easiest to root varities

kandaceshirleyOctober 4, 2008

I was hoping someone could give me a list of varities of roses that are easiest to root. I've tried and I"m terrible at it. I seem to be able to get some itty bitty feeder roots but the stem always rots or mildews. These are the roses I currently have, let me know which would be easiest to try and which method to use on that type would be easiest (I know some of these are still patented and I won't root those, but if I knew which were easiest it still might give me some rhyme or reason as to figure out which types I should try). I'm hoping it might give me some roses to baby over the winter rather than just pouring over the rose catalogs over and over again or if all my easy to root varities are patented, I could do some research and see if I can find a common thread to find others that are easy that aren't patented:

The Fairy



Mr Lincoln

Fire Meidiland

Strike It Rich

Pat Austin

Zephirine Drouhin

Hot Cocoa

Full Moon rising

Mrs Woods Lavender Pink Noisette

Truly Yours

Teasing Georgia

Cherries N Cream

Double Delight

Chicago peace

Frederic Mistral

Distant Drums (I've heard this one is notoriously hard to root)

Crown Princess margarete

Pink Peace

Jac Drama (rachel louse Moran)

Rainbow Knockout

Carefree Sunshine

Blushing Knockout

Golden Celebration



Tahitian sunset

Christopher Marlowe

Autumn sunset

Sweet Fragrance

Abraham Darby

Prairie Breeze

Gold Busch

Mary Magdaline

Beauty Secret

Baby Darling

Party Girl





Heart n soul

Robin Hood

Rugosa (unknown variety)

Cardinal de Richeleau

Morden Sunrise

Yellow Doll

Victorian Memory

Madame Pierie Oger

Prairie Harvest

Lady of the Mist

Crystal Fairy

Glamis Castle

English Miss

Betty Harkness

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Hi, I have tried cuttings several times with no success. So a couple of days ago I tried layering some roses. It seems to have better success rate than cuttings plus I don't have to watch after them. I left the stems attached to the parent plant and buried part of the stem with the tip sticking out of the ground. I guess I'll just check them for roots next summer and see if it worked. Might be something you want to try with a few of your plants.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 2:47PM
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i think it would work well for some of the plants like westerland, autumn sunrise, or full moon rising - the climbers...i'm not sure the canes on some of the others are supple enough to do that..i might give air layering on some of the others a try next year though

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 4:48PM
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I haven't tried rooting many of the roses on your list (mostly because I prefer the old garden roses), but I would think you should be able to root Robin Hood and Mrs. Woods Lavender Noisette. Currently I am having success rooting Cardinal de Richelieu. I would imagine The Fairy would root readily, but I'm not sure whether it's patented.

I think timing is important. Certain roses will root better at certain times of the year. I have had some success rooting this summer with everything but albas, damasks and gallicas. I'll try them as dormant cuttings in another month or so. Also, I think it's critical to have the right type of rooting medium. I'm trying a few different ones right now, so I don't feel comfortable endorsing any of them yet.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 6:24AM
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thank-you! i think i'll try the fairy (definately not still patented introduced in 1932 in the UK and 1941 in the US), mrs woods, and robinhood this fall/winter. If you come across a good medium let me know and i'll do likewise :D

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 6:37PM
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elks(US5 Can6)

The Fairy is certainly easy to root. If only it had scent.
Pine fines (ground pine bark) are cheap and fairly easy to come by. They make a very good rooting medium, many feel as good as coir (ground coconut shells), which can be found at a hydroponics store.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 6:42AM
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irish_rose_grower(z7 LI NY)

HI, I am not good at rooting roses unless I do dormant cuttings -- which is really easy and works at least 50% of the time.

I've done it with many roses. I just wait till around Christmas or New years (whenever my roses are dormant). Take cuttings, scrape away the bottom 1/2 of outer covering of rose (at a loss for the proper wording right now). I then dip in rooting hormone (if I have it) and plant it close to the mother so I know which one it is. Then come spring/summer, they will usually leaf out and start to grow. I've been so inpatient sometimes and dig them up in spring to see if they rooted and lots of times they are calused over and starting to root.

I've also done dormant cuttings in big pots that are in my yard. Seems that about 40% of them took. So if i want a rose really badly, I'll take about 6 cuttings and usually will get at least one to root.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 8:57PM
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I'm not sure how I missed reading this thread earlier. Rooting roses and fiddling with them is how I spent my winter last year. Here's some random tips to get you started:

Many of the roses on your list are patented. Propagate them at your own risk. When in doubt, look up the introduction date -- I just don't propagate roses that are under 20 years old (the current length of a plant patent). There are tons of older roses on your list.

