You are going to love this article on how to grow roses from cuttings. This is a really simple process that works and takes all the mystery out of rose propagation. A customer of mine actually made this video for you and I. Thank you Jeff!
Rose Bush Propagation
This is a process that can only done where the rose bushes are dormant. In most parts of the country that means from Thanksgiving until late February or early March. In warmer climates that window of time is going to be shorter. These are the basic steps you should follow.
1. Collect canes from the rose bush that you would like to propagate.
2. From those canes make as many cuttings as you can. The cuttings should 5″ to 8″ long. At the bottom of the cutting cut right below a bud union also called a node. Don’t cut into the node, just below it. At the top of the cutting cut about 1/2″ above the top node.
3. Dip the butt end (bottom) of the cuttings in a rooting compound like Dip n Grow or another compound that is the correct strength for hardwood cuttings. If you are using a liquid rooting compound read the label, but usually the correct dip time is about 5 seconds.
4. Line up the cuttings in your hand as shown in the photo on this page: http://www.freeplants.com/hardofdecid.htm.
5. Wet some newspaper. Make sure you have several layers of wet newspaper. I’d say at least 12 pages. Get the newspaper wet, but not so soggy that you won’t be able to separate the sections.
6. Open up the wet newspaper and lay it on a work table. Place your bundle of cuttings on the newspaper and roll the bundle of cuttings up in the newspaper. Completely cover the cuttings, wrapping the newspaper over the ends and around the middle.
7. Using at least three plastic grocery bags place the bundle of wet newspaper and cuttings into the first bag. Roll up the bag and wrap the plastic around the bundle just like you did the newspaper. Place the bundle in the second bag and wrap it up the same way and do the same thing one more time with the third bag.
8. Place the plastic bag in a cool dry place like a basement or garage and just leave it be for at least 6 weeks. After 6 or 8 weeks up wrap all the bags and newspaper and inspect the cuttings. You should see tiny roots or signs of callousing.
9. Plant the rooted cuttings into a bed outside if the danger of frost has past, or plant them in a flat of potting soil and let them finish rooting.
10. If they haven’t rooted at all, just stick the unrooted cuttings in a flat of potting soil and put them where they can get some sun.
11. Keep both the rooted cuttings and the unrooted cuttings watered as needed. Not too wet, but not too dry.
12. At this point they should be stored at room temperature.
hey Mike and Jeff. my cuttings started growing for a bit and then turned black from the top and from the bottom. what did i do wrong? cause they were growing just fine….
Probably too wet. A lot of people had problems with them being too wet. I’m going to post other methods to do roses when the plants are more likely to cooperate.
Quick question. I did some straight rose cuttings with rootone into potting soil several weeks ago and all dried out despite being watered heavily and put in plastic bags under the Los Angeles sun zones 10a/10b. I think that bit of advice was meant for people in less harsher climates. I had taken two cuttings from one of my rose plants and just put them in white printerpaper and set them in my laundry room, which is a bit warm, around 75*. They started callousing after about a week and it’s been a month since. I just took them out and they’re heavily calloused. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it, so I just put them in some potting soil, one cane per clear cup and watered. They both went into a bag with the bag tied loosely and placed on a shelf in the laundry room since there’s some sudden cold weather this week. I never did the whole perlite/vermiculite thing. Am I screwed or is there a chance I can replicate these roses?
Put the cuttings in the shade and try that. The sun beating through clear plastic is brutal.
Citrus cuttings… Not fittings… Oops
Can this same newspaper technique be applied to citrus fittings? I hope so… I’m 2 weeks into it?????
If the cuttings were completely dormant it might work. This is better this time of year. http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
Ps with your cuttings leave two or 3 leafs soy our not just looking at a stick 🙂
You’re right, softwood cuttings during the summer need leaves. Dormant cuttings done during the winter can and will be nothing but sticks.
Hi my name is Julie sand I just did some cuttings from my beloverd pets grave. (As my parents are moving house I couldn’t and wouldn’t dream of removing my beloverd pet)
All I did six weeks ago was I took some pieces from the rose approx 6cm down from the flower that was half dead.
At the end of the rose clipping (bottom) i cut to slits about cm so I got like a cross patten ( i read so many ways how to do this i and what not to do so i did it both ways as you see. I dipped it in to a dry rooting whoremone and I did some in the gel whoremone. I tapped the the cutting to get the access whoremone off that we didn’t need.
I planted them in some soil ( designed for cuttings ask your nursery)
I got a little green house thing also from the nursery it holds 24 cuttings I also planted some with just bottles over the top.
I water them when the soil seems a little dry I take them out side in the day and bring them in at night It’s winter hear in Canberra well close to it.
