How to Root Rose Clippings

By Susan Miller , last updated March 22, 2011

Most roses will take root and grow easily from clippings. To take a clipping, cut a rose on its stem or vine just like you’re bringing it into the house to put it in a vase. The only variety that does not do well from cuttings is the Gallica rose. To propagate the Gallica, you must dig up the roots and clip off some of the offshoots for rooting.

Take the Proper Size Clipping

For most other roses, just clip the length of the rose stems off in proportion with their size. For example, the stems of miniature roses should be cut just about three inches long. China roses, modern shrubs and other medium sized roses should be cut with a 4 to 5 inch long stem. Cut large hybrid teas with a stem of 7 to 8 inches long.

When to Root Roses

Even though roses can be rooted any time of year, it’s best to take rose cuttings in late spring, which is when the wood on the rose stem is at the right maturity for rooting. Cut new growth stems at the recommended lengths, and remove the flowers and hips down to the first healthy set of leaves, making a cut at a 45 degree angle. At the bottom of the stem, cut through a spot where a side branch joins the stem. Make this cut also at a 45 degree angle. Make sure the cuts are clean with no jagged edges. Take at least three clippings for each type of rose you want to propagate.

Proper Care for Cuttings

Don’t let the clipped stems dry out. Put them in water right away until you can get them home. Dip them in rooting hormones and insert the stem into a hole in the center of a peat pot. Place the cuttings inside a little greenhouse, or make one by inserting wire into the pot and covering it all with plastic. The wire will keep the plastic from touching the leaves and the rose stem directly.

Keep the cutting out of direct sunlight, but make sure it gets good light. The rose clippings may begin to root in two weeks or it could take a few months. With these tips and some patience, you will be thrilled with your rooted roses.

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