I have to say, I did a happy dance the moment I discovered just how EASY it is to propagate roses from cuttings. They are so expensive at garden centers but we buy them anyway because who doesn’t love a rose?
Turns out the price tag isn’t even justified when from one plant you can make a dozen baby plants with ingredients you have at home. Usually, when propagating from cuttings you’ll need some sort of rooting hormone to help stimulate the cutting to grow roots. Most roses however already contain their own rooting hormone called auxin so adding your own isn’t compulsory.
It does speed things up though.
Spring, autumn, and winter are a great time to propagate roses.
In spring there is lots of new growth in full swing. The cuttings you take here are usually softwood, which is young and bendy. These cuttings will root quickly but need to be kept covered as they’re a little more delicate.
Pot up your cuttings in some potting soil and make sure to keep them moist. You can put the cuttings straight into their forever home in the garden straight away, but in spring this is risky as they can dry out.
Keep your cuttings moist. After about 4 weeks they will start forming callouses which will form the roots. You want to leave your cuttings undisturbed while they are doing this but for information sake, I took one out to show you what the callouses look like.
In about 4 months time they can be planted out in the garden. Take care when planting them that you keep them moist and soak them first in a seaweed solution to avoid transplant shock.
In autumn and early winter, you would take hardwood cuttings which are older wood. Giving a little nick on the sides of the cutting to expose the cambium layer can encourage rooting.
You can take any part of the rose as a cutting but a stem, cut just under a leaf bud works best, like pictured below.
Now you can dip this cutting into a rooting hormone if you wish. You can get some great store bought ones, or make your own.
Home Made Rooting Hormones Mixes
- Honey water. 1 Cup of boiled water with 1 tsp of honey dissolved into it. Let it cool down and dip your cuttings into it. Honey is a great natural root stimulator and is anti-bacterial so your cuttings stay disease free.
- Cinnamon. A quick dip in some cinnamon powder will stimulate root growth, plus cinnamon is inexpensive and easy to source.
- Willow water. If you have a willow tree, soaking some leaves in water over-night makes a great rooting solution.
Then you can pop them straight into the ground. The wetter weather of autumn and winter will ensure the cuttings don’t dry out.
As autumn is a time of pruning for roses, you may as well put all those prunings to good use! Even if some cuttings don’t work out, the more you put in the more chance you’ve got.
Once you open the doors to the world of propagating you’ll see the possibilities are endless. Roses make a great starting point though. As long as you have a bit of patience, they’re nearly full proof.
Have you tried this? What other plants have you propagated?