Q. How can roses be propagated from a cutting?


Roses can be propagated from cuttings either during the summer (soft wood cuttings) or in the fall (hard wood cuttings).

Softwood cuttings

The best time to take a cutting is when the flower on a stem has begun to fade. Cut off a 6 to 9 inch piece of stem and remove the flower and all but two of the upper leaves. Make an angled cut just below the lower bud and dip the stem in rooting hormone (although this is not strictly necessary).

Plant the stem up to half its height in a pot containing potting soil or sand. Water the soil and put the pot in a plastic bag (to keep it moist). Place the pot in a bright but not sunny spot. Remove the plastic bag occasionally for a few minutes to allow air circulation.

After a few weeks gently tug on the shoot. If you feel resistance then the cutting has rooted and the plastic bag can be removed. Allow the new plant to grow, keeping the soil moist, until it is large enough to plant outdoors.

Alternatively, the new cutting can be rooted outdoors by planting directly in the soil in  a shady location. Again keep the cutting moist by placing a plastic sheet or a glass or plastic jar over it for the first few weeks. To protect the new plant through its first winter, partly cover it with a mound of mulch.

Hardwood cuttings

Hardwood cutting are taken from dormant wood in the late fall or early winter. Cut a six inch piece of stem and bury it in the soil (either in a pot or outdoors) so that only about on quarter of the stem remains above the soil. The following spring the cutting should be covered with a bag or jar and cultivated as described above.

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service


  • Last Updated Apr 02, 2018
  • Views 28
  • Answered By Ken Lloyd

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