What do you do when a sweet rose bush takes over?
First you trim it back and that’s what I did back in August when trimming roses isn’t recommended.
If it’s not a drastic trim you’re okay because it’s very similar to removing dead limbs. I really shouldn’t have trimmed on a whim because the plant was inspired to grow even more.
Now that fall is here I’ve decided to go ahead and expand this bush from cuttings. Wait till you see how many stems I propagated and let me add that fall is your go to season for trimming roses.
This is my coral rose bush, after the cutting.
I implemented a massive trim leaving me with many beautiful stems that will have the opportunity to take root in the next few months. It’s a bit of a stretch but I’m an optimist and I’ve got good soil on my side so let’s get to it.
Previous growing seasons I went on a limb and tested rooting roses without hormone. It was a neat experience and you can read that here.
I decided to the same thing with these cuttings because the results were really great and I’m a product free gardener so I’m staying true to simple techniques that work.
The Rose Cuttings
I ended up with about 8 full length cuttings; each stem was removed from the plant base using clippers and placed in a bucket of water prior to cleaning the base of each stem.
Adding the Cuttings to the Soil
If you’re not going to use root hormone make sure the soil is well fertilized. Weak soil will not root roses naturally; I’m using soil from a raised bed that I plan to move later in the season.
This soil has been fertilized with direct compost and llama droppings months prior. It was pretty dry so I made sure to add water ahead of time.
I used one gallon containers and filled with soil about 1/2 way. Each rose stem received a fresh cut before inserting into each container. Make sure the stem is centered and fill the rest of the container with more soil and water.
Watch and Wait
It’s important after the cuttings are potted to place in a shady area, especially if it’s really hot like it is here. Keep them well watered in the next 48 hours because they’re going to transition from pretty to wilted stems. The following will explain the process and offer advice on what to do next.
- After about 3 days the leaves dry and eventually you’ll have a naked green stem. This is good!
- Keep watering when needed so the soil doesn’t dry out, but don’t over water and repeat the process.
- Remove any dead stems or parts turning brown with your clippers.
- By spring or sooner there should be new green sprouting, this will mean propagation success.
You can also check to see if there is a root system in months like January or February by transplanting the roses into new containers. This will help sort your success.
Expanding a rose bush from cuttings is really easy; it’s the waiting to see if they took root that seems to test a gardener’s patience.
Once all these plants are healthy with a good root system by spring you should be able to transplant them in new ground around the garden, share with friends or even sell to small nurseries.
Whatever you decide knowing the garden can expand with little effort is a wonderful thing.