How to Populate Rose Bushes


Rose bushes are one of the most popular flowering shrubs grown in home gardens today. There are hundreds of varieties of roses in almost every color. Many gardeners have their favorite rose bushes and would like to have more of them in their landscape. Rose bushes can be propagated by stem cuttings or layering. Layering is by far the easiest and most successful way to create new bushes. However, if the rose bush is patented, you must have permission and pay a royalty to the patent holder to propagate it within 17 years of its introduction.

Step 1

Choose a lower healthy cane from the bush that can easily reach the ground and still have at least 6 inches left to the tip of the cane. Bend it down to find the section that touches the ground and will be able to be buried. Do not cut the cane from the bush.

Step 2

Remove the mulch from the area and dig a small hole about 3 inches deep where the section of cane reached the ground.

Step 3

Using a sharp knife, make a wound in the cane where it will be buried in the hole. Dip the wound in rooting hormone. Place the section in the ground and hold it in place with a metal anchor or a piece of bent wire coat hanger.

Step 4

Cover the section with soil so it is level with the surrounding ground or higher. You do not want the cane section sitting in a pool of water or it will rot. Place the mulch back over the area and water well. This section of cane should be kept evenly moist for two weeks; it may need more water than the rest of the rose bush.

Step 5

Leave the section to develop a good root system for at least three months, watering along with the mother plant. At that time it can be cut from the mother plant and dug up and transplanted to a permanent location.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Garden spade
  • Rooting hormone
  • Wire anchor or wire coat hanger


  • NC State University: Plant Propagation by Layering: Instructions for the Home Gardener
  • Texas A&M University Cooperative Extension: Tip Layering Roses
  • North Dakota State University: Rose Propagation
Keywords: propagating rose bushes, layering rose canes, populating rose beds

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.