How to Propagate Roses


Roses are among the oldest plants in the world. The oldest rose plants known to man are present in the fossil record. Today roses grow around the world and in almost every climate from sub-arctic to desert. The rose family has around 200 species and thousands of hybrids. People grow roses both for their fragrant blossoms and for their vitamin-packed fruit. The most popular way to propagate roses is through grafting. Grafting roses onto the roots of heartier rose varieties makes them stronger and more resistant to disease. Grafted roses will also bloom faster than roses started from seed.

Cane Grafting

Step 1

Wait until between growth flushes to cut a budstick from a rose bush. Flowers should be fading from a rose bush during this time, but the new buds will not be swollen. .

Step 2

Select a rose cane that is slightly woody from which to cut a budstick. The cane should be healthy with no disease in its past and with a tendency to produce profuse blossoms

Step 3

Cut the part of the rose that you will graft, called the scion, by selecting the last 8 inches of the rose cane from a plant. Make your cut below the point where a bud or stem emerges (called a node). Make a downward cut at a 45-degree angle.

Step 4

Make a second cut on the other side of the cane so that the end of the scion forms a V shape.

Step 5

Strip the leaves and buds from the bottom 4 inches of your scion.

Step 6

Place your rose scion in a bucket of water so that it does not dry out.

Step 7

Select a rooted cane that is the same diameter as your scion to graft your scion onto. This is called the rootstock.

Step 8

Remove the top of the rootstock cane by making a perpendicular cut through the cane just above a node.

Step 9

Cut a V-shaped notch down into the center of the rootstock cane.

Step 10

Wedge the V-shaped end of the scion into the V-shaped notch in the rootstock cane.

Step 11

Tape the cut closed with grafting tape and allow the cut to heal together naturally.

Bud Grafting

Step 1

Cut a bud and a shield-shaped sliver of the wood beneath it away from a rose cane using an upward slice with your grafting knife.

Step 2

Place the cut bud in water to prevent it from drying out.

Step 3

Make a vertical cut into the cane of the rootstock with your grafting knife. This cut should be deep enough to ensure that the green bark will peel away from the rose cane's trunk.

Step 4

Create a perpendicular cut in the cane of the rootstock at the top of the vertical cut. The two cuts together should form a T shape.

Step 5

Peel back the flaps of bark from your rose cane along the T-shaped cut to form a pocket.

Step 6

Slip the sliver of wood from the bud into the pocket and close the bark around it, leaving the bud exposed.

Step 7

Wrap the bud and the rose cane with grafting tape and allow the graft to heal.

Things You'll Need

  • Grafting knife
  • Grafting tape
  • Bucket
  • Water


  • Texas A&M Extenstion: T or Shield Budding
  • North Dakota State University: Rose Propagation
  • Yankee District of the American Rose Society: Budding Made Easier

Who Can Help

  • Hortus USA: Propagation of Roses: Stenting--Simultaneously Cutting and Grafting
Keywords: propagating roses, bud grafting, grafting roses

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."