How to Propagate & Grow a Rose Bush From Cuttings

A Gorgeous Rose Garden

Imagine transforming your ordinary outdoor space into a gorgeous rose garden.

You might think this requires professional rosarian’s services and costs a lot of money. Truth is, you can grow beautiful roses yourself without the skills of a trained gardener.

There are various ways to propagate rose plants. An easy and affordable one is to use cuttings from your favourite rose bush. Rose rooting from cuttings is all about the right timing and technique. This means there are particular yet simple steps to follow for great results.

Ready to take your rose gardening to the next level?

Look at the Wonderful Wellies tips on how to properly grow roses from cuttings.

What Do You Need to Grow a Rose from a Cut?

If you wonder where to begin, start by gathering tools and materials:

  • Healthy rose plant - if you don’t have your own rose bush, ask a neighbour, a friend, or a local garden centre to take cuttings from their plants.
  • Clean sharp cutting tool - bypass pruners are the best choice, but a knife will also do the job.
  • Rooting hormone powder (optional) - it’s a product that stimulates the cutting to root and grow a plant. Treating the rose segment with the hormone makes the whole process easier. if you don’t want to use a hormone, opt for Cinnamon or honey powders. 
  • Pot - prepare a 6-inch deep pot if you want to start your cuttings in a container instead of the garden.
  • Potting soil - a mix of sand, vermiculite and normal garden soil is great for growing roses. 
  • Jar - prepare a jar full of water to place the cuttings in it before you plant them.
  • Plastic bag - to make a cover for the rose cutting after you plant it.

What Are Rose Bush Cuttings and When to Take Them?

A Healthy Rose Plant’s Stem

Rose cuttings are pieces from a healthy rose plant’s stem. They are rootless, but when taken good care, cuttings can grow roots.

You can take the cuttings any time you want. But it’s best to cut them in late spring or early summer, especially if you propagate Bulgarian Rosa Damascena. Then the temperature outside is warm and the parent plant is in its vigorous growth.

The presence of these two factors guarantees you get softwood cuttings. These are the easiest and fastest to grow.

What if you take the rose cuttings in the colder months?

The process will take more time and effort because the parent plant is mature and the cuttings will be hardwood. They are less likely to root and develop healthy new plants.

The process will take more time and effort because the parent plant is mature and the cuttings will be hardwood. They are less likely to root and develop healthy new plants.

Right timing is important, but don’t you base it strictly on a calendar. Observe when the plant’s flowers fade. This is the perfect moment - right after blooming.

Also, take the rose cuttings in morning hours when they are well hydrated.

How to Take Cuttings to Propagate Roses?


When it comes to rose bush propagation, not every cutting is successful. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a few extra cuttings.

The correct steps to take rose bush cuttings are:

  1. Choose the right rose stem. The perfect stem for cuttings is a healthy, young, long, and strong one. It should have recently flowered. Look for a stem that comes from the side of the rose bush. Rose segments from such stems tend to root better.

  2. Cut the right way. Take the piece by cutting it at a 45-degree angle from the stem just below the first set of leaves. Make sure to use a sterile tool. The cutting should be around 6-8 inches (15-20cm) long.

  3. Keep the cuttings hydrated. Put the cuttings in water, right after you take them. Keeping them moist is essential to successful rooting.

  4. Remove flowers, buds, and leaves. This prevents loss of moisture and energy and helps the cutting grow. But the rose segment still needs photosynthesis. To aid the process, leave a single pair of leaves on the top.

  5. Split the bottom. With your pruners or knife, make one inch (2.5cm) long slits at the end of the cutting. This also encourages rooting.

  6. Use a rooting hormone. That’s not a necessary step in the rose propagation process. However, when you add the hormone, you improve your chances to grow a new rose. How to use it? Dip the damp ending of the cut in the powdered hormone and shake off any excess product.

How to Plant Cuttings?

Now that the rose cuttings are ready, it’s time to plant them. It’s good to prep the planting spot in advance to sow the rose pieces straight after you cut them.

  • Planting in containers. Make a 2-3 inch (5cm) deep holes in the potting soil, using a stick, a pencil, or your finger. Then fill every hole with a rose segment. With your hands gently push the soil up against every cutting to provide support. When you’re done, water the soil. If your pot is wide enough, you can plant several rose cuttings as long as they are 6-8 inches (15-20cm) apart.
  • Planting in a garden. Planting the cuttings directly outdoors requires the same technique as planting in a pot. The trick here is to select the right spot for the cuttings. Look for a space with bright but indirect light. The cuttings will root best in spots with northern or eastern exposure.

How to Take Care of Planted Cuttings?

rose piece

Once you put the rose cuttings in their garden beds, it’s time to create a mini greenhouse. Loosely put a plastic bag around every rose piece. Use a tall stake to make sure that the wrap doesn’t touch the cuttings. By covering the rose segments, you create a proper environment for them to grow. They receive enough warmth, moisture, and UV rays.

So, as the rose cuttings grow, it’s important to keep the soil hydrated. Provide plenty of sunlight each day. The cuttings should also remain undisturbed during the growing period.

When to Expect Cuttings to Root?

With good care of rose cuttings roots grow after 10 to 14 days. This is also when you should notice leaves growing.

Wonder how to be sure there are roots?

To check, delicately pull the cutting. If you feel a slight resistance, this means there are new roots. If your cuttings grow in a pot, you’ll be able to transplant them to the garden soon.

  1. Wait a couple of days for the new baby roses to become stronger.
  2. Afterwards, move them to their permanent outdoor homes.

To Conclude

There you go, you already have a mini duplicate of your favourite rose bush. Provide plenty of water, sunlight, rich nutrition like home-made compost, and, of course, love, so it grows into a beautiful rose plant!

Following our easy tips on how to propagate roses from cuttings, you’ll soon have a wonderful garden that your neighbours will be jealous of.

And if you want more gardening tips and tricks, go to our Gardening Reviews, Buyers Guides, Help Guides & Trends.