The Q&A Archives: Rooting A Plant From A Cutting.

Question: I live in Seattle. I would like to start a rose from a cutting off my favorite rose. I have some rooting hormone powder that I intend to apply after I make the cutting.
Because it is so cool here, is there anything special I should do? Would I need to start it in a pot inside the house, or perhaps in a greenhouse? Any other tips?

Answer: There are as many methods for doing this as there are
rosarians. Here is one method for rooting them: First find a
healthy stem tip that's the right age and size. (A good one
will snap when you try to break it off.) Take stem tip with
six sets of leaves on it. Remove the two bottom sets of
leaves and cut off the tip just below the second set of leaves from the top. (Now you have a short piece with just two sets of leaves on it -- keep it right side up.) Some gardeners will use a rooting hormone at this stage, but it is not absolutely necessary. Now stick the stem into the soil up to the bottom leaves. Firm the soil, water it lightly and cover the cutting with a large glass jar pushed securely into the soil. Usually the moisture condensing inside the jar is sufficient to keep the cutting watered, and new shoots appear in about a month. Don't take the jar off until the cutting has enough roots to support itself. (This may take the entire growing season.)

The most important part of the process is selecting the
planting spot. You will need a well prepared planting bed
well amended with organic matter and a location in morning
sun or partial shade as the cutting should be protected from
hot afternoon sun. Alternatively, you might try sticking the
cutting in a pot and enclosing the whole thing in a clear
plastic bag. In this case, the pot should be kept in very
bright but indirect light.

Depending on what type of rose this is, you may find that
cuttings root poorly. I mention this because many of the
hybrid tea roses simply have weak root systems.

Roses can also be layered, which involves bending a branch
down to the ground in a "U" shape so that the bent portion
is buried and the growing tip is above ground. To encourage
rooting, wound the bottom side of the branch slightly where
it touches the soil, cover it with a few inches of soil, weigh it down with a rock and top with a generous layer of mulch.

Water it occasionally during the growing season. Eventually,
the branch will develop enough roots from the wounded
area to support itself enough to separated from the parent

Good luck with your rose propagation project!

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