Rooting Rose Bush Clippings


Rooting a rose from a clipping is an easy and inexpensive way to propagate a new rose, and if you do it properly, the chances of success are very high. This is an especially effective way to propagate a favorite or heirloom rose. Take clippings from a healthy rose bush with no sign of mildew, and keep the clippings moist in a picnic cooler until you're ready to root them.

Step 1

Use a sharp knife or a pair of pruning shears to clip a 2-foot stem from a healthy rose in early autumn. Choose a stem with a bloom that's just finished blooming, and make the cut just above a bud that is facing away from the center of the bush. Remove the leaves, and if you want, clip off the thorns to make the stems easier to handle.

Step 2

Cut the stem into several pieces, with each cut made just below a leaf node, which is where the leaf joins the stem. You should get between six and nine clippings from a 2-foot stem.

Step 3

Cut the bottom of each clipping at a 45-degree angle, but leave the top with a straight cut. This way, you'll be able to tell the difference when you plant the clipping.

Step 4

Prepare a small pot for each clipping. Put about 1/2 inch of sand in the bottom of each pot, and then fill it with good-quality commercial potting mix.

Step 5

Dip the end of each clipping in rooting hormone, and stick it in the potting soil with about 2/3 of the clipping buried in the soil. Be sure the angled end is in this soil.

Step 6

Mist the cuttings, and put each pot in a plastic bag. Put a stake or a straw in each pot to keep the plastic from touching the clipping.

Step 7

Put the cuttings in a cool room where they will get bright, but indirect light, or if you live in a warm climate, put them outdoors where they will be sheltered from wind, but where they will get bright sunlight for several hours each day. The plastic will keep the atmosphere humid, but check often, and mist the soil if it gets dry.

Step 8

Look for the clippings to develop roots by April or May. However, the new roses will be very sensitive, and will have a better chance of success if you wait until fall to plant them. It's especially crucial during this period that the new roses don't dry out, so check the soil daily.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife or pruning shears
  • Small pots
  • Sand
  • Potting mix
  • Rooting hormone
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic bags
  • Small stakes or straws


  • Rose Propagation From Cuttings
  • Propagating Roses
  • Propagation Techniques
Keywords: rose bush, clipping, rooting hormone

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.