The Q&A Archives: Propagating Roses with Cuttings

Question: How should I take cuttings of a beautiful, old climbing yellow rose in the yard of a farmhouse nearby that's about to be demolished?

Answer: I love your foresight of preserving old varieties that are about to be destroyed! In the spring, choose healthy, leafy canes that are not too tough and about the diameter of a pencil. Using a sharp knife, cut off the soft tip of the cane and then cut it into 4- to 5-inch pieces. Each piece should have at least 2 nodes and some leaves. Strip off the bottom leaves to expose a node, then plant the cutting in moist soil and keep it in bright shade and high humidity. You can use containers covered with plastic bags, or set them in the ground in the shade and cover them with plastic jugs. You might try both methods. Take as many cuttings as you can to ensure success. Good luck!

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