The Q&A Archives: I Have Cut Roses That Have Shot Out Leaves Can These Be Rooted?

Question: I received cut roses for Valentines day and they have started to shoot out leaves along the stems. Can these be rooted and if so how doI go about doing it?

Answer: Although I have seen roses rooted from a florist's bouquet, it is not always worthwhile because many of the florist's varieties are selected for their flowers rather than for being sturdy garden plants; sometimes they are not cold hardy and will not survive in our care. If you want to try it, shorten the stem to about six inches, remove any leaves from the bottom half, dip the cut end in rooting hormone if desired (it is available in garden centers as a powder and may also contain fungicide -- follow the label instructions). Next, stick the cutting upright into soilless mix that is barely damp, like a wrung out sponge. Place it so that the bottom half is below the soil, and firm the soil around it securely. Water the soil lightly to eliminate any air pockets along the stem. Now place clear plastic (such as a plastic bag or top of a large soda pop bottle) over the pot and set it in a bright location out of direct sun (direct sun would cause overheating inside the plastic). Open the bag occasionally to allow for air exchange. Do not water unless the soil begins to dry out a bit. Eventually (possibly several months), with a little luck, roots will form. Once a good root system has developed, gradually remove the bag and place the pot in the brightest light available. Begin fertilizing with a weak solution of water soluble fertilizer and acclimate the plant slowly to the outdoors. Finally, plant it in a sunny location in the garden. Good luck with your rose!

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