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Rooting Rose Cuttings

There are many credible stem rooting methods. What they have in common is 1) a sterile medium for root development and 2) a humid environment to preserve moisture in the stem and foliage of the cutting. The best cuttings are taken from firm but young stems, preferably those on which the flowers are fading. Keep some leaves on the cutting since they will provide sugars (food) for the cutting from photosynthesis. And, take cuttings that are free of disease and pests, especially no mildew, blackspot or spider mites.


Some rosarians make a willow water tea to encourage rooting. Steep pieces of willow twigs in water, then soak the cuttings in the tea overnight before planting.


In an area of well-drained soil that receives filtered sunlight, build a framework that will hold a 3 to 4 inch layer of sand. For each cutting, saturate a Jiffy-7 peat pellet or a 1x1x3 inch block of Oasis floral foam in water. Trim each cutting to a length that contains three bud eyes (located at the base of leafstalks). Cut 1/4 inch below the lowest leafstalk and 1/4 inch above the top-most leafstalk. Remove the lowest leafstalk. Carefully abrase the surface of the bark around the lowest bud eye, leaving the bud eye intact. (Caution; do not scrape through the cambium layer of the stem.) Dip the lower end of the cutting into Rootone and insert it firmly into the Jiffy-7 or Oasis block.


Plant the cutting in the sand bed and cover it with a clear glass jar. Trim leaves if necessary to accommodate the jar diameter. Water sand when dry.


In 4 to 6 weeks, new foliage will develop and the cuttings will be ready to transplant.


A Reminder About Patents


Keep in mind that propagation of patented rose varieties is prohibited until the patent expires. You can search for patents at the US Patent and Trademark Office's full text website at http://patft.uspto.gov to determine if a variety is still covered by patent before propagating roses from cuttings.