We show you how to take rose cuttings - plus how to grow roses in potatoes..

Propagating roses by cuttings is easy, and it brings certain side benefits, says Kris

(1) In an out-of-the-way part of the garden, which gets some shade during the hottest part of the day, dig a trench that has one vertical side. It should be around 6in (15cm) deep; place an inch or two of sharp sand in the bottom.

(2) Choose a stem – about the thickness of a pencil – from the rose you wish to propagate. The wood should be straight (no kinks), ripe (tell by being able to break a thorn off cleanly), and young (from this year’s growth).

(3) The cutting should be about 9in (23cm) long. Cut just below a bud at the base. Then remove the leaves and thorns from the bottom half. You can leave a couple of leaf systems at the top of the cutting if you wish, but I’ve removed mine.

(4) Insert each cutting so that it is two-thirds buried, making sure that its base is well into the sharp sand. Firm the sand around the base, to exclude as much air as possible. Cuttings should be set about 6in (15cm) apart.

(5) Replace soil into the trench and firm it in place; don’t damage the cuttings as you do this. Keep the cuttings watered throughout summer. By November they should have rooted well and be ready for transplanting.

 Want to know how to prune roses – click here to find out

Roses in spuds

My allotment neighbour has a row of roses, which he took as rose cuttings. I asked how he took them. He simply plunges the cuttings into the ground. But his secret of success is the humble potato! Before planting cuttings, he pushes the bottom end into a small potato, which he believes keeps the cuttings moist as they develop  roots. It sounds crazy, but his row of allotment roses is proof it works. Try it, and let us know how you get on.





  • Wesley Berryhill

    I was/am wondering the same thing. I currently have two long stem roses from a bouquet in a pot of sand that I am keeping moist. Hope it works, the bouquet was from my daughter’s college graduation ceremony.

  • Kristen Bittner

    I tried the potato method this year. Somehow, it didn’t work out and the potatoes lived but the rose cuttings did not. 🙁 On the plus side, I get to dig potatoes to it’s not a total loss.

  • Does anyone have experience of this and does it actually work??

  • Eleanore Rosanova

    Does he use Rooting Compound in the potatoes?

  • Inayatullah Arain

    Hi guys! This is Inayat from Pakistan. I am interested to start commercial production of long stem roses in my 8 acre land. I am looking for some one who has expertise in growing long stem roses and has an investment to partner me.
    The cost of production is so cheap here in our country and we have very close export market which is uae.
    If there is any interest to invest in my proposal, then please let me know on my email: Inayat.arain@gmail.com or call me on my cell phone +923322623379.

  • Federic

    sound great, but I never have been seen rose growing from that !

  • Jan

    I did the rose in the potato trick and got a beautiful crop of potatoes.

  • Elisabeth

    This sounds great, but just be aware that almost all modern roses are grafted onto a virilent rootstock so they survive and thrive better. The rootstock is used as it is particularly resistant to disease. Because you’re growing with no rootstock, your new rose plants won’t have that advantage. Still fun to try!

  • agshare


  • You should propagate roses that are not grafted on a root stock. Use roses that are only grown on their on roots or it won’t be a healthy rose.

  • Doug

    I am kinda wondering if using a bit of root tone before putting it into the potato would work better. will have to try it. just had some rose cuttings and put them into some water but they up and died on me so need to try this and see if can get them started.

  • Katie Bowman

    As asked previously but not finding an answer…can you use the stems from store bought flowers if you trim the end before placing in potato? Also does the potato just rot away, grow or do I have to remove it? I’d like the whole side of my house done in roses and figured I could just dig a trench straight across and plant the potato/stem and be good to go for them to grow for good.

  • Matt G

    You say there is proof yet I see no proof other than freshly planted potato roses.

  • brilliant! Makes me want to grow roses 🙂

  • Jane

    will potatoes also grow along with the roses..just wondering?

  • Naomi Thacker

    I am 64 yrs old and this is the way my father taught me to root rose cuttings when I was a very young child.It always worked for us.

  • Isobel Gray

    will try that i live in brisabe qld australia will itstill work here i try it

  • RD

    Well I tried it. I had 90+ percent root. Only thing is I noteced my blooms smelled like potato soup.

  • Hayden

    Do you have to use cuttings from a bush? Or could you buy a bouquet of roses and use the stems?

  • heccles

    Summer is the best time to do this.

  • michellecooke

    when should you do this spring/summer/fall. does the temperature need to be above a certain temp?

  • Carla Montgomery

    This looks great, can’t wait to give it a go.

  • jc w

    it will work. tho they transplant well just cutting and sticking them in the ground and keeping moist. Im a big fan of the thornless raspberry/blackberry canes. makes harvesting them most pleasant. lol

  • tamala

    it works save my method is much simpler, dip the cuttings in honey and just stick them in the dirt. i have 17 different varieties of rose bush all ropagated from cuttings

  • Amber Felkins

    I wonder if this works with raspberry/blackberry vines too

  • Mike Friday

    I am going to try this too, when is the best time to take the actual cutting in the first place?

  • Claire Woodard

    I was pruning a rambling rose last autumn & decided to try turning some of what i cut into cuttings using the potato method. 2 out of 4 were successful, probably because i had no idea of the correct place to take them from. I gave 1 away & have 1 growing in a tub, both are growing strongly.
    I plan to repeat this with a different rambling rose that is also in need of an interim prune.

  • Kelebeletse MAvis Letsholo

    Thanks for sharing, I will try both methods. I have very special interest in establishing my own tree nursery.

  • April Farley

    We , just this week ,have planted 6 cuttings. I am so interested to find out how this works. So cool! Thank you for sharing this! I will post up as we progress to the fall.

  • Melanie Hall

    Amazing I have to try this

  • Gorges Smythe

    I wonder if that would work for blackberries and raspberries?

  • Wendy

    I’m having a Martha (Stewart) moment. Came across this article on Facebook after making two bouquets of roses from my Spring garden. While cutting my stems I noticed one very healthy branch on the ground which must have been broken off recently by an animal of some sort (child or rodent). I left it there since my hands were full of roses. After fixing my bouquets I checked my facebook account and came across this article. I didn’t have a potato, but I did have 3 Japanese Sweet Potatoes. I planted one with the cutting and just put the other two in the oven for tonight!

  • shelli

    I wonder though, is there any shoots coming up from the potatoes as well? I mean, I would love to have the extra rose bushes, but I’m not too keen on having a field of potatoes. Every spud loving critter in the neighborhood will be digging up my roses! 🙂 Thanks