The Q&A Archives: Propagation of Miniature Roses

Question: This year I have no success with cuttings, with or without rooting hormone, or by putting the cuttings into water. They just will not root. What is the best way to propagate Miniature Roses?

Answer: These are the steps recommened in the book, "Roses for Dummies," by Lance Walheim and the Editors of The National Gardening Association:

1. Take a cutting from a fairly young cane coming from a bud eye along a main cane. Just after the cane flowers is a good time to take a cutting. It should be stout enough to stand on its own (rather than thin and floppy).

2. After taking the cutting, cut off the bottom at a very sharp angle, so that the cut as close as possible to a bud eye.

3. With a sharp blade, lightly score the bark vertically from the bottom, and up about an inch, on the side of the cane opposite the bud eye. This will encourage root formation.

4. Measure up about 6" from the base of the cutting, leaving two or three sets of five leaf leaflets. Cut the top of the cutting, about 1/4" above a bud eye.

5. Dip the angled end in properly mixed rooting hormone, deep enough to immerse the scoring.

6. Insert the cutting into a pot of moist sterile potting soil, so that the cutting stands erect. Firm the soil around the cutting for good contact.

7. Place the cutting into a misting tent. First mist the cutting with water, then place the pot in a clear plastic, and loosely close the top of the bag to help maintain humidity while allowing some air movement.

8. Place the misting tent in a place where it gets bright, indirect light and shade in midday. Mist several times per day to maintain moisture, since the cutting has no roots to obtain its own. If all goes well, the cutting should root within a month. Hope this helps!

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