Skip to content

Propagate roses from cuttings in August: instructions for summer rooting of the ornamental plant!

If you want to propagate your favorite roses this year, you can still do it in August. Rooting stem cuttings of roses works best with so-called “wild” or “native” pure species and not hybrid shrubs. This is because many hybrids are created by a grafting process in which branches of showy but fragile species are grafted onto the rootstock of a hardier species. The result of grafting can be a spectacular plant with exceptional root hardiness. However, this also means that a new plant you propagate from a cutting will not have the root hardiness of the parent plant. We’ll show you how to propagate roses from cuttings in August with our step-by-step instructions in this article!

When to propagate a rose by stem cuttings

Propagate roses from cuttings in August -Instructions for summer rooting of the ornamental plant.

Summer cuttings should come from shoots that have flowered , are quite firm and have a length of 10-20 centimeters. Rooting cuttings is possible at almost any time, but cuttings from new shoots that have recently flowered (and not from old, hardened wood) are more likely to root successfully. The best time to take cuttings from softwood is spring or fall – choose them in the early morning when the plant is well hydrated. Also, avoid taking cuttings when your plant is flowering heavily. At this time, the plant puts most of its energy into flower production rather than root development.

Understanding rose cuttings

Propagate roses from cuttings - remove all but one leaf at the tip of each cutting

You can easily propagate roses from cuttings.  Cuttings are simply pieces of rose stems taken at various stages of maturity. Some plants are very picky about rooting cuttings, but roses are quite flexible. Rose cuttings can be taken from the current year’s new shoots at three main growth stages:

  • Softwood cuttings, which are the fastest and easiest to root, are taken in late spring and early summer when the flexible new shoots are just beginning to mature. First-rate softwood cuttings come from pencil-sized shoots under rose blossoms that have shed their petals.
  • Cuttings from semi-hardwood are taken in late summer and early fall when the new shoots are partially mature. At this time, rose hips may form on the solid shoots where flowers were previously.
  • Hardwood cuttings, which are the slowest and most difficult to root, are taken in late fall or early winter when the year’s new shoots have matured, hardened off and gone dormant.

Cuttings from semi-hardwood are taken in late summer when the new shoots have partially matured

You can improve your success at any stage of growth by treating the cuttings with a rooting hormone to stimulate root development and encourage growth.

Propagating roses from cuttings in August

If you want to propagate your favorite roses this year, you can still do so in August


Weather and other factors can affect when softwood is ready for cutting, and southern regions differ greatly from northern growing zones. Don’t base your choice of when to cut on a calendar, but on your roses – and their faded blooms .

Before you begin, get these basic items:

  • A clean, sharp knife or pruning shears
  • A bucket of warm water to keep the cuttings moist
  • Rooting hormone
  • A small dish for the rooting hormone to dip into
  • A small stick or pencil to make planting holes

Summer cuttings should come from shoots that have flowered and have a length of 10 to 20 centimeters

Follow these simple steps:

  • Select one or more stems between a faded flower and the woody base of the rose. From one stem can be grown several cuttings.
  • Remove the flower and the stem tip. Cut at a 45-degree angle just above the first row of leaves at the tip and above the last row of leaves at the bottom of the stem.
  • Immediately place the cut stems in water.
    Cut each stem into pieces 10 to 20 inches long so that each cutting has four “nodes” – these are the places where the leaves develop on the stem. Keep the cuttings moist at all times.

Cut at a 45 degree angle just above the first row of leaves at the top of the stem


  • Remove all but one leaf from the top of each cutting. This will help the cuttings root and help you measure their progress.
  • Pour a small amount of rooting hormone into the tray. Pour only as much as you need and discard the excess when you are finished.
  • Wet the bottom half of the cutting and submerge it in the rooting hormone until it is covered.
  • Using a stick or pencil, dig a planting hole 8 to 10 inches deep in your rooting bed or container. The hole should be large enough for you to put the cutting in without stripping the hormone.
  • Insert the cutting into the hole so that its bottom half and at least two nodes are covered, then compact the soil around it.

Care from the new plants

Simply place a glass cloche, garden cloche or upside down canning jar over the cutting

While the cuttings are taking root, keep them covered and moist. In a garden bed, a simple DIY mini greenhouse is the solution. Simply place a glass cloche, garden cloche, or upside-down canning jar over the cutting. A clear plastic bottle with the bottom cut out and the lid removed is also suitable. Water the soil regularly to keep it moist but not soggy. Your mini greenhouse will keep the humidity inside high. If your cuttings are in containers , simply stick a few ornamental branches in the rim for support and put a clear plastic bag over them. Spray and water the cuttings as needed to keep them hydrated and the soil moist. Make sure the plastic bag is not on top of the cuttings.

How long does it take to root

Most softwood rose cuttings will take root within 10 to 14 days

Most softwood rose cuttings will root within 10 to 14 days. To check progress, pull very gently on the cuttings. You will feel a slight resistance as the new roots form and grow into the soil. A gentle fish or kelp-based fertilizer will provide beneficial nutrients during this time. Once the roots have formed and the plants are showing vigorous growth, you can transplant your new roses to a permanent location in the garden.

Cuttings are simply pieces of rose stems taken at various stages of maturity