How to Cut a Rose Stem From a Rose Bush


For most gardeners and flower lovers, it's hard to top the beauty of a single, perfect rose. If you grow your own roses, it may seem like a puzzle to know exactly how to cut the rose from the bush so that the flower will be at its beautiful best but the beauty of the bush will be preserved in the process. Cutting a single rose isn't difficult, but should be done with great care.

Step 1

Clean a pair of garden pruners or a knife with a solution of nine parts water to one part household bleach. The bleach solution will kill any disease or bacteria that can be passed from plant to plant. Clean the pruners before each use. Use sharp pruners, as dull pruners will tear the tender plant fibers.

Step 2

Don a pair of sturdy garden gloves and a long-sleeved shirt. Although you may be cutting only one stem, the thorns can be sharp enough to do serious damage to your hands and arms.

Step 3

Cut the rose in the evening, as the rose will have plenty of stored food. If you can't cut the rose in the evening, cut it during the early morning. Avoid cutting the rose during the hot part of the afternoon.

Step 4

Inspect the rose bush, and find a rose that is just about to open. Look for a rose growing on a stem that has a group of five leaflets. Cut the stem about 1/4 inch below the group of five leaflets. If the stem has more than one group of five leaflets, cut the stem below the uppermost group.

Step 5

Place the cut rose stem in a vase filled with lukewarm water. If you can't put the rose in water immediately, wrap the stem with damp paper towels, and keep the rose in the shade.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp garden pruners or knife
  • Household bleach
  • Gardening gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Vase filled with lukewarm water
  • Paper towels (optional)


  • University of California: Proper Flower Cutting Keeps Rose Bushes Blooming
  • University of Illinois: Care of Cut Flowers and Foliage
Keywords: cut a rose, single cut rose, cutting a rose

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.