Cutting a rose bush: when and how? Our advices

The cuttings are the method of multiplication of roses the simplest possible. It can therefore be done by amateur gardeners who do not necessarily have a great deal of experience in the matter. However, not all groups of roses are suitable. We are therefore going to take stock of the best time to cut a rose bush, either in a greenhouse or outdoors.

What is cuttings?

It is a technique of asexual multiplication also called vegetative propagation since it is obtained without using the seeds produced by the plant. The chances of success are very good, and the principle of cuttings poses no particular difficulty.

When to cut a rosebush?

The best time of year to cut a rose bush is the very beginning of fall, or even from mid-August. However, it is possible to postpone this task until later on condition that a greenhouse is available because the cuttings will have to be sheltered from the cold, which includes icy wind and frost, hence the interest of having a bright shelter. Otherwise, it is necessary to be able to cover the cuttings.

Method of cutting a rose bush

here’s how to choose the small stems of cuttings then the to prepare and finally which method to use for plant the cuttings depending on whether one adopts the cuttings under cover or outside.

Select beautiful rose branches

Start by choosing two or three twigs which will be used to give birth to new roses. They must be in perfect health and present a beautiful robustness. Ideally, each branch is 30 to 35 cm in length.

Preparation of cuttings

  • With pruning shears previously disinfected, carry out a oblique cut (bevelled), clean, above a bud in order to remove the branch from the mother plant, ensuring that the lowest part of the cutting wound is opposite the bud. In this way the rainwater will drain perfectly and the bud will not risk rotting.
  • Shorten the twig by making the same type of cut but this time below the lowest bud.
  • Remove :
    • all the leaves located along the twig under the cutting, this is called thedressing,
    • axillary buds,
    • the spikes.
  • Keep imperatively:
    • the leaves distributed above the cutting,
    • the pair of buds most at the top and which can be seen in the axils of the leaves to be kept.
  • To wrap up the stems in moistened newspaper and leave them in the crisper of the refrigerator for 72 hours,
  • Take the stems out of the newspaper,
  • Dip each cutting in a hormone powder.

Method of planting rose cuttings

Then comes the moment of plant each rose cuttings :

  • Is under shelter (in tight for example),
  • Is outside.

In greenhouse

  • Choose a pot with a pierced bottom for each young stem, the diameter of which should be around 9 to 11 cm,
  • Submit a drainage layer basically like clay balls or expanded clay,
  • Pour into the pot a mixture of fertile soil, sand and peat which therefore constitutes the soil for cuttings,
  • Plant the cutting in this substrate, in the center of the pot, without pushing it too deeply,
  • Pack without hurting,
  • Water moderately,
  • Cover the small jars with a transparent plastic film so as to form a kind of little bell essential to maintain constant humidity.
  • Install each pot in a light zone of the shelter but taking care that it is not exposed to direct sun which could burn the young cuttings.

It takes 6 to 8 weeks to allow the two buds to bloom. If so, it means that the cuttings are successful. It is therefore time to repot the new rose bush in a moist but not soggy peat, and in a pot of a slightly larger size.

The pots of cuttings should still be kept in the greenhouse, always sheltered from direct sunlight until the period is favorable for their planting in the ground.


The cuttings of the rose bush outdoors is possible in regions with a mild climate. In this case, you must choose a sunny place, and the ground must be well drained because the roots of the plants must not bathe in water. To cut a rose bush outdoors, proceed as follows.

  • Perform a close protrusion in the earth, to a depth of 20 to 25 cm, no more,
  • Pour a little sand at the bottom so that it forms a small layer of 3 or 4 cm,
  • Introduce the twig previously impregnated with growth hormone in the projection and make sure that its base is in contact with the sand,
  • Deposit the potting soil in the planting hole,
  • Tamp lightly around the cutting,
  • Water moderately,
  • Ask some protections so that the cuttings do not suffer from the cold. We can for example use small plastic caps specifically designed for young plants and found in garden centers.

If several branches are planted in a furrow, it is necessary to respect an interval of about fifteen centimeters between them.

During the following months, it is essential to keep the soil always moist, but under no circumstances should it be soaked. Cuttings from a rose bush grown outdoors should be left in their place for a year. This time is absolutely necessary so that the roots can form and then develop sufficiently. So, it is only during this new autumn that it will be possible to transplant these new roses from cuttings at their final location. It will take them at least three more years to reach a satisfactory size.

It is very nice to be able create a rose garden yourself from own cuttings. It takes patience but it is possible, even if not all roses can be propagated by cuttings. There are other methods, such as grafting, branching, or seed propagation (the latter is a sexual propagation method), but this requires solid experience in gardening. What should in any case absolutely be noted is that the rose cannot be multiplied by simple soaking of its twigs in a vase of water. No need to try… The cutting technique that we have just reviewed is much safer!

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