Rooting Roses without Root Hormone

Last fall before the frost arrived I was busy cleaning up the garden and noticed some of my roses were out of control, so I trimmed them back.

The plan was to burn the limbs and then a memory surfaced.

My grandma loved roses and she took cuttings from her roses all the time to propagate. These bushes were planted around the base of her home, along the fence and some even in her rockery.  It was beautiful!

I remember one afternoon when she showed me how to root roses.  The concept was to expand the roses without having to spend a lot of money to make your yard look nice.

I was probably 10 years old and really never dreamed of ever owning a home, out of respect I embraced this new lesson.

It wasn’t odd to see pots of starter roses all over the yard and she quite often gave them away to family and friends.

The first lesson began with a good soil base and she was correct because as I’ve discovered if you have good soil the possibilities are endless.  It seems I’ve never forgotten these discussions they seem to compliment my garden activity perfectly.

When I was cleaning up the garden I wanted to explore how grand our soil has become and this led me to rooting roses.

Cuttings to New Roots

In October when I trimmed my roses I took some of those cuttings aside, grabbed recycled buckets, filled with dirt, and stuck the stems straight down the center.

Last week when I was working in the garden I noticed the stems were green.  I wondered if under that soil might there be the beginning of a root system?

You guessed it, I emptied the bucket to examine and yes I successfully rooted roses without using root hormone.

I can’t even begin to express the excitement. I remember saying to myself, she was right again!

Replanting the Rooted Roses

The next step was to get the roots back in the soil; it had recently rained so the dirt was very moist and this time I got a larger bucket and filled it about halfway.

This time I left a hole in the center prior to adding the rooted stems.

The final step was to finish covering with dirt.

Old forgotten gardening truths sometimes seem to be forgotten.  It’s when you remember that everything begins with good soil, anything is possible.

That little nugget of truth goes beyond the garden because all good things come from a strong foundation.

This little rose has a great start and I can hardly wait for spring when new sprouts appear.

Have you ever transplanted roses without using root hormone?  This is a great way to discover how good the soil is around you.



  1. I wish I had remembered this before I moved. I left all my beautiful roses at my old house and the new owner cut them all out. I guess this is just a good reason for me to head to Tyler and get some new roses for my new house. Great post!

    1. Glad you liked it – I'm about an hour from Tyler. You could still apply this technique next fall with any roses you purchase. I did that too left roses at a house we sold and then drove by a year later to notice they ripped them out. I couldn't believe it. Thanks for stopping by to share enjoyed your comments today.

  2. Lysa Wilds says:

    What an interesting and informative blog post. I have never planted roses despite wanting to in fear that I would just kill them… You see no matter how hard I try I have the worse brown thumb that ever was! Thank you for linking up to the Oh My Heartsie Girls Wordless Wednesday Linky Party!

    Wishing you a fabulous week!

    Co-Host OMHGWW

    1. Glad you liked it -Gardening is really just a process. I find it's not about having right color thumb and actually though brown is good because it's all about the soil. Thanks for stopping by that's one of my favorite linky parties. -Carole

  3. Gentle Joy says:

    This is great to hear! I have been able to root simple things… but not roses, clematis or hibiscus… and I know we need to keep working on our soil for other reasons… interesting that it also affects this. Thank you. 🙂

    1. I would agree it is interesting. I'm having fun just gardening outside the box to see what happens. Clematis I love and hope to plant at our next home site. -Carole

  4. Terry says:

    hi Carole, found you from the Home acre Hop. What have you done to get better soil, I am still trying to improve mine

    1. Hello Terry – If you click over to my Home and Garden page the link is at the top of the page you will find several posts I've written about fertilizer, composting and soil. My most popular and favorite technique is the Direct Composting. Animal fertilizer is another wonderful thing, I even have a post on how to find animal fertilizer from local farmers in your area. If you have any questions please feel welcome to ask. -Carole
      Link to Home and Garden>>

  5. What a loveable memory – your grandma was wise. I am impressed of the success with the cuttings. Your soil must be of very high quality and (wow) you made it with your own hands. Thank you for sharing this inspiring post.

    /Charlotte – My Green Nook

    1. I would agree she was wise, she raised her family during the depression so she had to be. We've been working our soil for almost 5 years and I would agree it's pretty high quality and the worm activity is fantastic.If you visit my Home and Garden page you'll find everything we implemented to achieve grand soil. It takes time and a few simple techniques that are ongoing. Thanks fro stopping by I enjoyed your comment. -Carole

  6. My dad recently did this with my great-grandmother's rose bush. Thanks for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday!

  7. Hello cute lady! I'm loving it. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you so much for partying with us. I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. We love to party with you! Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  8. Maria says:

    You have such interesting posts, thanks for sharing this rooting roses post. See you this week on Fabulous Friday

  9. Anonymous says:

    my mother had beautiful gardens. When she did cuttings , there was no root tone. She would put them in the ground and put mason jars on top. So you would see in the garden off and on something under a mason jar 🙂 Down the street from us my brother, sister, and I took the bike to visit an elderly neighbor. She had this pretty plant, I remember putting part of it she gave us on the bike and took it home to my mom. It was a pink sweet pea plant. My Mom loved delphniums (sp) I have the plant from her garden , do not know if you call it daughters ect or what but not the "mother plant" so my plants are 40 yrs old and still blooming each yr. I also have hens & chickens from her garden. I have a pink oxalis and it is bi-annual ( every 3 yrs. ) It comes up when it wants and it has been in my garden 32 yrs. lots of memories.

    1. What neat memories – sounds like my moms garden. When my grandma passed away many of her plants were dug up and collected among family members before selling her home. Memories are a good thing. Our neighbor lady that I loved to visit had bleeding hearts – I was always fascinated by that plant. Such incredible detail.. Thank you for sharing I enjoyed! -Carole

      1. Francine Zitz says:

        My grandmother’s rose bush is about 60 years old. My family is leaving the homestead. How can I dig out her rose bush and replant it in my garden without damaging it? Thanks

        1. Carole says:

          You want to remove it now before it begins to bud. Make sure the ground is wet because it will be easier to dig out and begin with a shovel about a foot or more away from the base of the plant. Dig deep and when the root system is loose soak in a bucket of water for about 15 minutes prior to transport. During transport to your location either place in a container or wrap with plastic or burlap. I’m assuming the distance between both places is close.

          If you can have it’s new location already prepped that would be ideal. The thing about a successful transplant is to complete the process from dig out to replant in the same day. This will keep the plant from getting stressed and recovery time will also be faster. I also like to transplant in the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler.

          I would also recommend before digging out to take a few cuttings and try to propagate them just in case something goes wrong you have back ups.

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