The Q&A Archives: hardening off rose cuttings

Question: I have propagated cuttings from an old rose bush that might be as old as 100 years. The type is unknown; however it has a small, dark red bloom with a peppery scent.

The cuttings look fine, they have green leaves and are still under the jars. I need to know what do I do now. When can the jars be removed?

Answer: How exciting, to keep an heirloom alive! If you're propagating them indoors, they should have roots within a month. Then you can transplant them to a larger pot and harden them off. Expose them to just a few hours in part-shade the first day, and bring them indoors. Gradually increase their exposure to sun and wind each day, and within two weeks, it should be ready to go into a nursery bed. With exposure to wind and sun, the soil in the pot is likely to dry out more quickly, so be sure to water daily as needed to keep soil evenly moist.

If these cuttings are already in a nursery bed, then you can harden them off by removing the jars a few hours the first day, when temperature and sun are moderate, and increase the exposure each day. They will probably harden off more quickly than indoor propagated cuttings, since their roots are already "aquainted" with the soil conditions.

If you're interested in tracing the geneology of your rose, contact the American Rose Society ( They may be able to help. Enjoy!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "sunset on summer"