Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners


Roses are best propagated after the first bloom of the season, usually in late May or early June. A shallow rooting box approximately 6 inches deep with ample drainage should be constructed with a removable lattice shade about one foot above the box.

Roses root best in a combination of 90 percent milled peat moss and 10 percent perlite or vermiculite. Wet thoroughly. Locate the rooting box in partial shade but with a little bit of early morning or late afternoon shade.

Cuttings should have at least two five-leaflet leaves. Three or four leaves are preferred. Avoid cuttings where the new shoot has started, cuttings with three-leaflet leaves, or cuttings that have been disbudded.

Remove the spent flower at top of cutting. Cut off all but two or three five-leaflet leaves, leaving one-half (1/2) inch of leaf stem on cutting as protection of new growth. Cut end of stem at angle, dip into water and then rooting hormone such as Rootone. Insert cuttings into box 1 1/2 deep. Place tall glass jar over cutting and push 1/2 inch deep into peat moss. Dirty glass jars actually do better as they shade the cutting and limit sunburning. Label rose name and date propagated.

Water beds at least daily. NEVER LET THE PEAT MOSS DRY OUT. It should be well-drained, but moist.

Check progress after two weeks. Gently remove any yellowed or dead leaves and withered top of cutting if dry enough to come off easily. However, these don't mean the cutting is dying.

Remove the jar when new shoots or "eye" are 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. Transplant when new growth is 3 to 4 inches long. Cut around at least 4 inches in diameter and six inches deep. Keep peat around the roots; avoid exposing the roots. Plant in well- prepared soil rich in organic matter and loose, water and keep shaded for several days. Plants may need to be watered daily for several days, but gradually withhold water. Mulch.

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