Dozens of ways to root roses

Ducher and Gruss an Teplitz are easily grown from cuttings in potting soil without rooting hormone. Use rooting gel as insurance. Take flowering wood after the spring flush, removing the blooms. Take wood with sufficient bud eyes to have two to three below the soil and at least two above the soil. Gruss an Teplitz laterals root easily. Use soft wood or or blooming laterals for Ducher. For Indigo, take a slip of a blooming lateral. I’ve never rooted musks, but a blooming lateral would be the first place to start. There are few rules when it comes to growing roses from cuttings. I’ve rooted in water, in oasis and in soil. I’ve rooted 2 foot canes, I’ve rooted soft wood with nothing but diseased leaves, I’ve rooted Y-shaped cuttings, I’ve rooted 3 foot suckers in July. My favorite is to root blooming laterals with a bit of a heel. See link for a slip in October. In warmer climates mid-summer, soft wood is preferred.

Stick the blooming laterals at a slight angle in bands with good potting soil - not Miracle Grow, no added nitrogen. Bands allow the soil to get quite warm. If your cuttings are long because of long internodals, you can place the cutting on a diagonal in a 1 gallon or larger pot. Place the bands in the mister, ideally in the warmest location without the cuttings being exposed to direct sunlight. I’ve misted hourly 6 times a day from 10AM to 4PM with tremendous results. Keep the soil damp, not saturated. Shade the cuttings with shade cloth or translucent plastic if necessary.

Because you’re growing roots, not leaves, don’t worry about leaf drop if any part of the cane remains green. After I see the first roots, I place the bands on a bed of potting soil because some roses want long roots which won’t grow unless they are in soil. After sufficient roots are growing out of the bottom of the bands, I pot up before hardening, usually transplanting bands into 1 gallon pots. If you root in a 1 gallon, wait to pot up until after hardening. Keep the repotted cuttings in a greenhouse-type of environment until new growth resumes. Then harden off over the course of a week before exposing them to the world. To harden, keep them in the shade but protected from the wind for several days. Next expose them in the shade. As long as they are still growing, expose them to sun, first early AM and late PM, then more. Adjust this seasonally. After hardening and seeing new growth, I fertilize with extra dilute liquid fertilizer (add 2 to 3x the quantity of water recommended by the manufacturer). Cuttings can be quite resilient. Rabbits ate one to the grounds twice in the same year, and it’s sprouting a new basal this week.

I have more pictures if you need them.


Thanks for the lesson in propagation.


I’ll e-mail you next week and setup a time to come out and do some “weeding” for you.


Hi Don,

They were some op seedlings of R. sericea. THe only other things in flower around the time near it was Rosa hugonis and R. primula, it’s relatively close relatives. The seedlings appear to be hybrids (I suspose R. sericea is likely self incompatible). The hybrids have a lot greater cane hardiness and are intermediate for the thorniness. It was a few or more years ago when I first raised them. I shared a lot of the cuttings, so hopefully some other RHA members still have some. With having to move my rose garden I gave a lot of the larger plants away locally and kept just a few. THey are starting to show signs of growth! It feels like spring is in the air here in MN!


Thanks David.


The sericea hybrid you sent me died out in my garden :frowning: Something about my climate it didn’t like.


I ordered and received the K-IBA that was suggested above. I did a check on the internet for protocols used for roses and came up with very little information. From what I can tell 1500 to 10,000 PPM is being used for general propagation. One site suggested the same ppm for K-IBA and IBA dissolved in alcohol, but other sites show a significant differnce in rooting percentages with the same ppm of K-IBA and IBA.

There is tremendous variation in K-IBA ppm within a species (not roses) for rooting success so I’m also assuming that there is a large difference in roses as well. So adding to the hobby of breeding roses, I’m going to chart propagation protocols for rose cultivars that I have or can aquire. I have had 0% success trying to root some roses and good success with others using Dip N Grow and other commercially available products. Hopefully I can figure out some of this stuff and eventually get it into the RHA Newsletter.

Jeff, this paper gives some data that might be usful. It looks like 2500 ppm is optimal for canina hardwood cuttings so you could bracket that range for starters.

Thanks Don.

I’m expecting there is going to be a wide range of ppm. 10,000 ppm seems pretty strong from experiences I’ve had in the past with other plant species. Soft tender cuttings SHOULD also use lesser ppm than hard wood. I’m also anticipating there are some roses that won’t root short of an act of God.

When I visited with Paul Barden a couple of months ago he kindly gave me some plants that are easy to root and he says make good root stock. So from the plants that I’ve been give and the advice from the RHA, I think I’m on my way. :slight_smile: