Roses are among the most commonly found landscape plants. There are over 6,500 varieties of them grown worldwide. They are easy to grow, deciduous perennials that generally require little more than healthy soil, a good drink of water and sunshine. Any gardener can successfully propagate a rose, even a first-time rose grower.
Cutting and Planting Tips
Perhaps the most important part of propagating a rose is choosing the right stem to cut. Choose a healthy and straight stem, preferably one with five or six leaves. Cut just below a leaf node, about 12 inches from the top. Leave the top two leaves on the cutting and pull off the rest. Refrigerate your cutting in a plastic bag in the fridge overnight; this gives the stem time to heal from the cutting. After this, your cutting is ready to plant. As a general rule, plant roses about 24 inches apart from one another to allow for sufficient air circulation. When digging the hole for the rose, make it deep and wide enough to comfortably hold the plant. Fill the hole 2/3 full of soil and then add water until the soil is very wet. Once the water has soaked in, add enough soil to finish filling the hole. Your rose may sink a bit after planting, which is normal.
Roses grow best when the soil is consistently moist. Maintain consistent soil moisture by watering every two to three days, with the goal in mind of applying 1 inch weekly. Soaker hoses are an excellent way to make sure your rose gets the adequate amount of water. These hoses are also a great idea because they water only the roots of the plant, not the leaves or blooms. Too much moisture on the leaves and blooms encourages disease and pests. Mulch, like woodchips, dry grass clippings and straw, help prevent moisture loss and weed growth. Apply mulch 2 to 3 inches deep and reapply when needed. Fertilize your rose each spring according to the fertilizer label directions.
Many varieties of roses are especially susceptible to powdery mildew, a fungal disease that looks like a gray or white powdery growth on the leaves, stems and flowers of the plant. This mildew does little to affect the overall health of your rose bush, but it can make it look unattractive. To get rid of this fungus, treat your rose with a fungicide according to label directions.