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How to Root a Cutting From a Rose Plant

By Sharon Sweeny ; Updated September 21, 2017

Roses are one garden plant that can be successfully rooted by taking cuttings. One of the easiest and most successful ways to root a cutting from a rose plant is to use individual pots of vermiculite rather than peat moss or potting soil. Vermiculite doesn’t harbor bacteria and soil-borne diseases so there is less of a chance for the cutting failing due to mold or mildew.

Choose the correct time of year to take cuttings. The best time to make rose cuttings for rooting is in late spring and early summer.

Choose the branch tip with a rose that has just finished blooming for your cutting. These are the easiest cuttings to root. Cut the branch off with the rose pruning clippers just below the third set of leaves from the end. Remove the faded flower.

Fill a 2-inch pot with vermiculite. Add enough water so the vermiculite is moist but not soaking wet.

Insert the eraser end of a pencil into the vermiculite to create a hole in which to insert the rose cutting.

Dip the end of the cutting into powdered rooting hormone. Blow off the excess.

Insert the cutting into the prepared hole in the vermiculite and firm it around the cutting.

Insert the pot into a large, clear plastic bag. Do not fasten the bag closed; air circulation is important so the cutting doesn’t develop mold.

Put the cutting into the shade. Check occasionally and water when the vermiculite feels dry on the surface. If condensation develops on the inside of the plastic bag, remove the pot for a day or two.

Check the cutting in about 6 weeks to see if it has grown roots. Gently pull on the cutting. If it resists gentle pressure, roots have formed and it’s ready to plant.


Things You Will Need

  • Rose pruning clippers
  • 2-inch pot
  • Vermiculite
  • Pencil
  • Powdered rooting hormone
  • Plastic bag


  • Rose cuttings have a high mortality rate; start several more than you think you'll need.

About the Author


Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.