The Q&A Archives: When is a good time to take a start from an established rose?

Question: My 90 year old neighbor wants to give me a start of one of his beautiful roses. It is a climber and has been in its current locale for over 40 years. Question: Is now a good time for him to snip a start for me?

Answer: Now is a good time to start some new roses from cuttings. I use 6" nursery pots for my cuttings. Fill them with moistened potting soil. You'll want to take your cuttings from new growth. Take 6-8" long cuttings from the tips of the new growth. Remove the lower leaves from each cutting, leaving only two groups of leaflets on each stem. Dip the bottom of each cutting in the rooting hormone and set the cuttings in moistened potting soil so they are covered at least half way up each stem.

Put 4 stakes around the inside of the pot (I use bamboo skewers but you can use ice cream sticks or even twigs. Cover the pots with clear plastic to create a greenhouse effect. Put the pots in a sheltered spot outdoors, away from direct sunlight. Water when the top of the soil dries out.

When you notice new growth (usually in one to two months), the roses will have formed roots and you can remove the plastic and grow the new roses in a shaded place for at least two to three weeks before transplanting into the garden. Feed your new plants with a water-soluble liquid fertilizer and take care not to let the roots dry out completely.

They should begin to grow vigorously produce new canes during their second season. The next year you will be able to enjoy a wall or fence or doorway covered with blooms that will rival any nursery-grown stock.

Best wishes with your new roses!

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