How do I take a cutting from a rose bush?

ymv13(Essex. UK)July 1, 2005

I am a complete novice gardener and would love to be able to take a cutting from a 40 year old rose bush in my front garden (blooms every year)so that I have have the same variety in my newly landscaped rear garden.

How do I do this, and when is the best time?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


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Hi Yvonne,

It is not at all difficult. I've done this many times.

Choose a straight stem and cut off about 12inches from the top just below a leaf node. Pull off the leaves along the stem and leave just two at the top.

Dig your spade into the ground where you want it to grow, wiggle it about to form a narrow hole and bury about six inches of the cutting into this wedge. Firm up the soil around the cutting, name it, water it and watch it grow.

Within a few weeks you will see more leaves appear, which is a sign that it has taken. Leave it in this spot until next spring, and then uproot it carefully and replant it.

I usually take three cuttings off a plant and share the extras with friends and neighbours.

You can use this method for many other perennials too, like ceonothus, clematis, geraniums, potentilla, euonymous, hebes, weigela and even abutilon. Just make sure you pick a healthy straight stem. For other flowers I only use about 6-8 inch stems and they work very well.

Do tell us how it goes,

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 3:48PM
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ymv13(Essex. UK)

Thank you. I will give it a go.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 10:36AM
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Yvonne, l do mine in a similar way, last year l tried this for the first time, l cannot believe how easy it was.
My method is this:- cut lengths of rose stem, about 1ft, strip off some of the lower leaves, cut below a leaf joint,dip in hormone rooting powder, and plant up to one third of the stem in a very deep flower pot, about five to a pot. Label them, and stand the pots outside, l did put mine overwinter in the cold greenhouse, but two l just planted in the border, did as well.These were taken last summer and by this summer, they have made bushes, as big as those you buy in pots, and all are flowering.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 11:11AM
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brian2cv(~8 UK)

Anyone tried rooting apple cuttings? I have to trim a damaged stem off my Red Sentinel crab and it has 3 nice shoots on it. I know they can be grafted but it seems a waste not to try rooting the cuttings.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 5:45AM
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Brian, I think a hardy tree like a crab apple might work from a cutting. Why not try it? You might end up getting a different tree to the one you have, but why not?


    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 12:50PM
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For what it's worth there is another method of producing another rose bush and that is by air layering.
With a sharp clean kinfe make two parralle cuts about 11/2 inches apart around the circumference of the stem through the cambium layer then connect the two cuts wiyh one long cut and remove ring of bark exposing woody tissue.
Apply sphagnum moss (moist not wet) to the wound and then wrap in clear polythene wrapper. Tie off both ends to stop moisture escape and to curtail pathogen invasion.
From this wound adventious roots will form and when this occurs cut off just below root formation and plant out new plant where required.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 4:18PM
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dampflippers(Tyne & Wear UK)

Is it too late to do rose cuttings now? Or when all the leaves have fallen? Or is it better to do them in the growing season?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 4:12AM
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Growing season.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 4:03PM
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dampflippers(Tyne & Wear UK)

I was wondering whether you could just plant your winter prunings.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 12:43PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Concerning the idea of cuttings from crab apples. You will get an identical plant from a cutting. It's seed where you might get something else. This is, of course, providing you take your cutting from above the graft point if your tree is grafted. Regarding rose cuttings, I have a climbing Buff Beauty grown from a cutting which is fine but if your original bush is grafted on to a vigorous rootstock you may find a cutting on its own roots is weaker growing.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 1:17PM
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dampflippers(Tyne & Wear UK)

Rats, forgot to take my rose cuttings earlier in the summer. Is it too late now?
I think I'll try anyway, but thought I'd ask.

Also, what is the best time to take cuttings from a hazel? Corylus avellana.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 6:21AM
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The normal time of year to take rose cuttings is autumn. You take a hardwood cutting and bury it either in the ground or in pots in a cold frame until the next autumn. The likely success rate is 50 per cent.

Many of the old roses are better from cuttings because they will spread slowly on their own roots - and you don't have to worry about suckers. The problem (as Flora says) comes with Floribundas and Hybrid Teas which may grow weakly.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 5:48PM
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So, what if every likely stem already has buds on it? Do I clip off the buds? Leave them? Wait until fall?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 3:59PM
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hi, all im new to this forum and just wanted to ask if any one has tied roses from seeds as only 2 of mine came up , and I lost one an d now have just the I which is now about 15 inches tall , how long before it flowers .all so my rose cuttings only 10 out 50 have taken , I put them in pots as I have a sandy soil here.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 2:05PM
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