Rose propagation: my method

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

You could always make any threads or individual posts a personal 'sticky' by clicking the small folder in the upper right hand and adding a 'tag' or label for easy reference. Then all you do to find it again is go to your My Info page and click on 'View Your Tagged Pages.'

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Hi Nery, Neil, and Sue!

Have been off for a while. Good to be back.

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Good to see you here! Spring is coming!!!

Gardiner, ME(Zone 5a)


I have a question.

You wrote 'Spring is the absolute very best time, because the hormone content in the stems is the highest, but Fall is a very good time too '

So are you saying spring BEFORE they bloom ?
I have printed your pages a couple of weeks ago and have all of my stuff ready.
Just walked around outside and dying to start some cuttings....

I did root some several years ago but waited until after flowering.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, in the Spring at budbreak, before flowering.

Or, late/spring early summer with stems that ended in a flower, that is now done blooming.

Or, fall, before the energy reverts back to the root system for winter.

These are all three really good times, with Spring budbreak, being the very best. Budbreak does not mean flower bud, it means the leaves beginning to bud out. So, budbreak, is when the rose bush just breaks dormancy and is just beginning to leaf.

It is more accurate to describe the stage of the rose bush, than saying a particular time of year, because for people in all different zones, this will be at very different times.

Gardiner, ME(Zone 5a)

Thank You ma'm :-)
I am in business,just went out and took a peak at some of the ones that I can get to and it looks like I will be able to start some this week.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Yay! Good luck with rooting.

I wish you lots of roses.

Gardiner, ME(Zone 5a)

Looked at some clear pots a week ago or so but they wanted over $12 for each pot.I couldn't afford it because I wanted several :-)
too bad I can't use mason jars because of no holes in the bottom..have dozends of those ...

East Texas, United States(Zone 8a)

brig, what about plastic milk jugs or quarts? I like them a lot because I can see whether there's root action without disturbing the cuttings. when you look underneath the pot and u see roots, then it's time to transplant. average time for me 6-8 weeks. Before then I don't even bother to look.

(Zone 9a)

Orchid growers often use clear plastic pots.

Des Moines, IA(Zone 5a)

I use 2 litter clear pop bottles & cut the top off & then use the top for a greenhouse, I cut about 3" down & after I put my cutting inside I put the top back on & the mosture stays inside. You can go to where you take your pop cans back & someone always brings back the 2 litter bottles & just give them the nickel for them.

Angleton, TX(Zone 9a)

I'm so glad this was bumped to the top. I spoke with the horticulturist at Rogue Valley Roses and they said it was very hard to propagate Killarney's. I'm really excited about trying to propagate mine later this spring.


(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

I think it would be great for you to try this one, but if it already has a reputation for being hard to root, by the professionals, I would probably suggest another method.

On really hard to root roses, air-layering is a better bet. It is more time-consuming, but the success is high.

There is a LOT of information and pictures on air-layering, if you google it.

You might just want to try both!

The very first time I tried air-layering it was intimidating to me. But, once I got a "tiny forest" of fruit tree limbs to root, and roses to root, I was hooked.

One advantage of air-layering a rose is that you can root a much larger piece~you can root an entire limb, instead of just a little longer than a pencil-sized stem cutting.

It takes several months for the air-layered branch to be rooted enough to cut from the parent plant, but your finished size rooted rose will be about the size of a one-or two year old rooted cutting.

Belleville , IL(Zone 6b)

If you used mason jars you could put a layer of pebbles in the bottom to keep the water from drowning the cutting. Couldn't you also use perlite, the white stuff in them to root the cuttings? Use the mason jars to cover the tops to keep the moisture in, and prop them for a little air to enter later on.
It is fun to root some of the easier ones first to give you an idea of what method will work.
I rooted several Don Juan climbers just by sticking a stick I cut off in a pot of soil. I usually just do this because I hate to throw them away when I can possibly grow something. I didn't give it any special care except to put it in the shade when it got too hot. Let the rain water it. Now I have three in a pot ready to go in the ground this spring.
So they are easy to root as is The Fairy, if you want something to try out your green thumb on and get yourself encouraged with quick results.

Angleton, TX(Zone 9a)

Thank you for your suggestion on air-layering. The last time I air-layered something it was in my Botany Lab in college. Should be fun catching up on it, or getting my Aggie to do it for me. She did air-layering in her last Horticulture Lab.


(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

You are welcome! I hope it does well for you. This is great time of year to try it.

Columbus, OH(Zone 5b)


Scottsdale, AZ(Zone 9b)

Good idea, Dovey! Seedpicker, you're a blessing!!

