Commercially, roses are propagated by budding or grafting which requires a separate plant known as a rootstock so this makes it impractical for the average gardener to do.
Roses can be propagated by cuttings; some root very readily others are more or less impossible. Many ramblers root very easily whereas many of the hybrid teas are rather reluctant to propagate by cuttings.
During late summer take a 12-18” length of stem, pencil width thickness or good strong shoot, and cut off the soft bendy top growth making sure to leave a couple of leaves at top of the stem. Ensure that it never dries out.
Make a slanting cut at top and horizontal cut at the bottom so you know which way up the cutting should be.
Then, either push into the ground in a sheltered position where it doesn’t get too much sun. Before pushing in, make sure the soil is easy to push the stem into.
Alternatively, put them in a pot of peat-free multipurpose compost. When doing this, bury the stem about half way down and once again place in a sheltered position out of direct light.
Leave the rose in the spot until good strong growth appears. Usually this takes several months, but it’s best not to dig up and move until the end of the year. It’s wise to be patient and not be in too much of a hurry to dig it up or take it out of the pot to replant.
Another way to propagate roses is by layering. This is an especially good option when propagating ground cover and rambling roses. These types tend to have long, flexible stems, making the method easy.
What’s more, it can be done anytime.
Simply nick the stem and push the nicked stem into the ground. Hold it down with a piece of bent wire to keep it under the ground and in contact with the soil. It’s important to keep the stem attached to the mother plant.
Leave it until the roots have formed. At this point, cut stem from the parent plant but leave it in the ground for a month to adjust. After then, it can be dug up and transplanted.
To increase the stock of roses in your garden or to gift to loved ones, these methods of propagating roses will give you a helping hand.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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