Do you have a plant that thrives splendidly in your backyard? Or perhaps a neighbor’s rose bush that’s stolen your heart? Maybe a favorite rose nearing its twilight years?
This is the ideal time for a cutting.
By utilizing stem cutting propagation, you can clone your beloved plant. It’s a way to multiply that splendid floribunda you can’t help but adore.
However, here’s the not-so-good news: Your success rate is likely to be between 50 and 75 percent.
Rose enthusiasts are perpetually experimenting with techniques to boost the odds of their cuttings flourishing, and we can leverage their efforts and insights. However, even the most skilled rose cultivators often grapple with this success rate.
Don’t lose heart! This merely implies you might want to plant a few additional cuttings to ensure you get your desired number. If more sprout than anticipated, they can make beautiful presents.
Moreover, with this guide, you’re bound to be closer to the higher end of the success rate spectrum. We’ve compiled the finest advice and experiences from rose growers across the globe.
Is it wrong to feel thrilled about getting my hands soiled? If so, I wouldn’t want to be correct. Let’s get started!
Optimal Time for Cuttings
A swift online search will yield a multitude of websites suggesting late winter or early spring as the best time to take cuttings.
Some advocate summer, others swear by fall, and yet others insist that fall is the worst time.
To put it simply, there’s a plethora of conflicting advice out there! The reality is that the best timing depends on factors such as your location, climate, objectives, and situation.
While you can theoretically root starts during the growth season, the highest success rate will occur under mild, either cool or warm, conditions.
Cold, freezing weather is not conducive, and extreme heat, which can stress plants, is not ideal either. This leaves us with spring and fall in most temperate zones, as well as winter in regions where freezing is not a concern.
Numerous experts suggest taking cuttings in the fall, after the blossoms on your plant have withered. This method has been most successful for me, but remember that it necessitates keeping the starts indoors throughout the winter.
If you prefer to root your cuttings directly in the garden, do it in the spring after new growth has appeared. I find this method suitable when I don’t wish to invest the energy in maintaining a plant indoors for several months.
In my observation, rose cuttings initiated directly outdoors usually grow faster than those started indoors and subsequently transplanted.
Maybe it’s because they have more time to acclimate to your environment, and they don’t suffer the stress of being transplanted from indoors to outdoors.
Before you bring your knife near the plant, ensure the plant from which you’re taking the material is healthy. Avoid any plant displaying signs of rust, mildew, fungus, insect infestations, or other pests or diseases.
If you spot any of these issues on your plant, forget about taking a cutting.
Next, steer clear from old, woody stems or soft, extremely pliable material. Fresh new growth is often red or purple. A hint of red (or young) growth is acceptable, but the majority of the stem where you intend to cut should be green.
You can technically take cuttings from both hard and young growth, but these generally don’t root as effectively, in my experience.
If you’re taking cuttings in the fall, look for a stem with a faded flower or even the beginnings of a hip, having at least six sets of leaves.
Select an eight to nine-inch piece from an area with pencil-thick growth, using a clean, sharp knife or clippers. Make the cut at a 45-degree angle. Repeat as necessary.