I have new green leafs sadly there out doing the greenhouse thing. ( any tips to howi can move them or what to do would be grate.
The ones with bottles are doing well too. ( who said you need a green thumb I failed on anything that I try to grow but somehow my rosé cuttings are alive.
Hi Mike (and Jeff)!
What a great article..you are helping to many of us-Thanks! My question is about some very Long-stem roses I was given recently. One has new red/green sproutings growing from where a couple of the leaves are. (not sure if its a stem or leaves or what). And, of course, there are no roots on this stem Question: How does this growth affect what I need to do to propagate more roses? 1)Is it safe to do now with this new growth? 2) Does it change where I cut the stem? should I still use growth hormone? Any advice you can give would be very helpful and appreciate. Blessings.
The rose propagation video is really a winter, dormant plant technique. Since it’s too late for that I’d do them like this in June; http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm. Let that new growth harden off a little, then you can use it for cuttings.
As far as a source of income, realize that you cannot legally propagate patented plants. So just steer clear of those and you will be fine.
Lucille, you’re right, you cannot propagate patented plants, but you can still grow them and sell them at a profit. You just have to buy a rooted cutting or small plant from a licensed grower. At that time the royalty is paid and you are then free to grow the plant and later sell it at a profit.
I am going to try this and maybe then my husband will believe that this is a legitimate possible scource of income with little start up cost. I save all of your articles for back reference. Thanks for enlarging my love of plants.
How can I make sure there are no black spot or other spores on the leaves?
Jim, I wouldn’t worry about that. If you have to you can treat the plants later.
Gladys Jacobs says
Hi! Mike, There is a camilla plant that I love, but I am not able to find it at the nursery or other stores that sell camillas. However, there are lots growing around the area where I live. They bloom during the Winter time and are plentiful. No one seems to know the name of this specific camilla. When it’s in full bloom, it looks like a gardenia (white). Am I able to get a cutings off a branch from this camilla bush and grow them? If so, please instruct me how it should be done. Ill be ever grateful if I can get a reply from you. Thank you.
Tinia Petty says
Howdy Mike, Have a couple questions about a “thorny” issue. When watching your video on starting roses from cuttings it appeared to me that you had removed the thorns on your cuttings. How do you do this? Is there a tool I can use? also are there any gloves that truly are worth the price to cut down on being stuck by rose thorns? Thanks, Tinia
Dear Wasnaa, please send me Arabic Jasmine 🙂
Thanks! I heard my Auntie used to root roses by placing the cuttings in damp newspaper underneath the kitchen sink 🙂 I’m gonna give your technique a try – thanks again 😀
i read the post about the rose cuttings turning moldie mine also turned that way. What did i do wrong. I did not see an anwser to the question. I live in Fl 32145, could I possibly do some now it is may here.
I still have not seen an answer to my question. SO if you do get an answer please let me know. I live in Minnesota and am wondering if I could do it now too. Do yah think we will get an answer??
i would say try the above method during the start of the summer, too much wet and cold place can cause molds, on the other hand humid, warm (greenhouse effect) is favorable
Love your work I have learned a lot and love gardening. Thank you.
thank you, I appreciate that.
David Millan says
What is the best thing to use to kill moss Thanks
David, moss is usually a sign of a lot of shade, really thin turf, moist conditions and maybe too much acid in the soil. I’d areate the soil and put down some agricultural lime. You need to get the grass growing better.
Thank you Mike!!!
I really adore all your posts and videos!!!!
Can I use this method to propegate Arabic Jasmine and Hydreangeas?
Thanks and have a blessed day
Wasnaa, a better method would be to wait until June and use the http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
The rose cuttings should callus or root in six to eight weeks. They should be hardened off. An easy way to do this is to moisten some potting mix and loosely ball around the callus/roots. Keep that wrapped on a plastic bag. Moisten the inside of another plastic grocery bag and put the tops of the cuttings bag in the bag. Every day loosen the bag a little. After a week take the bag off completely for a couple hours a day. After another week they should be ready to pot up and survive on their own. I use 2-5/8 x 5 Anderson Band Pots with a good potting mix.
This method should work for rose cuttings anytime of the year. Just make sure you strip all the leaves. Summer months I just use mist. I use a perlite/peat mix (heavy on the perlite). Mist is the magic of growing plant cuttings.
*****I’ve taken some video of the callused and rooted cuttings, but I have not had the time to edit, add audio and post due to selling/buying a house.
I’m sure Mike has information on hardening off someplace on his web site.
