How to Root a Rose (and other plants)

by Annie Owen

Rooting cuttings of roses, and other perennials and annuals, is easy to do by following these instructions:

Rooting rose cuttingsTake a cutting from a cane that has bloomed and has bud eyes showing. The diameter should be around the size of a drinking straw.

The stem should have 4 sets of 5-leaf leaflets. Remove the bottom two sets of leaflets by cutting – not tearing – from the stem.

The top 2 leaflets should be reduced in size by cutting the leaves so that only half remain.
At the bottom make a vertical cut into the stem that is close to the lowest bud, then lightly score the stem vertically opposite the bud eye.

Prepare the rooting mix at 50% perlite and 50% growing mix. Place in a small pot or clear plastic drink cup with holes cut in the bottom. Water well so that the mix is saturated.

Using a pencil, dowel, or other tool make a hole in the moistened mix.

Dip cutting into rooting hormone, tap off excess, and place in hole in potting mix. Firm around base of cutting.

Create a humid environment by placing the cutting inside a plastic bag with a twist tie, a 2 or 3 liter drink bottle with the bottom cut off, or a gallon milk jug.

A mini greenhouse can be made from a plastic storage container with a loose-fitting lid. Place about an inch of sand in the bottom and moisten the sand. The cutting should be kept moist but not stand in water. This will hold multiple cuttings.

Rooting takes place in 4-6 weeks depending on the variety. Hybrid tea roses may take longer. Put the cutting where it will get light, but not sun, outside in a sheltered place as under a tree will work.

For a rose, keep in a pot over the winter because it cannot be planted outside for a year.

The same technique can be used to root any other perennials and annuals that can be rooted from a stem cutting.