Best time to take rose cuttings in September for ‘quick and easy’ growth

There is no better way to achieve an abundance of roses than to propagate the plant from cuttings, and the best time to do this happens to be in September, according to an expert.

The optimal time to collect cuttings hinges broadly on the variety of the rose shrub and whether it is hard or soft-wood.

Experts at Gardeners’ World state that the semi-hardwood cuttings are taken in late summer and early autumn, as this is when new stems are firmer and more mature.

“You can take flexible softwood cuttings of very new growth in late spring and summer – these [will] root quickly and easily,” they note on their website.

Hardwood cuttings are a different ball game, however, as these are the slowest and most difficult to root and should therefore be taken in winter.

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Phillip Harkness, Chairman and Rose Breeder at Harkness Roses, says that contrary to indoor cuttings, doing cuttings in the garden is “much much easier”.

He went on: “The best time to do it is late September. You want to get a stem that is nice and ripe and has flowered and it needs to be at least 20 centimeters, 30 is plenty.

How to take rose cuttings

“You snip it off at the bottom and you snip it off at the top,” he added. “You remove the bottom one, two, three, four, five […]. I counted to five but it’s about half the length of the stem. 

“Then you take thorns off and you will apply some rooting hormone that can be a powder or a gel, to the stem.” 

The cutting can then be placed in a pot filled with compost to the level of the lowest leaf, bearing in mind the compost must drain well.

It is worth mentioning that a pot should accommodate three cuttings at a time for top results, as a single cutting will unlikely survive on its own.

The pot can then be buried halfway into the ground to prevent it from blowing over and encourage moisture retention.

Once rooting begins and the first shoots appear, cut them back to ensure that the plants start shooting from the base, which will ultimately make the shrubs and plants stronger.

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How to pick the right location for your cutting

Picking the right spot to root cuttings is essential for your rose blooms, and there are several factors to take into account.

The area should be wide enough and deep enough to accommodate the roots of the plant. The ground should also be well-prepared, whether with well-rotted manure or compost.

Additionally, you want to ensure your flowers will be getting four hours of light a day, which is the bare minimum they require for growth.

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