Garden roses are among the most beautiful flowers you can have around the house. They are not expensive to buy, but still, why pay for the rose plants when you can do it yourself from the bushes around you?
In this article, I’m going to teach you how to successfully clone your roses, step by step. It takes a couple of months to have healthy plants ready to transplant, but it is worth waiting after all.
Step One: Purchase Rooting Hormone
Rooting hormones can be found online or in physical stores. They are available in both powder and gel forms. In my experience, gels work better. They not only encourage the cuttings to produce roots faster but also seal the cut a lot better than powders can. But then again, the choice is entirely yours.
You may have heard people using potatoes or honey. While they sometimes do work, the success rate is not as high as it is with rooting hormones.
Step Two: Collect the Rose Cuttings
Select the rose you want to clone and get a cutting or two from the bush. Here, I would advise you to cut in the semi-wooden part of the plant. You will get a more vigorous rose. Clean the thorns at the bottom, and make sure to leave only two leaves on top.
The cutting should not have flowers, and the length should be about 6-7 inches. Make sure you use clean tools when you are preparing the cutting. Put it in water until you are ready to treat and plant the rose cutting. Otherwise, it will dry out very fast.
Step Three: Prepare The Pots
While some people prefer to purchase enriched soil, in my experience, it’s not necessary. I often use generic soil, and my rose cuttings thrive. I also recommend that you use clear pots so that you can see the roots coming out.
Once you fill the pot with soil, take your finger, and make a hole in the middle. If you do not, some of the rooting hormones on the cutting will be wasted when you push it down. The tunnel prevents that from happening.
Step Four: Prep The Cutting Tools And Area
You will need a sterilized blade and cutting area. For instance, if you use a chopping board, make sure to disinfect it first. You can use alcohol for both the cutting area and the blade.
Why is it so important to have a sterile environment for the rose? When you make the cut, bacteria can enter the cutting via the blade or the cutting board. The plant can also develop emboli, killing it even before it gets a chance to create roots.
Step Five: Prepare The Rose Cuttings And Plant Them
On the sterile cutting area, cut the rose cutting at the bottom using the sterilized blade. Some people prefer to cut it at a 45-degree angle. I do it differently for maximum effects. I make 2 cuts with an arrow-like shape.That way, the surface area that comes in direct contact with the rooting hormone is larger.
Insert the cutting in the rooting hormone (gel or powder.) Make sure that at least an inch of the cutting is inserted. Leave it in for about two seconds, and then plant it in your pot. When you insert the cutting in the soil, make sure that it doesn’t touch the sides of the hole you created. When it reaches the bottom of the hole, gently cover it so that the plant sits upright.
You have to water the soil, but do not overdo it. Make it moist, not soaked.
Step Six: Put A Humidity Dome On Top Of Your Pot
If you find humidity domes at the store, that’s great. But there is nothing to worry about if you don’t get any. There is a simple and cheaper solution. You can use clear soda bottles. Cut the bottom of the container, then place the upper part on top of the cutting, and voila! Home-made humidity dome for you! Don’t forget to take the cap off.
Why is a humidity dome necessary? Until the cutting develops roots, it cannot absorb moisture from the soil properly, at least. When you cover the plant with a humidity dome, the humidity inside will provide the plant with the necessary water through its leaves. Basically, the plant will absorb water from its environment. For maximum success, the humidity level should be at 90%.
You are pretty much done. In about 4 to 8 weeks, roots should be coming out. However, make sure that the soil is always moist, and there is condensation inside the humidity dome. I use a spray bottle filled with clean water to moist the plants every other day for 4 weeks. Do not place the pots in direct sunlight.
When you see the roots, you can take the dome off, but wait 4 more weeks to transplant the new rose in your garden.