How to Propagate Roses – Garden Tips 2024

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Roses are some of the most iconic flowers and if you have a variety you love, you will want to make even more of them. Learn how to propagate roses in these easy steps.

How to propagate roses: In order to propagate roses, you need a healthy stem that is about 6 inches long. Leave three to four nodes, or leaf tips, on the branch, and then scrape the bottom tip a little bit. Dip it in a rooting hormone and plant it in a mixture of perlite and potting soil. Roots will form on the cutting after a month or two but it will take up to a year before you can plant your cutting back into your garden.

When do you need to propagate roses?

Even though you can propagate roses at any time of the year, it is better if you can do so when temperatures are mild but not too hot. Aim for daytime temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

For most climates, late spring or early fall is the ideal time to propagate roses.

What do you need to propagate roses?

  • Sharp scissors or pruning shears
  • Potting soil and perlite in a 50/50 mix
  • Rooting hormone
  • 5-inch pot with drainage holes
  • Humidity cover

How do you propagate roses?


The more water in your roses, the healthier and hardier they will be. When you know you are going to take a cutting of your rose, be sure to water it the day before.

It should go without saying, but we’ll remind you anyway, that the overall health of your roses needs to be good. Propagating roses with any health issues won’t end in success.

Cut the stems

Take your garden shears or scissors and disinfect them before you use them. This will ensure you aren’t accidentally transferring any diseases.

The best stems are those that have flower buds that are slightly open but not all the way. You can also cut stems with flowers that have just dropped their petals.

The stems should be about 5 to 8 inches long and have at least three or four nodes. Nodes are defined as the areas where buds or leaves will emerge.

The top cut should be just below a node while the bottom cut should be just above a node.

Place in water

Now that you have your cuttings, place them in a container of water. This is just an intermediary step while you prepare for the rest of the process.

Slice the bottoms of cuttings

Around the bottom inch of your cutting, you want to slice away the thick green part of the stem. This will encourage wound response and make for easier propagation.

Take scissors or garden shears and gently scrape the top skin, just as you would peel a vegetable. You can slice off strips but don’t take the entire layer off.

Use rooting hormone

Although this step is not technically necessary, it does make the whole process go smoother. This mixture needs to be purchased and includes the natural hormones that roots need in order to produce new roots.

Apply rooting hormone to the bottom two inches of your cutting. You can dip your cutting into the hormone.

Remove most of the leaves

Your cutting may still have a flower on the top and if it does so, remove this, cutting just below a node. You also want to cut most of the leaves, just leaving the top two or three leaves.

Place in soil

Take your container and ensure it has good drainage holes. If you are short on containers, you can also use the top of a milk container, as long as you poke good holes in it.

Place your potting soil and perlite into the container. You want a 50/50 mix for the best results. Then, place your cutting into the soil with the bottom two inches of the cutting into the mix.

As you can see, the bottom two inches will have been scraped partially away, dipped in the rooting mixture, and then buried in the potting soil-perlite mixture.

Tamp the soil down around the stem so it remains upright. Then, add water to soak the soil.

The best place to put this container is indirect sunlight and in a room that gets lots of humidity.

Check on plants

For the most part, your rose should have no problem propagating. However, there is always a chance there could be an issue, so routinely monitor it.

If your room is too dry, you can add a humidity cover, which will trap some of the moisture around your cutting. This will also help keep the soil moist.

Check the soil every week to see how the moisture level is. If the soil is too dry, add more water but if you have the right conditions, you won’t need to add too much water.

If you have any cuttings that have turned yellow, this means they didn’t make it. You can then remove them and focus your efforts on the remaining cuttings.

Check for roots

After just a few weeks your roses may start to develop their own roots. However, this can take up to a few months, so as long as the cuttings are green, leave them where they are.

Using a clear container will help you see if there are roots forming in the soil. Other signs of growth include new leaves.

Plant in garden

It will take a while before your roses are ready to be transplanted. Sometimes this process takes up to a year.

To help acclimatize your new cuttings, you can transplant them to a larger pot and change the mixture to a ratio of 20 percent perlite and 80 percent potting soil. You can also add a slow-release fertilizer if you notice your roses have stagnated in their growth.


Propagating roses takes a while, up to a year, but the entire process isn’t too difficult. Start with a healthy rose stem, prepare the bottom, and use a rooting hormone to increase the success rate of your actions.

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