How to Propagate Rose Cuttings


Roses are a beautiful garden plant that can yield many beautiful and fragrant flowers you can use as gifts for friends or decoration for your home. Growing more roses through propagation is faster than growing them from seed, and if you have a favorite rose plant, propagating it can give you more of the rose plants you already cherish. Propagating rose cuttings is easy to do with the right tools and enough time to make sure the new cuttings receive enough moisture to root.

Step 1

Plan to take cuttings during the cold part of the year, usually from November to February. In warm conditions, prepare a bucket of water with ice to keep the cuttings moist and cool before they are planted in their rooting area. Early morning is the best time of day to take rose cuttings.

Step 2

Choose a young but strong stem with a rose bud that has recently bloomed. Use a healthy plant with no signs of disease or nutrient deficiency. Locate the first set of healthy leaves on the stem and cut the rose just above the leaves. The best rose cuttings for propagation are around 5 inches long.

Step 3

Make two or three vertical cuts in the base of the rose stem cutting to increase the chance of rooting. Remove leaves from the bottom half or third of the cutting. Store the cutting in an ice-water solution until it is ready to plant, but for no more than two days.

Step 4

Stick the cuttings wound down in moist soil in a planting pot, with about 1/3 of the cutting buried in the soil. The wound is the part of the plant that is scored to encourage rooting, located at the bottom of the stem. Place cuttings at least 3 inches apart. Water the newly bedded rose cuttings. Put a mayonnaise jar upside down on top of the cuttings to help keep them moist.

Step 5

Keep the soil moist as the cuttings form roots, a process that takes between three and eight weeks for roses. Remove the mayonnaise jar and mist the plant every day or two until the cuttings have rooted.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some newer strains of roses are patented and cannot be legally propagated without permission from the patent owner.

Things You'll Need

  • Large mayonnaise jar
  • Planting pot
  • Soil
  • Clippers or pruning shears
  • Bucket of ice water


  • Morrison Gardens: Propagating Roses from Cuttings; Dr. Malcolm M. Manners
  • The Southern Garden: Rose Propagation From Cuttings; Dr. William C. Welch
  • North Carolina State University Horticulture: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings: Instructions for the Home Gardener; Erv Evans
Keywords: rose patent, rose propagation, rooting cuttings

About this Author

Terry Morgan is a freelancer who has been writing since 1992. Morgan has been published at, and eHow, frequenting topics like technology, computer repair, gardening and music. Morgan holds an Associate of Arts with a journalism focus from Moorpark College and a Bachelor of Arts in music and technology from California State University San Marcos.