Rose Water Propagation: Learn About Rooting Roses In Water

Rose Cuttings In A Mason Jar Of Water
rose cutting water
(Image credit: Gardening Know How, via Liz Baessler)

There are many ways to propagate your favorite roses, but rooting roses in water is one of the easiest. Unlike certain other methods, propagating roses in water will result in a plant very much like the parent plant. Read on to learn about rose water propagation.

Propagating Roses in Water

Here are the simple steps for rooting rose cuttings in water:

  • Early summer is prime time for rose water propagation. Be sure the parent plant is growing well and free of pests or disease.
  • Use a clean knife or pruners to cut a rose stem measuring about 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm.) long. Make the cut just below node, which is the point where a leaf attaches to the stem. Pinch off the lower leaves but leave the top two or three intact. Also, remove all flowers and buds.
  • Fill a clean jar about halfway with lukewarm water, then place the rose cuttings in the jar. Be sure no leaves are under the water, as the rose stem may rot. Place the jar in bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Replace the water with fresh water every three to five days, or whenever the water begins to look brackish. Rooting roses in water generally takes three or four weeks, but don’t give up if you don’t see roots that quickly. Rose water propagation may take longer.
  • Fill a small pot with fresh potting soil when the roots are 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm.) long. Be sure the pot has a drainage hole in the bottom. Moisten the potting mix lightly and insert the rooted cutting.
  • Place the rose cutting back in bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid hot, intense light.
  • Water the new rose bush as needed to keep the potting soil moist, but never soggy. Empty the drainage saucer after a few minutes and never let the pot stand in water.

Transplant the rose outdoors when the plant is well established, typically the following spring.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.