Lisa Roper says
I have a lovely pink rose bush I really want starts off of but nothing I have read tells me exactly when to take my cuttings. Do i leave the bush alone until spring or can I start my cuttings in the fall and just keep them in the house until spring?
You can try, but it would be far better to take them now, do them outside and do more next June when you have more time to get them rooted. You can try doing them inside, but then you’ll have to keep them inside until May.
How can I use this method for minature roses?
Gail Huffstutler says
I sure wish I could watch your videos,but my computer won’t do that. Am I the only one who keeps missing out just because I can’t watch videos? Surely there must be a solution for people like me who don’t have the latest machines, etc.
I enjoy your printed instructions, though.
Great explanation of technique. How about a follow up in 6 weeks so we can see how they should look?
Tom Biesiada says
I noticed that the cuttings had leaves is this allright to do now when there are no leaves on the roses?also I read about forsythia in the reply’s is it to late in the year to do this now?
i live in ohio, 45113. i potted a bunch of hosta divisions yesterday and grouped the pots together outside. do i have to provide bottom heat or will they grow just sitting on the ground?
hi jeff i truely enjoy watching how to grow roses ..thank you an god bless..
george bouse says
I don’t understand step 12 can they be outside after danger of frost? In our area that would be about 40 which is not room temperature.
I was excited to see your information, but got only the comments from your readers and didn’t get the video or instructions. I hope there is a way I can get this. Thanks so much.
Maybe you should sell Mike’s Bibs. Some of us don’t have bibs.
About 10 yrs. ago my Aunt who lived in Buffalo, N,Y, did basically the same thing, however when she transplanted roses to final position she still protected them with an inverted mason jar until weather was o.k.
Keep up the good work and thanks for the info.
Can you use this method to start other plants?
Susan Berger says
My Husband Bob tried this with some roses sent to our niece (by her husband while he was in Iraq) she was staying with us. The roses were so precious to her that Bob tried to get some starts from those sent. To everyones delight it worked!! We got two or three bushes and she gets her’s as soon as she has a house! Too cool!
Robert Berger says
Try this with long stim roses, even after
they have lost there splender, cut below
flower stem , allow 8 inches lehgth dip in
hormone powder put in good soil mix keep moist, Blessings.
after 6 weeks or so , what type of potting soil and pot size do you put them in? Thanks Great video
We live approx 20 miles WNW of Philadelphia, PA and it’s now Feb 25. Can I take cuttings to propagate now or do I need to wait until next Thanksgiving?
Dani c. says
It looks like fun!! I will definitely try this method this Sunday, while the rest of my family are doing their own thing. Thank you again for the instructions.
I pruned my roses bushes (32) and trees (28), 2 weeks ago. Can I still trim another 8 inches off the rose canes to make cuttings? I always trim 1/2 the rose bushes. Most of them didn’t have leaves.
Last year you posted a video on how to root hardwood cuttings,where you cut the bottom off a 5 gallon pail. I tried that this winter using cuttings of an old shrub rose. I did not remove the bottom buds or scrape the canes,do you think it will work? Its been about 6 weeks,is it to early to check them? I’m in east Tennessee, its been a real mild winter. 74 degrees yesterday.
Very nicely done. I’ve tried using the powder and putting them under a saran wrap tent. They have now developed a big gloppy mess of roots because the cuttings turned all black and I put them in water (not knowing what else to do). They have started sprouting new leaves so I guess I can plant them. But your way seems pretty neat and tidy. Thanks!
Edith Rinks says
Thank you so much for the video on rooting Roses. I will try it for sure, I love roses
and will be able to have more now, hopefully.
Great tutorial! Love learning new techniques.
Awesome. Thanks you, I will try it this year.
Do I use the same method on propogating azales? What is the best time of the year for them here is South Mississippi?
Jan Wiltzius says
Hi Mike, Thank you ever so much. I always wanted to propagate a rose bush that I have had for many years that is very fragrant and I could never find another one like it.
Grateful in Wisconsin….Jan
Thanks a million Jeff. Really enjoyed this. I am 59 years young and my grandmothers told me me how to do this basically the same except we didn’t , and I still don’t use root stimulator, nor did I know to scrape the bud eye and cut all the leaves off the top. I do however cut the leaves off below and just stick mine in wet paper towels in a bag and water off and on or before I ever rooted this way I stick them directly in the ground with the secret of water, water, water . That is so funny because I live in Tn. and just came in from cutting and rooting a miniature rose that was my mothers when I was a baby. I propagate it all the time. Thanks so much for the great info. I LOVE propagating. I have always done that with hydrangeas of all kinds, snow ball bushes and lots of perennials. If you you have other videos please let me know. Would love to learn more and more.
