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How to take rose cuttings

Rose cuttings can be easily taken in late summer – we show you how.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do To do in September

Do To do in October

Do To do in November

Do To do in December

Roses can be grown successfully from cuttings and will grow on to make good flowering plants.

Choose healthy stems of the current season’s growth and follow our step-by-step advice to be sure of success. Roots will be produced over the winter months so that the rose cuttings can be potted in spring or early summer next season.

When to take rose cuttings

Rose cuttings should be taken from the current year’s growth. You can take flexible, softwood rose cuttings of very new growth in late-spring and summer – these root quickly and easily. Semi-hardwood cuttings are taken in late summer and early autumn, when new stems are firmer and more mature. Hardwood cuttings are taken from mature stems in winter, and are  the slowest and most difficult to root.

For best results we recommend taking softwood rose cuttings in late spring and early summer, choosing pencil-sized stems just beneath a faded flower.

Alan Titchmarsh demonstrates how to take softwood rose cuttings, in summer, in this video guide.

Here, Monty demonstrates how to take hardwood cuttings from species roses, in autumn or winter:

Secateurs are the best tool to use to take cuttings and to help you choose the right pair for you we’ve reviewed different types of secateurs and put together a list of the best secateurs

There are also more detailed, individual secateur reviews.

And if you need help choosing other pruning tools see our expert, individual lopper reviews and best loppers round up.

More roses content:

Discover how to take rose cuttings, below.


You Will Need

  • Rose plant
  • Secateurs
  • Rooting hormone (liquid or powder)
  • Pots
  • Gritty compost mix (Equal parts horticultural grit or perlite and multi-purpose compost)

Step 1

You can take cuttings from any type of rose you choose, but make sure you select long, strong, healthy stems from this season’s growth, not old wood.

Selecting rose cutting material from the current year's growth
Selecting rose cutting material from the current year’s growth

Step 2

Make the cuttings 25cm long, cutting above a bud at the top to remove the shoot tip and below one at the base. Leave one leaf at the top and remove all the lower leaves.

Removing the leaves from the stems
Removing the leaves from the stems

Step 3

Dip the base of the cutting into rooting hormone mixture. Insert several cuttings into a large pot of gritty compost or a narrow trench bottomed with horticultural grit.

Inserting the cuttings into a trench filled with grit
Inserting the cuttings into a trench filled with grit

Step 4

Water well, place the pot in a shaded spot and leave until cuttings have rooted. Keep the compost moist. Pot up rose plants individually when well rooted, probably next summer. If growing the cuttings in a trench, carefully fork them out to avoid damaging the roots and plant out in their final location.

Filling in the trench
Filling in the trench

Rose replant disease

Rose replant disease is a poorly understood disorder affecting roses that have been planted in soil where roses were previously grown. It’s thought to be the result of pest and pathogen build up in the soil. Symptoms include poor establishment, growth and even death of the rose.

Avoid it by swapping the old soil with fresh soil from somewhere else in the garden. Feed with a high-nitrogen fertiliser after planting.