How to Root a Rose Bush


You come across a wild rose bush while on a walk and wonder whether you can take grow one from a cutting. The answer is yes. Cut roses can be rooted to grow into bushes. The cut rose will be placed in a homemade mini greenhouse, where it will grow for several months. Rooting the rose in the fall allows the plant the time it needs to develop a root system. By spring--once the final freeze has passed--the little rose bush can be transplanted to its permanent location in your flower bed.

Step 1

Choose a rose to root that has a stem approximately 10 inches long and several sets of leaves. The blossom needs to be opened but not wilted. Cut several roses to allow you the best choice when you get home.

Step 2

Saturate several paper towels, and wrap them around the cut stems of the roses. Place the wrapped stems in a plastic zippered bag, and set them out of the sunlight until you get home. Root these flowers within two days of cutting to increase the rose's chances of rooting.

Step 3

Use a clean container to root the rose bush. It needs to be a minimum of 6 inches in diameter and have adequate drainage. Drainage holes can be drilled, or you can pour 1 to 2 inches of clean sand in the bottom of the container.

Step 4

Fill the container nearly full with vermiculite or a good-quality potting soil. Pat the soil down.

Step 5

Cut the flower off the rose, and remove the bottom sets of leaves, leaving the top two sets. Cut the bottom of the rose's stem. Cut several vertical slits--about 1/2 inch long--around the bottom of the stem's base. Dip this cut part in root stimulator.

Step 6

Saturate the vermiculite or potting soil. Turn the pickle jar over, and place it over the rose, being careful not to break the leaves. Press the jar's mouth into the soil. Pour water around the rose, drenching the potting soil or vermiculite. Place the pickle jar over the stem; avoid damaging the leaf sets. This creates the mini greenhouse.

Step 7

Move the mini greenhouse outside in a sheltered spot that faces north. The spot needs to be located behind something--such as a bush--that will protect the greenhouse from receiving direct sunlight.

Step 8

Check the mini greenhouse several times a week, to make sure that it has not been knocked over by animals or the wind. Add water only if the soil has dried out and there is no sign of condensation inside the jar.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep the mini greenhouse out of direct sunlight, which will increase the temperature inside the jar and kill the rose.

Things You'll Need

  • Cut rose, with a 10-inch-long stem
  • Wet paper towels
  • Plastic zippered bag
  • Clean plant container, 6 inches in diameter
  • Clean sand (optional)
  • Vermiculite or a good-quality, sterile potting soil
  • Sharp knife
  • Root stimulator
  • Pencil (optional)
  • 1-gallon pickle jar or 2-liter bottle


  • Morrison's Gardens: How to Propagate Roses
  • Ortho's All About Roses; Dr. Tommy Cairns; 1999

Who Can Help

  • All-America Rose Selections: How to Grow Roses
Keywords: roses, rose bush, propagating

About this Author

Since 1995, H.B. Dean has written more than 2,000 articles for publications including “PB&J,” Disney’s “Family Fun,” “ParentLife,” Living With Teenagers,” and Thomas Nelson’s NYTimes Best-selling “Resolve.” After 17 years of homeschooling her five children, Dean discovered that motherhood doesn’t stop with an empty nest.