Will this work for knock-out roses too?
Thanks for your help!
What time of year can we take the cuttings? I assume the canes should be green and growing so that would indicate late spring or summer?
Thanks for the video.
I would like to know the answer to this question also. Did you ever find it out??
I don’t what question you are asking. The rose cuttings should stay wrapped for 6 to 8 weeks. It’s in the video, but a lot of people missed it.
I live in Minnesota and I am wondering what time of year we take the cuttings, do the canes have to be green and growing? So would I cut them late spring? I did this and all of my got moldy. I got the cuttings on March 19th did what the video said and then I just unwrapped them today May 7th and all 4 different sets were moldy. Did I do something wrong??
Carmen Lopez says
GREAT VIDEO !!!!
I have a question—I was unable to trim / Cut my roses back this year.
Is it to late to do it now ?-It is still cold in So. West Oregon 30 low 45-50 high
on most days–If so, ( cut back the roses ) is it to late to follow the video ?
Love your mail’s
robin bell says
I will definitely have a go at this.
In sunning old ENGLAND!!!! (or should have i said COLD ENGLAND )
thanks cant wait to try this method.
I guess its a good time to try it , the snows coming down pretty good now. Winter has finally come to Ontario. (feb 24th/2012)
soon as i can find them under the snow , i plan on trying your method, i have 2 acres so you’ve created a monster. lol
Thanks to you and Jeff for the informative viedo. What I would like to know if you can use iton other plants
Does this work for knock-out roses too?
Thanks for sharing. I will try this method in July – August as it will be winter times in Sydney, Australia. How deep should I plant the cuttings in the soil? How long is the time from planting to new leaves sprouting?
I plan to try this first very soon.
Since we have had an unusually warm winter here in the Calif. Sierras it may be too late to try this now. I definitely will try it next Jan. I did try the rooting method for Rose of Sharon in Jan. and all are putting out leaves. Hurrah!! Thanks for all of the good information.
Thanks! Will most definitely try this technique.
thanks for sharing this. I want to try this.
My boyfriend bought me a rose bush for Valentine’s, I’m going to do this next year when I trim it back, I was always told that it was difficult to propagate roses, seems simple enough, I’m excited, can’t wait to try it.
Great tutorial on rose propogation. A very inexpensive way to do professional work.
I have a rose (3-sisters I think) Which has been in my family for about 50 years. My Grandfather took a cutting from it when he worked for McArthur’s Dairy in Florida way back when. All he–or any of us–did to propogate it was take a cane or two, trim them, and put them into the dirt where we needed a new rose to be. (Make sure it stays wet.) And it grew! I have done the same here and, you guessed it, it grew! My philosophy about this particular rose is that if it can’t survive with minimal help from me it can’t survive. It’s a climber too and so I have it on one of those leaf-rake shaped trelices. It may be it’s own species by now so Granny and I have decided to call it the Brooksville Rose.
Thanks for the memories.
Back when I lived in California, after we trim the bushes we would strip all but the upper two leaf sets from the trimmings, dip in a rooting hormone, then stick them into the soil. some took, some didn’t. But sure was easy. Now we’re in Tx and I just tried that method yesterday. Hopefully they will take. If not, then will be trying this method come winter time. Looks super easy. thanks for posting.
I just took some cuttings from my lynwood gold forsythia plants. Within a week or so they have rooted and started to sprout. (middl) of Feb.
I will have to wait a few months here in Michigan, but I will do this. I did cuttings of Forsythia in early January. Will see if they take!!
Never knew that this was so simple, what about peonies?
You need to get root pieces with 3-4 eyes in each piece of root that you want to plant. let it dry after cutting and then plant or pot up
Canes is the correct spelling not cains.
It looks like an easy way to get started. Thanks.
I knew when I typed that it didn’t look right!
To, Two, Too, That’s o.k Thank you for all the free information. Jeff has a nice voice.
awesome – so simple. Thanks for sharing.
Diane Visage says
Wow, very interesting and it sounds easy enough,, was just thinkin about putting in a rose garden,,, this would save tons of money,, just walk around with clippers in your pocket, lol, just kiddin,,,, but im gonna give it a try. thank you for sharing,
Barb Bennett says
sure would have been nicew to know how long you left the rose cuttings wrapped up like that. Also a pic of them unwrapped to see what they looked like. How deep to plant after unwrapping.
Barb, all the details are spelled out below the video.
Thanks Mike and Jeff for this video. I would like to know how long approx does the rose canes need to be in the plastic bags for a cooler climate before opening them?
Six to eight weeks.
Thanks for the information on starting new roses. I’ll try it this year.