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How to Propagate Rose Bushes

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How to Propagate Rose Bushes

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Overview

Rose bushes are among the most popular flowering plants in the world. In England, roses were the symbols for both the Lancaster and York houses. Because of this, the dynastic war between these houses became known as the War of the Roses. In China, parts of the rose bush have been used in medicine for centuries. Because rose bushes can take a long time to become established, there are three methods used to propagate roses: grafting the canes of one plant onto the stems of another, rooting rose cuttings directly into the soil, and starting new roses from seeds.

Starting Roses From Seed

Step 1

Stop deadheading roses in August to promote the growth of rose hips.

Step 2

Pick rose hips after the first frost, when the rose hips are a bright orange color.

Step 3

Cut rose hips in half and scoop the seeds out of the fruit.

Step 4

Place rose hips in a glass of water to determine which seeds are viable. Strain off floating seeds and discard.

Step 5

Place remaining seeds in a container with slightly damp peat moss. Store in refrigerator at a minimum temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 60 days to promote germination.

Step 6

Plant seeds in a seedling tray at a depth of ¼ inch and mist to sprout.

Step 7

When cotyledon leaves and first true leaf have sprouted, then transfer seedlings to seedling pots.

Rooting Cuttings

Step 1

Wait until late summer to take rose cuttings.

Step 2

Cut 12-24 inches of healthy rose cane just above a node where a new outward facing but branches out from the cane.

Step 3

Cut the cane into 6 pieces, making sure that a node or branching bud or leaf is at the bottom of each piece.

Step 4

Dip the bottom of each piece in rooting hormone.

Step 5

Plant each cutting in a pot two-thirds of the way deep with good quality potting soil formulated for roses.

Step 6

Mist the pot and cover it with a plastic bag to retain moisture.

Step 7

Place the pot outside in a shady, well-protected spot.

Grafting

Step 1

Wait until just after the first flush of roses has bloomed, but before the second flush of roses begins to bud before grafting your plants (around midsummer).

Step 2

Select healthy rose bushes to act as your scion (top part) and rootstock (bottom part). The scion should be from a young, healthy cane that is slightly woody.

Step 3

Match your scion to the rootstock before making your cuts. Try to make both the scion and the rootstock from the same sized canes.

Step 4

Sharpen your knife until it can cut hairs on your arm.

Step 5

Cut the scion cane at an angle from one end to the other. Quickly cut the rootstock canes in a matching angle.

Step 6

Hold the scion cane against the rootstock base and tape together using grafting tape.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Knife sharpener
  • Glass of water
  • Plastic container
  • Peat moss
  • Refrigerator
  • Seeding tray
  • Seedling pots
  • Plant mister
  • Scion
  • Root stock
  • Grafting tape
  • Garden shears
  • Rooting hormone
  • Rose potting soil
  • Sterilized pot
  • Plastic bag

References

  • Propagating Roses
  • Hints for Successful Grafting and Budding
  • How to Graft Roses

Who Can Help

  • Central Florida Rose Society
Keywords: rooting roses, grafting rosebushes, propagating roses from seed

About this Author

Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.

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