How to Start a Rose Bush from Cuttings

Although you can start rose bushes from seeds, the most reliable method is to start a rose bush from cuttings. This method, called propagation, has a high success rate. Propagation is also the only way to ensure that hybrid rose bushes grow true to their parent plant.

To increase your odds of success, try three or four cuttings at a time. In warmer climate zones, you can start propagation in the fall. In colder climate zones, you should wait until early spring to start your cuttings.

Selecting Your Cutting
Look for a stem that is about a foot long and has half dozen leaves or more. Select stems from newer growth and make sure the stems are free of mildew, black spot or other diseases.

Make your cut between leaf nodes using a sharp pair of pruning shears. Make sure that the cut on the stem remains open.

Preparing Your Cutting
Remove leaves from the bottom half of the stem. If your cutting has buds, remove them carefully. Using a sharp knife, make a half inch slit in the bottom of the stem.

Seal your cutting in a plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The cool, damp air will help the stem hold its moisture while the cut heals.

Planting Your Cutting
Pick a spot to plant your rose bush cutting. The soil should be fertile and well drained. The rose bush cutting should be placed were it will get plenty of sun, but be sheltered from cold winds.

Young rose bushes don't like to be transplanted, if possible pick a spot that will allow the plant to mature without being disturbed.

Remove your cutting from the refrigerator and take it out of the plastic bag. Dip the end of the cutting in water, and then dip it into some rooting hormone powder. Hormone powder promotes root growth and can be found in most garden centers or nurseries.

Plant your rose bush cutting halfway into the ground and water the area around the cutting thoroughly.

To Jar Or Not To Jar?
At this point, you can leave your cutting to grow, watering it every several days. One school of thought, however, says that you'll have better success by placing a jar over your cutting.

In theory, a clear glass of plastic jar will create a mini-greenhouse, keeping the cutting and its new roots warm. If you use a jar, remove it when you see new leaves on your cutting or whenever the temperature gets above 70 degrees. Also, continue to water your jar-covered rose bush cuttings once a week.

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