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How to Propagate a Climbing Rose

Climbing roses are among the most lovely and old-fashioned forms of rose, as they send their long shoots out to climb gracefully over a fence, wall or trellis. Most climbing roses bloom heavily in spring, then will bloom again sporadically throughout the remainder of the spring and summer. The blooms are large, between 4 and 6 inches in diameter. Climbing roses can be propagated by taking a stem cutting in early autumn, after the blooms have faded.

Fill several 6-inch pots with commercial potting soil. Dampen the potting soil, then make a hole in the center of each pot, using the eraser end of a pencil. The hole, which will be used to plant the climbing rose cuttings, should be about 3 inches deep.

Use sharp pruners to cut a 6- to 8-inch stem from a healthy climbing rose bush. The cutting should be about the diameter of a pencil.

Cut the bottom of the stem at a 45-degree angle, with the cut made just below a set of leaves. Cut the top of the stem straight across, immediately above a set of leaves. Strip all of the leaves off the stem except the top leaf.

Strip an inch of outer bark from the bottom, angled end, of each climbing rose cutting, using the tip of a sharp knife. Be sure not to cut into the stem. Wounding the stem will stimulate rooting.

Dip the angled end of each cutting in powdered rooting hormone, and plant the cuttings in the holes in the center of the pots. Tamp the potting soil lightly around the cutting.

Put the climbing rose cuttings in bright, but indirect, light, and keep the top of the soil slightly moist. Wait for the cutting to develop two sets of leaves, which is proof that the cutting has taken root. This should take approximately two months.

Move the climbing rose cuttings to a place where they will be exposed to bright early morning sun but protected from hot afternoon sun, and continue to keep the surface of the soil moist. As the cuttings develop new growth, they can gradually be moved into direct sunlight.

Plant the climbing rose cuttings outdoors the following spring, unless you live in a hot, dry climate. In that case, move the cuttings into two-gallon containers and wait to plant them outdoors after the weather cools in autumn.

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