Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Take Cuttings From Rose Bushes

By Katherine Kally ; Updated September 21, 2017

Expand your rose garden with cuttings from your current rose bushes. You can take cuttings from any healthy rose bush; success rates for growing roots from a cutting range from 50 to 75 percent, so take more than one. The best time to take cuttings is during the fall or the late spring, depending on where you live. Rose cuttings in warmer climates do better if they are taken in the fall, while spring is best if you live in a cold area.

Prepare your growing medium and rooting compound before you take any cuttings from your rose bushes. Place the root stimulator in a shallow bowl or on a plate, so you can dip the end of the cuttings in it. You’ll also need a small pot almost filled with sterile potting soil, or a small hole dug three to four inches deep in the ground.

Water the soil well in the container or in the ground and let it drain. If you are planting in a container, insert a pencil three to four inches deep in the center of the potting soil so that the root compound will not brush off during planting.

Locate stems on the rose bushes that have bloomed recently. Branches with roses that are withering and turning brown are ideal candidates from which to take your cuttings. These dying rose blossoms are called hips.

Remove the dying rose blossoms from the end of the branch down to the first bunch of healthy leaves. From the tip of the stem, measure back eight inches. With your pruning shears or a sharp knife, cut the stem at a 45-degree angle. Remove the leaves from the cuttings.

Dip one end of your cutting in the root stimulator. Gently tap off the excess root hormone.

Plant the cuttings in small, individual containers or in the ground. Gently backfill soil around the cuttings. Water them again. Cover each of the containers with a gallon size plastic bag to help hold in the humidity. You can cover the cuttings in the ground with jars, as long as the cuttings do not receive too much sun. Water the cuttings only when they are dry. Your cuttings should begin to grow roots in about two weeks.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears or sharp knife
  • Small pot
  • Root stimulator
  • Potting soil
  • Pencil
  • Gallon size plastic bag
  • Jar

About the Author


Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.