Grow rose bush from wedding bouquet– or use any roses you get from the florist

October 15, 2013

David Clark propagate rose from wedding bouquetby Connie Oswald Stofko

A reader came across the story we did awhile back on starting plants from cuttings and left a question in the comments section.

“How do I root roses from the florist?” asked Tina Strength. “How do I start them rooting and growing?”

This question intrigued me. It never even occurred to me that you might be able to grow a plant from a rose you get in a bouquet from the florist.

I turned to David Clark, the local horticulturist who teaches the series of horticulture class at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. He says that yes, you can indeed start a plant from a cut rose, and he shows us how to do that in this video.

This is such a cool idea! It would be so romantic to have a piece of your wedding bouquet or other special roses growing year after year in your yard. This would also be a fun way to propagate rose plants that no one else in your neighborhood has.

In the video below, Clark shows us step by step how to propagate a rose you get from the florist.

He points out that the plant that results from this propagation technique will be an own-root rose. He explains how that compares to the grafted roses that we usually grow in our gardens in Western New York.

You can learn more about rooting all sorts of plants in Clark’s hands-on class on basic propagation to be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo. The cost is $20 for Botanical Garden members and $25 for non-members.

And check out these other videos with Clark:

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31 Responses to Grow rose bush from wedding bouquet– or use any roses you get from the florist

  1. Donna on October 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    That is a great idea and wonderful instructions. I won’t be having another wedding ever, but it works on any rose.

  2. David Clark on October 16, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Thank you Donna.
    I’m happy to read that you enjoyed the video and commentary!!
    Best Regards,
    David Clark

  3. Peggy Nash on October 16, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I have done this successfully on a couple occasions. I have one currently that I started from a rose in my son’s yard during the summer. I was wondering if I could bury the pot in soil outside and keep it until spring that way, maybe repot it into a larger container first. My house is usually cool and has few appropriate bright places.

  4. claudia burdick on October 16, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    what about growing a plant from an existing rose bush?

  5. david clark on October 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Hello, Peggy Nash!
    Congratulations on your Success!!
    I would recommend to not plant your rooted rose stem cutting outdoors at this time. Our weather WILL take a turn to Winter sooner than we think. Outdoor plants need at least a 6 week acclimatization period to get their roots really good into the ground. Otherwise, there is the chance for the plant to ‘heave out’ of the ground by the ‘freeze-thaw’ cycle. At this point, I’m hoping you have already transplanted the rooted stem into a soil-filled pot. You will have to keep the rose plant growing from now until next Spring – remember our ‘safe’ planting date in WNY is around Memorial Day. Please provide the rose plant with as much sun as possible and water appropriately…a bit of water soluble fertilizer will help! – I recommend artificial light conditions to be your best bet.
    Best Regards,
    David Clark

  6. david clark on October 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Hello Claudia Burdick!
    Thank you for this great question!!
    I’m unclear of what you mean by ‘growing a plant from an existing rose bush’.
    There is a technique called ‘pegging’ or natural stem layering- where one would ‘nick’ or ‘wound’ the bottom of the cane so as to cause the plant to send rooting and protective hormones to the injury site. That stem is then weighted down to a bit below the soil level with a rock or a ‘peg’ stake and the area covered by soil. By next Spring, HOPEFULLY – the stem will have produced roots, and you may then separate that stem from the Mother plant. Good luck and keep me posted!!

    Best Regards,
    David Clark

  7. Adnan Kan on March 2, 2014 at 2:21 am

    I live in Pakistan, South East Asia and temperature remain in between 35 degrees from April to October. Is there any possibility to still grow roses. I do not understand few point so please guide me step by step.

    * Can I use fertilized soil instead of pro line?
    * Do we have to keep it in sun or away from the sun. If sun light is required than how long it should be in sun light.

    * How may time do we have to give water or we just keep spray to keep it moist?

  8. david clark on March 2, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Good morning Adnan.
    Thank you for the great questions. I’m happy that we connected this morning on Facebook and that I was able share some propagation tips with you.

  9. Rosie on March 7, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I had been keeping a bouquet of Valentine roses “alive” for 2 weeks when I noticed that green shoots were sprouting from the stems ! I cut them and have been growing them ! Excited to ( maybe ) have a rose bush or two from a bouquet !

  10. Connie on March 7, 2014 at 11:14 am

    How exciting! Let us know how it works for you.

  11. David Clark on March 7, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Good morning Rosie,
    Kudos for: (a) Taking good care of your roses for 2 weeks and (b) Getting new growth! I’m hoping you watched the video for tips and have those stems in an appropriate propagating container, yes? Remember that it takes 6 -> 8 weeks for rooting to occur.
    David Clark

  12. Rosie on March 7, 2014 at 11:26 am

    oops ! Yes ! I meant to comment further—I searched for assistance this morning because I have no clue as to what I am doing! Thankfully– I found your video and got educated ! Thanks so much !

