Propagate roses with this simple step by step guide. If you think the only way to propagate roses is to dig up a young shoot from the base of the plant, you are not alone. This is certainly an effective way to propagate roses, but there are other ways, too. Roses can easily be propagated from stem cuttings or even from seeds inside the rose hips from your favorite bush.
Stem Cuttings -Take clippings from your favorite rose bush to create a clone of the original plant. Select a branch of new wood that is still green on the outside, but is no longer flexible. Examine the branch for any signs of discoloration or insect pest. Clip the branch to a length of 6 inches with a sharp knife or set of clippers. Remove the bottom leaves and slice a 1/2-inch long sliver of bark off the end of the stem cutting to allow quicker root formation.
Dip the cut end of the stem cutting into rooting compound and tap it against the side of the container to remove excess powder. Insert the cutting to a depth of 2 inches into a pot of moist potting mixture comprised of 1 part all-purpose potting soil and 1 part perlite. Water until the soil is evenly moist but not soggy.
Cover with a quart mason jar or a 2-liter soda bottle that has the bottom cut off. Place in a window that receives filtered sunlight, avoiding direct afternoon sun. Check often and water whenever the soil dries out. Remove the cap to the 2-liter bottle, or lift the edge of the mason jar, if more air circulation is needed. Watch for new growth in about a month. This signals that your rose plant has developed roots. Repot to a larger pot when the rose outgrows the pot, or transplant outside in the spring after all danger of frost has passed.
Use a 1-gallon plastic storage bag instead of the mason jar, if preferred. Insert a pencil or dowel in the soil to hold the top of the plastic bag above the cuttings. Make small holes in the bag to encourage air circulation if the interior becomes too humid.
Starting from Seed -Gather rose hips from the rose bush you would like to propagate. Cut the rose hips open, using care not to nick the seeds. Remove the seeds and rinse with a solution of 2 tsp. of household bleach to 1 cup of water. Rinse to remove any traces of bleach and soak the seeds for 24 hours in full strength hydrogen peroxide.
Spread the seeds on a soft cloth and scrub with a soft bristled brush to remove any remaining organic matter. Wet a section of paper towels with 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part water. Wrap the seeds in the paper towel and place them inside a plastic storage bag. Refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 weeks to stratify the seeds and prepare them for planting.
Plant the seeds to a depth of 1/2-inch in planting a medium of 1 part potting soil and 1 part vermiculite. Mist the soil with a solution of peroxide and water to prevent the development of damp-off. Place it in a sunny location and keep the soil evenly moist. Watch for seedlings to sprout in approximately 6 weeks. Transplant when seedlings are well-established and have outgrown the original pot.