How to Start a New Rose Plant


Beginning a new rose plant from an existing bush is referred to as propagating. Although exciting, it is sometimes illegal. If the rose variety is patented you will need to pay a royalty to the patent holder or wait 17 years after its introduction before propagating. When you are ready to start a new rose plant, schedule the project for the spring.

Step 1

Locate a healthy stem on the parent rose bush, with a rose growing on its tip. There should be several hearty five-leaflet leaves growing below the rose head. Allow the flower to blossom before going to the next step.

Step 2

Fill a 6-inch flower pot with a mixture of equal parts coarse sand and peat moss. Perlite or vermiculite can be used instead of peat moss. Tap the pot down to settle the dirt.

Step 3

Cut the flower from the tip of the stem, cutting in a diagonal, directly above the first hearty five-leaflet leaf, leaving the five-leaflet leaf attached to the stem. Use clean gardening shears.

Step 4

Move down the stem about 6 inches, and cut the stem from the bush. This will be the end that will be rooted. Cut in a diagonal. There should be two hearty five-leaflet leaves attached to the cutting. If there are more, cut them from the stem.

Step 5

Dip the root end of the cutting into water and dip it into rooting powder. Rooting powder can be purchased at the gardening center, and it will help stimulate growth.

Step 6

Plant the treated end of the stem into the pot of soil mixture, pushing the stem 1 to 2 inches into the soil. Up to six cuttings can be planted in the pot.

Step 7

Water the pot with two cups of water.

Step 8

Make a greenhouse around the pot by placing a clear plastic grocery bag around the pot, and tucking the open end under the pot to seal. This will keep in the moisture, so you will not need to water the cutting while in the makeshift greenhouse.

Step 9

Set in a well lit area, but not in the direct sun. The cuttings should remain in the bag for about two months, or when fresh shoots appear.

Step 10

Transplant each cutting into its own 3-inch peat pot, and water. Repeat step 8, and leave in the makeshift greenhouse for about three weeks and then plant in the garden.

Things You'll Need

  • 6-inch flower pot
  • Coarse sand
  • Peat moss, perlite or vermiculite
  • Gardening sheers
  • Rooting powder
  • Clear plastic grocery bag
  • 3-inch peat pot


  • Roses; James Crockett; 1974
  • Rose Propagation; Francois Bousselin;

Who Can Help

  • The Southern Garden; Rose Propagation From Cuttings; Dr. William C. Welch
  • Growing Roses from Cuttings; Barbra Faircloth-Pyle; 2008
Keywords: propagating roses, rose bushes, starting rose bushes, rose cuttings

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.