Cutting back and moving Roses and Butterflies bushes. - Knowledgebase Question

st louis, Mi
Question by dwester01
February 17, 2011
Last year I did not cut back my Roses or butterfly bushes. My Roses or budding, and I'm in the process of moving to another property and taking them with me. Do I cut them back before digging them up. If I cut them back can the buds be saved and planted to grow new Roses. I live in Kentucky.

Answer from NGA
February 17, 2011


You can cut back both your roses and your butterfly bushes now to make digging and moving them a little easier. There's no guarantee that rose cuttings will root but you can try. Cut stem tips (4-6 inch lengths), dip the cut ends in rooting hormone and place them in a container filled with moistened potting soil. You can set many cuttings in a single 6" pot, just place them about two inches apart. Once the nursery container is filled with rose cuttings place three or four bamboo skewers or sticks in the pot evenly spaced near the pot edge. Drape plastic wrap over them to make a mini-greenhouse. The plastic will help slow water evaporation. Set the pot outdoors in a shady spot in your new garden. If the cuttings root you'll see new leaves develop on the stems. When that happens, remove the plastic wrap. In about a month the root systems will be strong enough that you can repot each of the cuttings into a pot of its own where it can grow until planting out in the garden next spring. Good luck with the move and with your rose cuttings!

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