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How to Propagate Rosa Rugosa

Green seedings image by dakota from

The Rosa Rugosa is a woody shrub from the Rosaceae family that reaches a height and width of 6 feet. The shrub is native to areas in China, Korea and Japan and is hardy to plant in USDA growing zones 2 through 8. Propagate the Rosa Rugosa by collecting softwood cuttings in late spring through early summer. Softwood cuttings are taken from new plant growth that is beginning to harden and can easily snap in half.

Cut 6- to 8-inch softwood stem sections from the Rosa Rugosa with a sharp knife. Place the cuttings in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel to prevent the cuttings from drying while collecting.

Prepare a rooting medium by mixing equal parts peat moss, coarse sand and perlite. Dampen the mixture with water and fill it into a rooting tray.

Remove the leaves from the lower half of the Rosa Rugosa cutting. Cut large leaves on the top of the stem in half vertically to conserve moisture and safe space in the rooting tray.

Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone and stick it into the rooting medium to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Space the cuttings so the leaves do not touch.

Spray the rooting medium and Rosa Rugosa cuttings with water to moisten. Do not over-water and make the medium mushy. Cover the tray with a plastic bag to hold in moisture. Place the tray in a warm location with indirect sunlight.

Pull on the Rosa Rugosa stems after four weeks of growth to see if there is resistance from root formation. Transplant the cuttings into individual containers filled with sterile potting soil once the roots reach 1 inch in length.

Grow the cuttings in a protected environment for the first growing season. Transplant the cuttings outdoors in the spring to allow time for the roots to establish prior to winter.


Clean and disinfect all cutting tools with a solution of nine parts water and one part bleach, to prevent spreading disease through the open wound. Let the tools dry before using.

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