Peace family, have you ever had a plant with sentimental value? A friend of mine treasures a rose bush that belonged to her grandmother, but she asked me to grow cuttings from it in case the parent plant dies. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, here’s how to do it!
Here in the Brazos Valley, the very best time of year to grow rose cuttings is October, but right now at the very end of summer/beginning of fall should be okay. You will need a clean pair of gardening snips (you can clean the blades with rubbing alcohol before you begin cutting), several small pots, a bag of potting soil, and a hormone rooting powder or liquid, such as Root-Tone.
You will want to select fairly vigorous shoots that have matured and aren’t too young, but don’t have brown bark yet. Cut them into 4 inch to 5 inch pieces, making sure that you have at least one node near the bottom, and one higher up on the cutting (nodes are the little, pimple-like bumps, from which either leaves or roots can grow). I kept these “sticks” with their bottoms in a glass of water while I prepared the rest. In the summer, leave some leaves on but in the winter, take them off (in summer, the plant’s metabolism is faster, so it needs the leaves to feed itself; in the winter, it is much slower and the leaves take energy away.) We are wanting the rose to concentrate on growing roots!
Fill the pots with fresh potting soil that will drain well (don’t use yard soil, because it could have contaminants in it) and, with your finger, poke holes in the dirt that are about 2 to 2.5 inches deep. Take the cuttings and one at a time, dip their wet bottom ends into the powder, shake it off a little, put it into the hole and firm the soil down around it. Give them a little water, cover the pot with a plastic bag, glass jar, or plastic container, and put them in the shade under a tree, where they will get bright, indirect light.
They should be growing new roots in about 2-3 weeks, and you can punch some holes in the bag so that they get used to lower humidity. You can remove the covering about two weeks later.
With continued care, your new, baby roses should be pretty good “plant-sized” plants in about two to four years! 🙂 Happy gardening!