Roses reproduce naturally both by seed formation and via suckers that sprout near the base of the bush. The suckers will produce blooms that are identical to the original. Seeds, however, may produce a plant and bloom that vary from the original plant. Roses can be reproduced manually by stem cuttings. Stem cutting will produce a clone of the original rose bush.
Roses grow large, vigorous root systems that may extend several feet from the base of the plant. These roots send up shoots that grow into small bushes identical to the base plant. The sucker can be severed from the root with a sharp spade and planted in a new location to produce a clone of the original plant. If the bush becomes unruly and spreads to cover a wide area, suckers can be mowed or cut to prevent the rose bush from spreading.
Most roses produce seeds with the aid of bees and other flying insects that are attracted to the aroma or color of the bloom. When the insect visits the flower to drink nectar, pollen attaches to its legs and body and is then carried to other blooms, causing fertilization. Some roses, however, are pollinated with the aid of the wind. The wind blows pollen from one bloom to anotherm pollinating the blooms. Both can cause cross-pollination between types of roses, and will result in hybrid seeds that will not produce true to the mother plant.
A small, apple-like pod, called a hip, will form after the bloom has died. Rose hips are usually red or orange, but may be yellow. The hip is soft and fleshy, and is readily eaten by birds or small animals.
The rose hip contains several seeds that are indigestible to birds and animals. The seed passes through the digestive system and exits the body.
New rose bushes sprout and grow in the new locations far removed from the original rose bush.
Manually reproducing rose bushes involves taking stem cuttings (6 to 8 inches long) from the tip of a branch. This cutting should be a of new growth that is greenish-brown on the outside and a pithy white inside. The cutting is placed in soil that is kept evenly moist for a period of time ranging from a few weeks to a month or more, depending on the species.
Roots sprout and the stem begins to show new growth. The resulting plant is identical to the mother plant.