Starting roses from stem cuttings

 Photo credit: Margaret CHU (Hong Kong) – Roses on balcony – 10918370_763800603711036_2005932432_o copy.jpg

Garden Q&A: Roses relatively easy to propagate

By Jessica Walliser


Question: Could you please tell me how to propagate a rose? My husband transplanted a rose from my mother-in-law’s yard to her grave. We would like to take a clipping and plant the rose in our yard. How do we go about doing this?

Answer: Roses are fairly easy to start from stem cuttings, though if this particular rose was grafted, the resulting rose plant may not be quite the same.

Let me explain.

Many roses are formed by grafting two separate individual plants into one. The top portion of the plant (the shoot system) is often selected for its beautiful flowers and foliage, while the root system is selected for hardiness and vigor. A bud or other portion of the shoot system is grafted onto the root stock and a union forms so that the two plants then grow as one.

If your mother-in-law’s rose was grafted, taking a cutting from the shoot system may mean reduced hardiness and vigor. If the plant was not grafted, then the cutting will provide you with an exact clone of the original plant. Either way, it’s worth a try, especially since this particular rose is so important to you.

Starting new roses from stem cuttings is a simple way to propagate them, though it does require a bit of time and attention.

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.