roses are red

For the longest time, I have been admiring and watching my aunt take stem cuttings home from her travels and I have always wished I could follow in her footsteps and grow roses using the stem cutting method.

Growing roses from stem cuttings

What you will need:

  • Healthy rose cuttings from your favorite rose bush
  • Rose shears
  • Razor or sharp knife
  • Small pot (around 3″)
  • 4L bag
  • Rubber Band
  • Potting soil (enough to fill the pot)
  • Sand (about ½ cup)

1. Taking cuttings
Start by taking cuttings from a healthy rose bush that is free of diseases

Be sure to cut from stems that are blooming or have recently bloomed
If you cut from a non-blooming stem, you will get a non-blooming rose bush

cut them 5-20 or more inches depending on you preference and the length of your stem
I used 2 stems about 18 inches long and cut them into sections.

cut off any blooms and remove leaves, leaving only 1 or 2 leaflets as they will take away nutrients needed to survive the change

2. prepping the stems for planting
Once you have your sections prepared, using sharp snips are a razor blade, cut the bottom tip at a sharp angle. Then ‘wound’ the area by cutting a thing layer from the area with the razor place or sharp knife. I personally usually wound one side of the stem from the very tip up to about 1 inch.
After wounding your cuttings, dip the tips into fresh water, tap off the excess and dip in routing hormone. Rooting hormone is not required but is helpful to prevent rotting.

3. potting
Using a small pot (use 3″ terracotta pots), place about 3/4 of an inch of sand in the bottom. Then fill the rest of the pot with a well draining indoor mix. Wet the soil and insure that it is very moist but not soggy.
Place the cuttings in the pot at a diagonal slant. Be sure to push them down as far as they can go with out touching the leaves to insure that they make it to the sand.

4. Ziploc bag method
Once your cuttings are in place, using a 3.8L Ziploc bag, create a safe environment for your rose cuttings. Fill the bag with air, place it over the pot about halfway down the sides and secure with a rubber band to hold the air in. You may have to blow air into the bag to insure that it stays up. You can also use a straw or a stick with a blunt end to place inside the pot and hold the bag up.
The cuttings must be moist, while in Ziploc bag, you will not need to mist them. The bag will create a greenhouse effect and keep the plants humid.
You will see the condensation inside the bag and rest assured, that is a good thing. If you don’t see any with in a day or so then check the moisture in the plant. Simply water as needed every few days.

5. Finally, where to place the potted cuttings once planted
Be sure to place your potted cuttings out of sunlight. Too much sunlight will cause them to dry out, burn and die. Keep them in a shaded area with some diffused light. I usually put them on the floor under my window to keep them out of the sun but still provide light.
In a few weeks check your cuttings for roots. You should be able to lightly tug on them a feel resistance. If you do, then proceed to carefully removing them to check their root systems.
Once they have rooted, replace them if necessary and place the pot outside in a very shaded area for a few days. This will allow them to get used to the heat. Then gradually move them a little further into the sun every few days. Sticking them outside in direct sun immediately will cause them to wilt.

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