Jamie - I have that same, small portable greenhouse. Love it!

I just posted in the SW Forum about a problem cane on my Cecile Brunner growing where it shouldn't/can grow. It's a nice, new, thick break but it's growing BEHIND my gutter downspout! I was told to prune it at the base after it blooms and use rootone and the baggy method to propagate it. The cane break is about 8" above ground and is now about 18" long or so, still red with lots of new growth.

Although I don't have the coir or shells, I wonder if just rooting it in sterile soil with a baggy over it will do it.

(This rose is VERY resiliant. I brought about 3 dozen cuttings to our last swap and nearly all have rooted with their new owners).

Here are photos of the full cane and close up of the break.

Thumbnail by azrobin
Scottsdale, AZ(Zone 9b)

Close up of the break...

Thumbnail by azrobin
Scottsdale, AZ(Zone 9b)

By the way, this vigorous climber is being trained to grow up and curve in an L shape and trail just below my patio roof overhang.

LOL...couldn't resist. While taking those photos I looked up and found...

Thumbnail by azrobin
Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10b)

Thank you for posting your method, seedpicker. I am trying it, with modifications, with my spring prunings. I am recovering from an auto accident and don't drive yet. I didn't see chick grit or coir at my normal stops (including the pet store.) I haven't been able to get to the feed store, yet, but will eventually. I used two containers (cut soda bottles). One with sterilized peat and vermiculite one with only vermiculite. I also stuck a couple of sticks under mason jars outside for good measure. I couldn't find superthrive either, so I left it out. (Ironically, I saw it in Walmart last year, but thought it was a gimmicky too good to be true item. Now that I know better, they don't carry it.) I have lots of "sticks." Hopefully, I will get a least a couple of successful ones. If not, by fall I will try again with coir, grit and superthrive.

I used an ancient pressure cooker to sterilize the soil. The bf got it from freecycle. It looks like something from Frankenstein's laboratory. I wanted to try it out before I (hopefully) using it for canning veggies this fall. It fits 7-8 jars.

I am also trying the method you suggested on another thread of popping off the thorns of a grafted rose to get it to root. I also lightly scratched the smallest cane. I brushed rooting compound on the boo-boos and planted it in as deep a hope as I could dig here. The graft is about 5 1/2 inches below the soil. I always cover the roses for winter with muslin covers, peat/mulch/eggshells/compost around the base and crumpled newspapers to fill the cover.

My little neighbor said it looked like a wigwam and tepees for Santa's elves. I need to think of a way to make it more decorative, maybe a few green tepees. Or festive bows on top? I have a few evergreen perennials in front of the bed, but you can't miss the tepees and wigwam. (The wigwam is the Austin Wildeve rose, much bigger than the 3.5 ft by 3.5 ft Austin claims) Wildeve is blooming profusely this year. The blooms look nice even in the rain. It has been cane hardy (covered) for two winters.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

I hope they all root for you, and do well! :0)

Let us know~

The grafted rose that you are "simple layering" will do one of two things: either set roots, or heal over.

You may want to spy on it in a few months. If it healed rather than set roots, you can scratch it again.

best of luck!

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10b)

If they all root, I will have another problem, where to put them! I didn't want to throw the prunings away without trying, so I am rooting the suitable candidates.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

I do that with every bit of prunings in both spring and fall. Trust'll have no problem finding homes for them, lol

...just try to not pot them up too quickly, and when you do, go small. Maybe even a flat of six-packs, and that will save a ton of space, instead of 4" pots or quarts...

(Zone 9a)

My garden, deck and everywhere else around here is always so messy with potted clippings that I just couldn't throw away. They do all find good homes but it looks like such a disaster in the meantime.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, that is always a challenge, to look like a residential garden, and not look like a little nursery, lol

Mount Bethel, PA(Zone 6a)

Found this thread just in time to get started with my desire to propagate my rose plants.

Thanks so much, Seedpicker, for taking the time to give us such a clear and easy to follow method.



I'll be back to watch for success stories.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

you are welcome.
..and I'll be watching for YOUR success stories :0)

(Zone 7a)

Hi seedpicker, could we have a new thread/continuation of this very valuable thread of yours? I love it, and I indexed in the Morning Glory forum sticky index, and it might become a dead link for slow dial-up users if allowed to get much longer.

Many thanks,

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

here you go!!...and thank you for the suggestion

Part 2 of this thread is Here:


Post a Reply to this Thread

You must log in and subscribe to Dave's Garden to post in this thread.