how can i propogate rose bushes? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

ok i give up buying rose bushes and trying to get them to grow !! however, i have noticed on old farmsteads and old cemeteries around here ( oklahoma ) that there are lots of "old fashioned" rose bushes that not only survive, they thrive !! and they do so with virtually no care or water or feed, they just pretty much survive on their own. i would like to know how to take cuttings or whatever from these rose bushes and grow my own rosebushes from them. i don't want to dig them up ( stealing). i want to propogate a piece of them and take that home. i have read several gardening books and researched but have not been able to find the information i feel i need. can someone help? thanks so much gene

-- gene ward (, April 15, 2000


I've got two family heirloom roses that my grandmother sent me from Oregon when we first moved here. (We are in NH.) She cut pieces of stem that were about a foot to eighteen inches long, young green stem with buds on it. I laid them flat and covered them with sand, and kept them well watered. They didn't all survive and grow, I would say only about 10%, though if you dipped the ends in rooting compound and perhaps sprinkled a little in the shallow trench as you are planting them, it might help. But you definitely would want to cut more than you wanted to have plants. If they do well and you get more than you have room for, you could probably sell the extras fairly easily. Oh, and you would want to get your cuttings after the buds start to swell, but before they really leaf out. And watch out for cats, etc. digging them up. I have a Dorothy Perkins rambler (small, unscented deep pink flowers in clusters for about three weeks in July -- it's very thorny), and a Dr. Henry Van (something -- I can never remember what -- Fleet??). Also a rambler, larger flowers are a little more like a tea rose, but it isn't nearly as vigorous as the Dorothy Perkins. My great-great aunt took the Dorothy Perkins from Missouri to Oregon around the turn of the century, Grandma says it used to almost cover the little white house on the riverbank that the family first lived in. Must have been beautiful.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, April 15, 2000.

If the rose has multiple stems, the easiest way would be to dig up a couple of suckers from the main plant. I have tried rooting a rose or two,and mine didn't grow roots,but they were leftover valentines day roses. If the bushes are abandoned, I don't think it will matter if you take one stem from a big clump, that has a few roots on it.

-- Rebekah (, April 15, 2000.

Gene, Kathleen's directions are the ones in the rose book I have, plus I have done it many, many years ago. I would add that the sandy place you plant the cuttings should be shaded, and it would be good to cover each cutting with either a large clear glass jar or maybe an old aquarium. They will need something to help hold in the moisture, just be sure the sun never shines directly on the glass with the cuttings under it or you may have cooked rose cuttings.

An easier, although more expensive route might be the Antique Rose Emporium. I believe they are near Brenham, TX, but I know I found them on the internet doing a search on the search engine. They got their roses the by doing the same thing you are talking about--going to old farms and cemeteries and taking cuttings. Good luck.

-- Green (, April 16, 2000.

Boy, I love this website. I was just skimming through the subjects and saw this one and thought I would check out what the answer is. I was pleased to see the comment about taking cuttings from roses you see on abandoned farms or along the roadside. Duh, it had never occured to me to take cuttings from someone else's plants. I was thinking about my own limited two roses and taking cuttings from them and this idea opens up a whole new way of expanding my roses which I really love but didn't want to spend a lot of money on. Since we are just finishing up our greenhouse, I will be starting all sorts of cuttings and seeds to get our landscaping plans going and this is a great idea. It's funny how sometimes you don't think of the simplist ideas. I was limiting my self to getting cuttings and seedlings from friend's gardens but looking at roadsides and abandoned property is another great idea. Thanks Countrysiders.

-- Colleen (, April 16, 2000.

MRS says: bend over cane so it touches ground. note where it touches ground. Dig hole then place cane in hole leaving 4-5 inches of tip out of ground. Partially break cane where it will be in hole. Put part. broken spot on cane in hole & cover with dirt. In our part of Okla. it usually takes 6 months to a year to grow new roots. Then cut from mother plant & relocate Mrs. says this is called tip layering. Good luck!

-- Okie-Dokie (, April 16, 2000.

Well, I had the same question last year and found some GREAT answers on the web. I copied them all off for safe keeping, for when I would need them. You guessed it, I can't remember where I put them!!!

But, I think the web site was Check out their FAQ list on roses. Look at each entry for propagating because each answer it different. You can get a good thorough answer this way. Guess I'll have to visit it again too.

-- Vaughn (, April 16, 2000.

You don't "steal" when you take a cutting--you're just helping them prune!

-- Sandy Davis (, April 17, 2000.

Gene, I rooted some this year according to directions I got from several older ladies. I took cuttings about 6 inches long right below a bud, stuck them in the rich soil under my oak trees, watered them well and covered them with quart Mason jars then left them alone for about 6 weeks. All 4 that I did this way took root.

-- Judy Bowman (, April 17, 2000.

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