How to Grow Roses From Cuttings

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Historically speaking,

Roses have always been grown in herb gardens. They were used for medicines, fragrance, sweet rose water, cooking, and more.  If you have considered growing them you should know that starting roses from cuttings is actually easy!

Getting started:

You will need a plastic drink or soda bottle, soil mix, sharp scissors or knife, a rose bush, and you might want the optional (but helpful) rooting hormone or compound. Try to check and make sure the rose you want to take cuttings from is NOT a patented plant…or the plant police might show up at your house :)

How To:

Cut a plastic drink bottle into two parts so the top part is a bit taller than the bottom. This allows the upper growing part of the rose to have some room.

plastic drink bottle
See? Top is Taller than Bottom

Find your cutting

The rose should not already have buds, or be blooming. There should be some soft new growth, but you do not want all soft green growth, and do not choose old and woody growth. You will add some damp mix (with maybe a little sand or perlite added) to the bottom part of the bottle.

Snip your cutting. It should be about 4 inches long.

Rose Cutting

The cutting needs only a few sets of leaves, so remove extras on the lower stem.

Extra Leaves Removed From Stem
Extra Leaves Removed From Stem

At this point I usually dip the cutting end into a rooting compound or solution.

Dip the Cut End Into Rooting Solution
Dip the Cut End Into Rooting Solution

Poke a hole in the soil and place your cutting in it. Firm the mix around it.

Place Your Rose Cutting
Place Your Rose Cutting

Snip the tips off any leaves that might not fit into the bottle, then put the top on!

Read more:  Why Your Cilantro Croaks
Put Lid Over Cutting
Put Lid Over Cutting

You can use tape, or rubber bands to secure the top.

Finished Rose Cutting in Bottle
Finished Rose Cutting in Bottle

Caring for your rose cuttings– Keep in bright but not direct light. The first day or two, keep the screw cap lid on. After that  you can take the bottle lid off so the cutting gets some air, especially if it looks “foggy” in your little bottle greenhouse.

If the cutting looks a bit wilted, pop the screw cap back on for a day or two and see if it perks up.

Just watch for signs of wilt or decay.

Wilting may meant cuttings are getting dry and need the cap closed. Decay means the cutting did not “take” and needs to be removed…quickly.

Rooting may take weeks, and may not occur until long after you see new growth. The nice thing is with the clear bottle you can SEE the root growth, so it takes a lot of the guesswork out of starting rose cuttings.

After your rose starts growing and you can see both roots and new growth, you can remove the upper part of the bottle for awhile each day.

Again, if it looks “wilty” pop the top back on. It’s telling you its not quite ready to come out yet! If you try this at home, remember you can use a larger bottle to do several cuttings at once!

Large & Small Greenhouse Bottles
Large & Small Greenhouse Bottles


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