  13. Katie Ahlfield on July 10, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Hello, is it possible you could type up the instructions or what was said in the video? I am deaf, and used the “CC” off of this video and it did not translate majority of what you said, I believe. That would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!!

  14. Connie on July 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Katie, the closed captions didn’t work well at all! Many of the words that were typed were not even close to what David Clark said, so it’s all gibberish. That’s so disappointing. Let me see if I can find a speech recognition program that can create a reliable transcript without me having to spend many, many hours typing out my videos. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  15. Katie Ahlfield on July 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I know, right. Thank you so much for looking into it! :)

  16. Aisha Ahmed on August 15, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Can we use honey for rooting?

  17. david clark on August 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Hello Aisha!
    Yes, I have heard of honey being used to facilitate propagating plants. However, honey is more of an antiseptic than a rooting hormone. Consider this: should we cut a finger, recognized advice is to clean the wound with an antiseptic, i.e. alcohol/peroxide, etc. and then apply antibiotic ointment to assist in healing. One without the other is better than nothing, but both together work great. The same applies to our plant rooting process…
    Thank you for asking and I hope I answered your question!
    Best Regards,
    David Clark

  18. Hira Mallick Imam on September 11, 2014 at 6:06 am

    After reading your blog I have decided to try out this experiment. But before that I just want to confirm whether propagating roses through this method will actually yeild flowers of the same kind as the rose stem we started from.

    Novice gardener

  19. Hira Mallick Imam on September 11, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Forgot to mention that I am from Karachi, Pakistan.

  20. david clark on September 11, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Good morning Hira-
    Thank you for asking your question all the way from Karachi!
    The process I demonstrate in the the video is ‘asexual’ propagation. Therefore the flower will be ‘true’ to the original stem. We are not transferring genetic material as in pollination or inserting chromosomes as in g.m.o. reproduction.
    Keep me posted on your progress!
    Kind Regards,

  21. Hira Mallick Imam on September 11, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Great okay, thank you so much!

  22. Hira Mallick Imam on September 16, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Hey again,

    The rose stems I potted using this method hace turned brown. :(

    Does this mean they’re dead? Is there any chance that they may still grow into rose bushes?

  23. david clark on September 19, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Hello Hira-
    Unfortunately, once the stems turn brown there is no life left in them, and they will not grow into rose bushes.


  24. aisha on October 17, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    can I substitute pro line with anything else. looking forward to experimenting with growing roses from the stem

  25. david clark on October 18, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Good Morning Aisha!
    Thank you for your question!
    Perlite is only one type of rooting material. You can also use vermiculite [which may be better in your area because it holds more moisture], a 50-50 mix of peat moss and sand, & 50-50 vermiculite and peat moss I have even heard of folks being successful rooting plants in potatoes!

  26. Penny on November 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm


    I loved your video. The question is…..I live between Houston and the Gulf coast. Can I try this now? Our weather is so warm, fall is when I change up my landscaping. Thanks, Penny

  27. david clark on November 11, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Hey there, Penny!!
    Thank you for liking my video!
    I think your gardening season near Houston is perfect for propagating roses stems-
    I would recommend NOT doing the procedure in full sun…under a shrub, or a shady exposure would be best. If you are considering rooting directly in your soil, which may be sandy, consider adding compost to boost the organic matter and to feed the soil organisms.
    Some folks have great results when rooting in garden beds, and covering the rose stems with quart glass jars to create a ‘greenhouse effect’.
    Best of Luck and keep me posted on your results!!

  28. Yuridia on January 4, 2015 at 1:53 am

    I have a question, could you use store soil instead or I have to use that? Would it still grow?

  29. david clark on January 4, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Good morning Yuridia!
    Thank you for your question!
    I am wondering what part of the world you hail from?
    If you are referring to purchasing soil from a plant store, yes, you can use that. I would recommend using one that is a blend of peat moss, maybe coir,perlite and vermiculite. This mix would be ‘sterile out of the bag.” I would not recommend the ‘garden soil’ types that are heavy and dark in color.
    Best of luck with propagating roses!
    David Clark

  30. casey phillips on January 20, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I was wondering if this Ryan did work. Like somebody tried it and in 5 weeks or so was like “it works….it works”. The reason I ask is because I lost my mother rather suddenly a few days ago and she loved roses. That was what the flowers were for her service. My dad is doing this process now and will be heartbroken if it doesn’t work.

  31. Connie on January 20, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Casey, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. What a difficult time this is for your family. While growing a rose bush this way should work, there is nothing in gardening that is 100 percent certain. I hope it does work for you and your father and that you can find some comfort in the process.

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