I have great success with hybrid teas. They have rooted very easily for me, though the bush itself may take a little longer to develop. Mrs Woods roots VERY easily, as do most of the noisettes. Chinas and teas also do very well... and ramblers.

Instead of going through it all here, I put a photo tutorial in the How To section on my web site to show how I did it last winter. (link below) It has all the details you should need to get started. As far as growing them over the winter, here's the set-up I put in my basement:

It's a chrome rack from Costco, cheap shop lights with daylight bulbs, and a Christmas light timer from HD to turn the lights on and off automatically.

If you have any more questions, just let me know.


Here is a link that might be useful: web site

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 7:18AM
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thank you! I was looking for the easiest to root because for some reason (I have yet to figure out) mine all seem to mildew (at least that's what i think it is - the stem usually loses all it's leaves and then sometimes turns black, or it might start to develop new leaves and itty bitty roots and then the stem turns black right near the soil line, usually the stem is still green higher up, just black at the line until it rots) and die before properly developing roots so I figured if i found the easier ones to root perhaps i could regulate the humidity (and hopefully mildew) a little better if they grew roots faster and then develop my technique from there. I was also wondering if maybe it was a heat issue? I have the rack, lightbulbs,etc from last years fiasco. I kept the roses on the first floor so I just turned the lights on and off every morning when I got up (5am) and off when i went to bed (midnight usually) so I didn't use a timer, but I didn't use anything to really keep them warm. I figured they were at room temp so that should've worked but maybe it didn't.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 1:33PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

It sounds more like canker. Usually caused by the rooting medium being too moist. Roses that root faster do have much less trouble with problems like this.

What are you using for a rooting medium? We use seed starting mix with extra perlite added to make it hold less water. Heat h as not seemed to ever be an issue for us with the caveat that teas and chinas are not among our successes. Cuttings live in the basement, which is reasonably comfortable most of the time.

Personally, I don't have much luck with cuttings at this time of year. Other people do. It's just one of those things.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 2:31PM
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i've tried lots of things for the rooting medium - maybe i've been a little too vigorous in misting them trying to prevent what i may have been causing

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 11:04AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

So long as there is condensation on the inside of the covering plastic, they don't particularly need misting. We use baggies for small batches of cuttings, and have left them for as long as a week while we were on vacation. They were fine.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 12:47PM
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elks(US5 Can6)

I have lost cuttings as you have, by them becoming black, sometimes with the inside of the bottle becoming a hive of mold. In my case, the cuttings had rooted and started new canes. The culprit turned out to be too much humidity in the bottle. I have not had the problem since taking the bottle caps off after new canes develop.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 7:14AM
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thank you everyone...i now have a new project for the boring winter months...maybe, just maybe, i'll be able to successfully root something!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 10:51AM
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What Steve said is my experience as well. As soon as the roses are rooted well (I can see the roots through the milk jug they're in), I remove the cap from the soda bottle to acclimate the cutting to lower humidity.

Sometimes, despite doing everything 'right', cuttings fail without any logical reason. You can have the right media, a quality cutting, good light, adequate humidity .... and the little things turn toes up and die anyway. Hopefully, the successes you will have will make up for the inevitable failures.

As always, if you need help, just let me know.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 4:09PM
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The more I try to root cuttings, the more convinced I am that the "timing" of the cutting has a major significance in the success or failure. Certain varieties will root better in July while others will REFUSE to root in July, for example. Some varieties will probably root just about anytime....simply by giving them an opportunity.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 7:44AM
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I think that the size and vigor of the parent plant has something to do with readiness to root. A plant that is tough to root one year might do great the next year if it has become more vigorous.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 8:55PM
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I have found that you need to spray the foliage with fungicide B/4 you cover with plastic bottles or whatever you use to keep them moist. I also use Sunshine Mix #4 as the potting medium as recommended by George Mander. Works extremely well. I spray the foliage with fungicide again every 3-4 weeks. It is a fun winter hobby. Kathy

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 10:28AM
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gnabonnand(Zone 8 Texas)

I'm not sure how to root a rose in a cold zone like zone 5, but in my garden my best luck has come when I just stick the cutting in the ground under the shade of the momma plant or in good garden soil on the east facing side of the house. I water them often, especially the first few weeks. China roses & old tea roses (not hybrid-teas) are by far the easiest & most rewarding for me.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2008 at 12:05AM
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I want to let you know that I really enjoy your website, telling about your upcoming nursery!

Best luck to you.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 7:41PM
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I have started using rockwool for my cuttings and had great success using a rooting gel instead of powder. Rooting gel is a little more pricey, but it does not wash away as easy.

I found ebay to be the cheapest on rockwool plugs.

I put mine in a plastic clear container and cover with another one just like it.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 11:17PM
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Mary Magdeline and The Knockouts root easily.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 8:57AM
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