorter cuttings for this (6 inches) to make covering them more manageable.

  7. If rooting in pots, use a 1:1 mixture of potting soil and vermiculite (or perlite).

  8. Making a 1/2 inch vertical slit in the base of cuttings will help encourage rooting.

  9. Always use a sharp pruning shears when taking cutting to prevent crushing the stems.

  10. Cuttings should roots in 4 to 8 weeks. Test them with a tug. If they resist, they've probably rooted.

Good Luck!

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at

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By (Guest Post)
October 11, 20060 found this helpful

I dont know how other people do it but i have been doing this for yrs and its always worked and that is to take a cutting from the rose bush at a joint, slit the ends not to much just enough to slip a pinto bean in then dip it in root tone and plant it and forget about it , the bean takes root first and holds it till the cutting takes root and the root tone is a plant harmone good luck

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By SusanWozniak (Guest Post)
July 21, 20080 found this helpful

My mother filled her garden with roses propagated from cuttings back in the 1950s and 60s. I have tried to emulate her method, without success, much to my great chagrin. I've asked people for years on how to do this. No one ever heard of it. As I live in New England (where many older women are proudly not domestic) I was informed that this was a product of my imagination and that roses could not be propagated. My mother had to have done this in the days prior to rooting hormones as she would simply stick the branch in the ground and cover the flower with an inverted mayonnaise jar. I do remember something about cutting (was it above or below?) either the first or second compound 5-leaflet leaf. My mother has been dead for more than 20 years and although my father remembered her doing this, he did not remember the exact procedure.

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By julia snider (Guest Post)
July 23, 20080 found this helpful

I am going to try this tomorrow, Lord willing this will work, I will let you know. I am so excited, I have 19 rose bushes and hopefully after this I will have many, many, many, more!

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 147 Feedbacks
May 10, 20090 found this helpful

I have good luck rooting almost anything, just cut off the new growth of a bush, stick it in soil in a pot in the shade. Keep damp, it will be ready to transplant the next spring. I have rooted lot of roses like this, good luck.

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October 27, 2011

I have been told you can grow a rose from a cutting. I don't know how to do it. Does anyone have some ideas?

By Joyce M.



October 29, 20110 found this helpful

Prepare a flower pot with dirt and sand (half and half). Cut the stem of the rose about 10 inch long, keeping the stronger part of the stem. It works better if you take a stem on the shrub, a more "woody" like part.

Dip the base of the stem in hormone powder (you may find such hormones in garden centers) and plant the stems in the flower pot along the wall of the pot, NOT in the middle. Put the pot outside in the shade (no sun at all).

Keep it slightly wet and next spring you will see some new leaves.
Then transplant the stems in larger, individual pots, get them out with a spoon in order to take some of the soil with it , not to brake the small roots. The dirt will be the one of your garden.

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