Just as with many other shrubs, roses can be grown from cuttings. It’s not a fast process – it may take a couple of years before your new plant produces flowers. But if you have a favourite rose, it can be fun to try. The cuttings need to be taken fresh from a healthy plant – don’t try to grow a new rose bush from the bunch of cut flowers you have sitting in a vase. And as roses bushes are pruned during winter, this is the most convenient time to take and pot up your rose cuttings.
Here is our step-by-step guide for how to grow roses from cuttings.
How to propagate roses
1. Cut pieces of stem about 20 – 30cm long (remove flowers, if there are any)
2. Remove all leaves
3. Re-cut the bottom of the rose cutting, just below a node (the swelling on the stem, where the leaves emerge)
4. Remove the thorns on the bottom half of the rose
5. Dip the end of the rose cutting into a rooting hormone gel (or use honey if you don’t have any hormone gel)
6. Plant into a pot filled with propagating sand. Poke a hole in the sand first, so you don’t rub off the hormone gel, and then carefully firm the sand around the stem. Water gently. You can plant about 4 cuttings in a 200mm pot
7. Place the pot in a protected spot, with filtered light, and water sparingly. By late spring, the cuttings should be producing leaf shoots and roots and are ready to be planted in a sunny spot with well-draining soil
How to plant and care for roses
Give roses a position in full sun and ensure the plants have good airflow. Avoid growing them near big shrubs and trees that will cause them to compete for light and nutrients.
During the warm months, regular water is key. Avoid overhead watering to reduce the risk of disease such as powdery mildew and black spot.
They’re hungry plants, so feed them well. Use a slow-release fertiliser for roses and supplement with liquid feeding.
Prune roses in winter, and deadhead for more blooms during the growing season.