Rooting Roses

Garden Crafts

The Gift of Roses.

Last year, I simply asked my husband for an entire rose bush instead of a bunch of roses for Valentines’ Day. I enjoy having roses year-round rather than just 1-2 weeks in the middle of winter. And sure enough, I had roses from my bush for a long time and can’t wait till Spring when they’ll be coming up again. Roses, when cut back, are winter resistant and will do well with some frost. This makes roses perfect for many different climates.


Will you be getting roses at Valentines Day? You’ll enjoy this rose growing tip today if you won’t. And if you will, you’ll enjoy the article in about a week or so.

Oh, and btw. here’s the link to Order Roses Online. I have heard of many a girl who ordered roses to be delivered to her own front door. It’s not that unusual. And you can order roses for someone else as well. That sounds good and it feels good.

Grow Your Own Rose Bushes

A while after my hubby bought me my rose bush, I chatted with a friend who had taken a clipping from another friend’s rose bush and just stuck the clipping into the earth in her garden. It would grow, she affirmed. Low and behold: it IS a rose bush now! It was full with flowers last Fall. Amazing.

Now, not everyone is as lucky as she is to have such perfect soil & sun circumstances, but everyone can be so lucky as to grow their own roses, from scratch.

Rooting roses:


My 1,2,3 Tutorial on Rooting Roses and how to Grow ‘m from Scratch

1. Clean and prep your  containers: a recycled milk jug and soda bottles container.

Use a clean plastic 1/2 gallon milk jug as your soil container, and a 2 ltr soda bottle as your mini greenhouse dome.  Cut 4 holes in the bottom of your milk jug to ensure good drainage, which is important for your cuttings to grow well.

The benefit of the milk jug is that the plastic is semi-transparent, which means that you can SEE the roots when they reach to the sides and bottom of your jug. All you have to do is look at/lift up your jug to check. This avoids the disastrous temptation to tug on your rose clipping to see if it’s rooted. The problem with tugging is that that actually kills your clipping!! So, don’t do that!


2. Prepare a soil mixture of sphagnum, perlite (and some soil). Spagnum retains moisture and perlite offers better drainage to prevent rot. Water thoroughly, and let it drain.

3. If you did not get roses for Valentines Day, just walk around your neighborhood and ask a friendly neighbor for a clipping* of their bush. Or, if you did get roses yesterday, simply cut off the flower and the very end of the stem with either a sharp knife or pruners.

*: Choose a good quality cutting from plants that are well-watered. Ideally, use semi-hardwood cuttings. New growth is too fresh to root.  Older rose wood stems can take too long to root. By picking the right clipping you increase your chances that your clipping will root instead of rot.  A rose stem with a spent flower on it is the perfect age.

Get the whole stem with the heel wood, i.e. where the stem meets the main cane. This part of the stem has more buds, and roots form here more reliably. Otherwise take a stem with 5 – 6 leaflets and cut the stem at 45o angle right below/on top of that stem segment where the last leaflet was attached.

4.  Some say you might want to dip your stems into a rooting hormone (and shaking off any excess as the plants need very little of this). I am not a fan of rooting hormones as I can not imagine that they are healthy for people. However, your chances of success are of course significantly heightened if you do.  My friend who put the rose clipping in her soil did not do anything to it other than smile at it when she watered it. Smile  No junk on her land…

5.  Prep your clipping for rooting: Score the bottom by lightly cutting into the bark of the stem on 3 sides. Do not cut deeply into the pith of the stem.  Take off any spent flowers and shorten the leaflets. Some leaves are helpful in providing food for the developing roots.

  6. Make a hole and place your clipping in it. Particularly if you use rooting hormone, you must prepare a hole by sticking a stick into your soil to create a hole about 2 “ deep that’s slightly wider than your stem. You should have at least 2 buds under the soil. Firm up the soil around the cutting a bit and water. Place your soda bottle dome on top and say a prayer for your plant.

Ongoing Care in the Rooting Process

a. Carefully remove any leaves that fall off your clipping during the rooting process, because they can be a source of rot for your cutting.

b. Put your rose growing project outdoors in a shady, cool place. If you prefer to put your rooting roses in a garage or basement, you might need to use grow lights. Direct exposure to hot sun may cause your greenhouse to overheat and kill your roses.

c. Water from time to time.


photo credit:
clipping in greenhouse: (former website by a lovely little rose farm in Virginia)

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