Rosa rugosa is a type of rose that grows in sprawling shrub form, making it perfect for a hedge or living fence. The deep-pink or red flowers grace the plant all summer, attracting bumblebees and hummingbirds to the landscape. In late summer, the blooms are replaced by plump rose hips, which will turn bright red in early autumn. Take a cutting in early summer to propagate Rosa rugosa the easy and inexpensive way.
Select a shoot from your Rosa rugosa that bends easily and breaks with a snap. Don't take cuttings from young stems that bend but won't break, or old stems that are too tough to bend.
Cut a piece of stem about the size of a pencil, and about 10 cm (4 inches) long, using a sharp pair of clippers. Choose a cutting with at least three leaves, but no more than five. Take several cuttings to increase the chance that at least one will take root.
Put each cutting in a plastic zip-close bag, along with a wet paper towel. Seal the bag. Place the bags in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.
Fill a planting tray with a mixture of commercial potting soil and perlite. Set the tray in a saucer of water until the soil is wet clear through, but not dripping.
Dip the cut end of each cutting in rooting hormone. Remove any leaves that will be below the soil. Leave the upper leaves in place, but cut them in half width-wise to minimise loss of moisture and energy.
Plant the cuttings in the planting tray. Put stakes in the tray. Cover the tray with clear plastic. The stakes will keep the plastic from touching the cuttings' leaves.
Put the tray where it will receive indirect light. Avoid putting it in a windowsill, because the plastic will store the heat and burn the cuttings.
Set the planting tray in a saucer of water when the soil appears dry. Keeping a high level of humidity is crucial, but never drench the soil -- it can cause disease and rot.
Check in four or five weeks to see if the cuttings have rooted. Pull gently on the stem of a cutting; if you feel resistance, it's very likely it has developed roots.
Repot each cutting that has developed roots in a 10 cm (4 inch) pot. Put the pots in a well-lit spot. Keep the cuttings moist until spring, when you can plant your new Rosa rugosa plants in the garden.
Things you need
- Plastic zip-close bag
- Paper towels
- Planting tray
- Potting soil
- Rooting hormone
- Clear plastic
- 10 cm (4 inch) pots