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It is possible to grow some roses by taking cuttings. Some rose varieties are difficult to root by the 'cuttings' method - in particular some of the Hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses.

Taking cuttings from roses used to be 'second-best' method of propagating roses. This is no longer the case if you follow our advice about rose cuttings below.

Most shrub roses and patio or miniature roses will root quite easily if taken as cuttings in late summer/autumn. The method in this case is to take cuttings from the current year's growth that are around 9in 12in ( 27-30cm) long and pencil thickness. Rooting hormone powder or gel helps the rooting process with some varieties.

Rooting the cuttings

Push the cutting into soft soil in a sheltered position in the garden and leave until the following spring, when new leaf growth will be seen if the rose cutting has successfully rooted. Do NOT lift the rose at this time, but leave until the following autumn when the rose can be lifted and transplanted.

With smaller patio or miniature roses, the cuttings can be placed in a pot of sandy compost and left as above.

Many roses can be propagated by softwood tip cuttings - around 6in long - in early summer and placed in a pot with a plastic bag or even a plastic bottle with bottom cut out, to prevent moisture loss. remove the flower bud, or better still, select a stem that has not yet made a flower bud.

Treatment with a fungicide will help to prevent disease from setting in at this point. The pot with the rose cutting should be placed in a cool greenhouse or other sheltered spot. As soon as the rose cutting starts to grow new leaves - usually a sign of rooting, then gradually take the cover off and grow the plant on as a normal potted shrub until well established.


Some of the old shrub roses can be propagated by layering some of the longer stems into the ground - pegging them down into the soil. It will help if the rose stem can be slightly 'wounded' at the point where the stem is secured to the ground.

Climbers and Rambling Roses

Even if you are successful with getting either a climber or a rambler rose to root, it will not have the vigour of the parent - certainly in the case of climbers. The climbers are budded onto a vigorous rootstock to enable them to grow quickly - as climbers!

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