Long stem roses are classic, iconic, and make beautiful bouquets. Whether given as a gift on Mother’s Day or your birthday or taken from a wedding or funeral arrangement, they represent love and caring and many hate to see them die after a week in a vase. In just ten minutes, however, you can use those stems to regrow a beautiful bush that will thrive and bloom for many years to come.
What You Need
Healthy bouquet stems (2 or more)
Sharp knife or garden shears
Clear plastic or other greenhouse covering
Antiseptic (honey, willow tea, cinnamon, or aspirin)
Choose the stems you want to use for your cuttings. Non-hybrid roses – standard red, white, or yellow ones – have the best chance of rooting. Make sure your stems are healthy, with no mold or other signs of decay.
Make sure the bottoms are cut clean. Trim your stems at an angle (25-45 degrees), leaving to small nodes or buds on them. You can trim off the leaves or keep them on.
If you have a rooting hormone, apply liberally to the bottom of the stem. Antiseptics and antifungals can also be applied directly to the stem, used as a watering amendment, or mixed directly into the soil.
To use aspirin as a rooting hormone/antiseptic, dilute one 200mg tablet in 1 gallon of water.
Fill your container with a high-quality potting mix. Aged compost or top soil mixed with well-rotted manure works great if you prefer not to buy commercial mixes. Place the cut stems into the mix deep enough so that at least one node is covered and pack the top layer to hold them stem in place.
Water your stems as needed. The soil should feel damp, like a wrung sponge, not wet. If you live in an arid climate, you may want to add a layer of mulch on top the soil to help with water retention.
Place your greenhouse covering over the plant and put it in a sunny place. Your greenhouse covering can be a recycled beverage container or even a plastic bag. It just needs to be clear or white to let in sunshine and not cut off ventilation to the plant. The greenhouse covering will help retain humidity around the plant, keeping the soil moist for optimal growth.
Rooted cuttings can take between two and four weeks to really take. The cutting will still be green and may show some new growth if it has rooted properly. If not, discard the stems and try again.
When you’re sure that your cuttings have rooted, you can transfer them into a permanent container or your garden. Remember that roses love potassium, so bury a banana peel in the ground with your new bush to help it thrive and flower.