How to Start a Rosebush From Cuttings


Roses are one of the most popular landscape plants and come in a wide range of colors and sizes to fit any landscape need or personal preference. If you have a rosebush you are particularly fond of and would like to see it growing in another area of your yard, or you would like to produce offspring to give as a gift to family or friends, start a new rosebush from cuttings.

Step 1

Prepare the rooting pot by filling it full with the potting soil mixture and 1/2 cup of sand. Mix the sand in well with the soil, and moisten the soil so it is wet but not soggy.

Step 2

Take your cuttings from a rose bush that has recently flowered. Once the petals have fallen off the rose, cut the stem 6 to 8 inches long. Pull the leaves off the bottom half of the cutting, and leave at least four leaves on the top half. Trim the bottom of the cutting 1/2 inch and cut 1/2 inch off the top, under where the rose bloomed.

Step 3

Make three shallow 1-inch vertical slices on the bottom of the cuttings. Cut on the bark only. do not cut through the wood.

Step 4

Dip the bottom end of the cutting (the end without leaves) in some water and then dip it into the rooting hormone. Tap the cutting so any excess rooting hormone drops off.

Step 5

Insert a pencil into the pot at least 3 inches deep, and set the cutting, bottom end first, down into the pencil hole. Press down on the top, outer edges of the soil so that it pushes the soil up against the cutting stem.

Step 6

Place three bamboo skewers into the soil, spaced evenly around the outer edge of the pot. The bamboo skewers will help keep the plastic bag from resting on the cutting.

Step 7

Place the plastic bag over the skewers and the pot. Once the plastic is down over the pot, pull it tight and use the twist tie to keep it tight against the pot.

Step 8

Put six to eight small holes in the bag for ventilation. You can use the pencil or a bamboo skewer to make the holes.

Step 9

Place the potted cutting outdoors on the north side of your home. The pots should be mostly shaded, and while they can not be in direct sunlight, a bright area that receives partial shade should be fine.

Step 10

Check the cuttings daily to see if they need water. If the soil feels dry at all, water it lightly. Tie the twist tie back up tightly after watering. The cuttings should root within eight weeks, at which point you will see signs of new growth such as leaves beginning to form on the stem. As soon as the roots have formed, the rose bush can be planted in its permanent location.

Tips and Warnings

  • Rose cuttings should not be given fertilizer to help them root. Avoid the use of fertilizer until they are planted in their permanent location.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp garden snips
  • 8-inch plastic pots with drainage holes
  • 12-inch long bamboo skewers
  • Gallon-size clear plastic bags with twist ties
  • Sterile potting soil
  • Sand
  • Rooting hormone
  • Pencil


  • Maryland Geological Survey: Maryland Rose Society: Frequently Asked Questions About Rose Cutting Propagation

Who Can Help

  • Santa Clara Valley Rose Society: Propagating Roses by Rooted Cuttings
Keywords: root rose bushes, rose bush cuttings, root rose cuttings

About this Author

A freelance writer for more than 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.