How To Propagate Roses

How to Propagate Roses

How to Propagate Roses

Despite their reputation for being challenging to take care of, roses are easy to propagate from both cuttings and seeds.


You can propagate Roses from both hardwood and semi-hardwood cuttings. Hardwood cuttings are mature wood from the fall, and semi-hardwood stems are cut in the summer. Hardwood cuttings should be cut from stems from the previous season and about 10 to 12 inches long. They should be cut cleanly, just below and above a bud. To do this, the gardener needs to have a very sharp pair of secateurs, for dull blades will crush the stem and ruin the cutting. The gardener then needs to remove all but the top two or three leaves.

It would help if you placed the cuttings in well-drained, sandy soil about 3 to 4 inches apart and 8 to 10 inches deep. You can place the cutting outside if the gardener lives in a mild climate where the soil doesn’t freeze deeply. They are best planted in trenches, like tomato plants, with everything buried save the top leaves. The cuttings must be protected from cold wind but open to the sun for most of the day. To that end, you can protect the cuttings with a wall made of burlap attached to poles sunk in the ground. If the winters are severe, the cuttings should be kept inside until the danger of frost is past.

Semi-hardwood cuttings are probably better for places where the winters are severe. These cuttings should be about 4 inches long and cut from young stems that are just beginning to become woody. The soft stem tips should be discarded, though every cutting needs to have two leaves at the top. The gardener should dip the base of the stem in the rooting hormone that has a fungicide, then place the cutting in a pot of well-drained soil made of equal parts peat moss and coarse sand. You should insert the cutting to half its depth, and the soil around it should be firmed and watered. After that, the gardener should put the cuttings in a plastic bag. The cuttings should root in about four to six weeks, then be placed in their pots. After this, the best thing to do is let the plants overwinter in a place where they’re protected from frost.


Roses grow surprisingly well from seed. It’s essential that the seed be fresh, which means the hips, the fruits of the rosebush, should be collected in the fall or later summer. The gardener should fill pots or pans with a good seed starting mix. They should split the hips open, sow the seeds thinly, cover them with about 1/4 inch of potting mix, then water them. It would be best if you then placed the pots and pans in a greenhouse or a cold frame. If the climate is mild, you can sow the seeds outdoors, but they’ll need to be covered with a layer of grit to prevent the soil from being pounded hard by heavy rain.

If the gardener buys rose seeds, they need to be planted immediately. It would help if you sowed them in the fall or early winter, and they’ll usually sprout in spring or early summer, though some roses can take as long as a year to germinate. As every rose gardener knows, patience is a virtue.