A few years ago I went through a big rose phase, which is now part of the background of my garden.  I started with the bare-root bushes and potted bushes from the local nursery, then got inspired and tried starting my own.  As it turns out, it's not hard to start roses from cuttings.  I've used dormant prunings (really little effort), rose stems from abandoned rose bush ("rustled"), roses from bouquets that a coworker brought in and threw away after the petals dropped ("scrounged"). 


The main elements of starting a rose from a cutting is to have a nice green stem with 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 leaf nodes, or actual leaves; some reasonably moisture retentive potting soil, a nice place out of the sun that is light but not too hot; some patience; some luck.


For the scrounged rose, and the rustled rose, I cut off the flower head, used a piece about 4 or 5 inches long, removed about half of the leaves; dipped in some rooting hormone; placed in small plastic pot in the kitchen (north window), and watered now and then to prevent drying out.  These were in June or July.  By fall, I had top growth and roots, planted outside in a sheltered place, and in the Spring I had young rose bushes.


I've also taken dormant pruned stems 6 inches to a foot tall in the winter, stuck them into the ground, and forgotten them.  Several roses in my yard resulted from that method.


Here's an interesting video.  I've never used honey, and never used such a small leafless stem.
Here's another. I also don't know about starting roses in water - but she seems to think it can work.
Strange about the honey. I'll have to try that. I think some varieties grow better from cuttings ("strike") compared to others. Old fashioned varieties seem to do well, as do miniatures, climbers, and modern "shrub" roses. I've grown a hybrid Tea this way, and it does pretty well too.
Here are a couple of my own cutting-grown roses, blooming this week. Others are in bud - mine usually lag behind roses in Portland by a couple of weeks.

It's interesting that some rose experts try to discourage growing from cuttings. Maybe some don't do so well on their own roots, but I have some cutting grown roses that grown too tall for me to reach the top, others that are only a foot tall. It depends on the variety and the circumstances.

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These were started from a discarded grocery-store rose plant. Last winter a co-worker brought in a small potted rose in bloom, about 6 inches tall. It dried out quickly and gave up the ghost. I brought it home, unpotted it, and discovered it was 4 tiny plants. After planting them in the border, they were left alone. My borders are developing more color from a lot of these disposable miniature roses, all I don't know how tall they will grow. At about a foot, this is probably the limit.

Wow! Lovely!
I learned a lot from your discussion on roses. I don't have any - I hear they are hard to grow. Is that necessarily true?

Steph, I think that reputation comes from the overbreeding of Hybrid Tea roses to produce gigantic blossom "perfect" shape roses for rose shows.  Breeders outdid each other aiming only for appearance and form, and not for how they did and looked in the yard.  Unfortunately, the nurseries also went for grafting them on commonly used rootstock, which were infected with rose mosaic virus.  That resulted in millions of virus-infeccted roses being spread around the country.  The weakened, virus infected roses do not thrive, take more maintenance, and die young.  The overbred hybrid teas also lost disease resistance, stem strength, drought resistance, and durability.


There are thousands of types of roses, and some are very well adapted to conditions almost anywhere.  Recent breeders have created yard roses that are disease resistant, prolific, durable, easy maintenance.  Each area has roses that are best suited for that area.  Unfortunately, big box stores and some nurseries still ship in plants that are inappropriate - I saw at my local "Big Orange" home improvement store, oranges and lemons, which cant possibly  survive outside here.  They were in the landscaping, not houseplant, section.  Also, one of the local nurseries had hibiscus that was tropical, not the ones that survive winter here.


The opposite direction is the "Texas Rose Rustler" association.  Also here.  Since their roses come from neglected cemeteries and homesteads, often decades, even many decades, without care, they have to be very hardy, strong, durable roses.  These roses also precede use of grafted roses, so are much much less likely to be virus infected.  Fragrance is also more likely in the heritage, old roses of Texas.  I know Texas is a big state with multiple climates, but if  I lived there I would want to seek out the heritage roses that grow well there and also have a story - whose homestead they were from, or whose grave they were planted by.

Thanks for the link Sentient - I will try out the Texas Rose Assoc. - really appreciate it.

I do have Lady Banks Rose in my yard.

Oh, there is also the Texas Superstar® program for plants, for reliable performers in Texas.  They include the Nogadoches rose, also called Grandma's Yellow, which was discovered in Nogadoches and developed in Texas for Texas climates and soil.  From the linked site, " The team looked for yellow roses that had lived a long time in the area where they were found. Five candidates were identified and were given names for the localities where they were discovered...... The fourth series came from Nacogdoches, where one plant was found blooming near an abandoned motel..."  Both the original plant and the motel are gone, so this rose is the lasting heritage of that program.

I have Lady Banks Rose - like this pic I put here.

Thanks so much for all the Texas Rose information - I will bookmark those links. Sure do appreciate it!

This is the first year I have tackled a rose garden. I decided to do it because I wanted to create a space for the rose my mother received as a gift from my grandfather... they both passed away last year. I had to transplant the rose twice. The first time went quite well, which I found odd because I didn't really do anything special. No soil amending or anything... just trimmed off all the green and plopped it into the ground. The second time, I actually amended the soil, but I didn't trim off all the green. The leaves are starting to yellow. I didn't think I'd have to prune it all down again, but do you think that would be the best? I really don't want to lose this rose.

Michael, I would prune it back.  Most roses are usually pretty tough, but if the top is more than the roots can handle, it might be drying out.  If you are good with cuttings you could also try starting new ones from the trimmings.  This is a challenging time of year to transplant or do cuttings.  Even if it looses leaves now, I wouldn't give up - it could just be in shock and needing to "re-set" it's metabolism.

Tonya, Tamora is one of my op favorites too.  Highly scented, beautiful flowers.  Love that rose. Agree with you about rugosas, and have also read about them being deer resistant.

It would be fun to do a cemetery expedition.  I also want to find abandoned irises.  There are patches in the cemetery where my parents are buried.  If I can find the manager, I want to get some starts.




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