The Best Ways to Graft a Rose Bush

Rose grafting is a unique way to produce unusual strains of roses from existing rose bushes without having to start slowly from seed or taking the time to persuade a cut twig to grow roots. Instead, you can take any old rose bush and create a completely different strain of roses from it, simply by grafting from the desired bush.


Budding requires cutting the buds off of the desired rose stem, and transplanting them onto the stem of the recipient rose bush. This is done by slicing off the unwanted buds and placing the desired ones in their place. The new buds are tied on with a rubber band, twist-tie or a length of string, and then bandaged for a month. Once the graft has taken the stem will grow only the type of rose that is desired on that stem. All other original buds are removed ahead of time so that only the grafted ones can grow.

Whip Grafting

In this style of grafting the root stalk and the desired stem are cut diagonally in opposite directions so that when placed together they both match up perfectly. This works best when the two stems are roughly the same size. They are placed together and wrapped with tape or grafting twine for a month to give the plant a chance to heal. Once healing is complete the successful graft will produce the foreign roses. It is best to remove the branches below the grafted zone so that only the desired roses will form on the bush.

Cleft Grafting

Cleft grafting is a technique where small living twigs are grafted to a larger branch in order to grow a new branch from a different rose bush and alter the roses of the original bush. It is done by cutting the original branch flat, then splitting it in half in the middle of the flat section. The branch is pried open and held open by a small wedge tool. The twigs are cut into a taper shape at the base, in order to match the shape of the split branch. Then they are inserted into the cleft and the wedge removed. Once the twigs are inserted, grafting wax is used to hold them in place, and they are allowed to grow. Usually two grafts are started on one branch but only the most healthy one is allowed to continue growing in order for the spliced area to heal completely and evenly.

Keywords: Bud grafting roses, Whip grafting, Cleft grafting

About this Author

Kristie Karns has written and published many articles online, both for Demand Studios and for, covering a range of topics. Ms Karns has published a book, dozens of poems, photographs and digital artworks over the past twenty years and is always working on several novels at once.