All gardener’s have their favorite rose bush, whether you have one rose bush or a hundred and one, there’s always one that’s special. That favorite rose might be an irreplaceable heirloom, like the one I have of my deceased Mother’s that’s named ‘Seven Sisters’. I could always replace it with a similar rose bush, should I ever lose it to disease, but it would not be the actual rose bush my Mother grew. That’s one of the reason’s it’s important to know how to propagate a rose, so you will always have at least a part of the original rose bush. Other reasons for knowing how to propagate a rose bush range from financial savings to the inability to locate a specific rose bush variety that you want for your garden.
Whatever the reason might be, propagating roses and starting a new rose bush is as simple as 1-2-3. 1-Take the rose cutting at the right time of year. 2-Place the cutting in the right kind of soil and in the right location. 3-Keep the rose cutting covered.
A rose bush cutting should be taken in August or September for best results. Cut off a healthy rose stem that is 6-8 inches long, one without a bud, bloom or rose hip attached. Use a sharp pair of shears of sharp knife to take the cutting, you want to remove it with one quick stroke, causing as little trauma to the cutting and the rose bush as possible. Remove all but the top two or three leaves from the rose stem cutting.
Don’t be over ambitious and take too many cuttings from a single rose bush. You are essentially performing surgery on your rose bush with each cut and over-pruning the original rose bush can kill it. If you want to propagate roses and create several new rose bushes, it’s best to spread the propagation process out over several years, taking no more than two cuttings from any one rose bush at a time.
The soil for planting the rose cutting should already be prepared prior to taking the cutting so it can be planted immediately to start the propagation process. Soil for propagating roses should be tilled, loose, have good drainage and added compost or other organic material. The location used for propagating roses should be a well lit area of your landscape, but not an area that will receive direct sunlight.
Insert the rose cutting 4-6 inches deep into the prepared soil. Firm the soil, water in the rose cutting then cover it with an inverted glass jar to retain moisture and act as an incubator for the new rose bush. This is why the location of your propagating roses must not be in direct sunlight, the sunlight shinning through the glass jar with burn the newly forming rose bush and kill it.
Leave the glass jar over the propagating rose during the winter. When spring arrives and all danger of frost has past, remove the glass jar and begin feeding your new rose bush with water soluble plant food. Allow the new rose bush to grow and establish a root system in this location until it’s second spring, then you can transplant it to a permanent home in your rose garden.