Do you have a friend with a stunning rose garden? Would you love to have your own but don’t know where to begin? Roses are pruned regularly to encourage healthy growth, and this is the ideal time to ask your friend to save you some cuttings. Cuttings should be green, as thick as a pencil, with at least three to four stem buds, or growth points. Ask them to trim the bottom below a growth bud at an angle and the top above a growth bud straight off, so you don’t accidentally plant your cuttings upside down. Label each group of cuttings with the rose variety they are from.
Fill some 10-15cm pots with a combination of equal parts river sand and compost, or with a premium potting mix, to within a cm of the top, and moisten thoroughly. Using a pencil, drill several deep holes into the mixture, keeping fairly close to the sides.
Take each cutting and dip the angled end in a little natural unprocessed honey, or some root hormone powder from the nursery. Place a cutting into each hole so that at least two growth points are buried. Firm down gently with your fingers and water in with a gentle misting.
Label each pot with the rose variety.
Keep outdoors away from direct sun. Do not overwater. Within several weeks you should see some new leaf sets forming from the growth buds. Not all cuttings will strike. Wait until your cutting has formed several new leaf sets and taken on some height before you attempt to repot each one into their own pot using a premium potting mix. If you see roots emerging from the drainage holes you know your rose is ready for its own pot.
Provide rose fertiliser every spring and autumn and water regularly. Within a few years your roses will be large enough for you to take your own cuttings, and continue to build your very own beautiful rose garden.
My mother gave me one or two cuttings from her “Paul Bocuse”. They both struck well. Every year when I prune them I take cuttings and now have around seven potted roses. They all bloom at the same time and provide a beautiful entry to our front verandah. It is my experience that roses grown from cuttings perform best in pots. An added benefit is they can be moved onto the verandah during extreme weather events, or during flowering, to enjoy viewing the blooms from inside the house.