Rooting Roses

A reader asks for advice about rooting roses at her new house.

rooting roses - blooming rose bushes

Many rose varieties are easy to root from cuttings.

Photo by Jerry Pavia

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Q: How do you get roses to root? I have several rose bushes that are too big to move, and I would like to take their offspring with me when I move to a new house.

Kathleen Tega
Harrisburg, Illinois 

A: Rooting roses from cuttings is usually pretty easy, though their willingness to root differs with variety. You have to nothing to lose by trying the easy plastic bag method.

Take a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag, and place 3 inches of damp seed-starting mix in the bottom. Prepare 3-inch-long cuttings from the tips of your roses’ stems by clipping off any buds or flowers, as well as the lowest leaves. Dip the cut ends in rooting powder (available at garden centers), then stick the cuttings in the seed-starting mix. Blow into the bag to expand it, seal it up and set it in a warm place out of direct sunlight. When you see roots beginning to form, open the bag, add a little water and let the cuttings grow for another week or two before transplanting them to pots filled with potting soil. Let the little plants gradually become accustomed to direct sunlight, and they should grow well when you transplant them.