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

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:

124 Comments on “Grow rose bush from wedding bouquet– or use any roses you get from the florist

  1. Hello David first off I would like to say I love your name.my husband now passed had that wonderful name.I love the video I will try it my son gave me Beautiful orange roses for Valentine’s day.something my husband did ever year. So I sure do hope this will work. I will let you know my progress.thank you again.love is so much in my Heart.thank you thank you .

  2. Hello Victoria!
    Thank you so much for your kind words, and my condolences for the passing of your husband.
    The biblical name “David” means “Well-beloved”, “Dear”,; and in Welch (which I have that heritage)…”Friend” and also the patron Saint of Wales… I am sure your husband was all of these!
    A bit of flower lore on Orange roses: Orange roses can be used to express intense desire, pride and fervor. They also convey a sense of fascination. These flowers rival only the red roses as messengers of passion in romance… no wonder why your husband chose these for Valentine’s Day, and I am hoping your Son will continue the thoughtful tradition – my Momma also loves orange roses!
    Do keep me posted on your progress!, and many thanks for your comment.
    Warm regards,
    David Clark

  3. Hello,
    This video was very helpful and easy to understand.
    I followed the instructions and have four rose plants growing. I started the plants six days ago and one of them has a bud already.

    Should I leave the bud alone?
    I’m just unsure what to do.

    Thanks so much for your help!

  4. Hello Christina!
    Congratulations on your success!
    At this point in time, I would leave the buds alone and let the root initiation process complete.
    Do keep me posted on your progress!
    Regards,
    David

  5. You do not say what to do with the stem cutting for the 6-8 weeks that it is in the plastic while waiting for it to root. How often does it need watering? How often do you mist? What type of sun does it get? What temperature? Thank you!

  6. David, I grow mostly antiques and have been propagating from cuttings for a long time but simply could not get one particular modern to root. One of my rose rustler pals told me it was because the South American grower treated the buds with a chemical to prevent me from doing just that! Rats. I found this video while searching for the name of that chemical – do you know it?

    I know we aren’t supposed to clone patented roses but I am unable to buy the bush in the USA (I tried) and I don’t want to sell it, I just want to grow a bush on my patio. So thanks, and I’ll give your method a try.

  7. I have two large rose bushes from last year. Will I cut just a stem or cut into the root to create more bushes?

  8. I was thrilled when my bouquet began to sprout and have actual buds on it. I followed all instructions, but unfortunately when taken outside, they gradually died. I wish I had just put them on patio with minimal sun, in Miami, it just didn’t work.

  9. Hello Sharon Price!
    The important part of the rooting process is to keep the humidity high inside the rooting bag, as the cutting has no roots of it’s own. It does/should have leaves on it for photosynthesis, although the green stem will photosynthesize and create food for the cutting. Sunlight should be bright, but not direct. Temperature is best at 72°F-75°F – bottom heat preferred. Rooting should take place in 6-8 weeks. It is good to gradually open the plastic bag once new growth is visible at the leaf nodes to allow CO2 and O2 gas exchange.
    I hope this is helpful!
    Regards,
    David Clark, CNLP

  10. Hello Kristi!
    I would not cut into the root area of your rose plant for propagation as most modern Hybrids are grafted plants. The scion (the top part of the plant that exhibits desirable traits) are bud grafted on the rootstock (the underground portion that lends vigorous root growth) the to scion. Cutting into the root stock will yield you an wildy-growing rose, with flowers unlike to top portion.
    For more information on rootstock for roses, read this article:
    http://scvrs.homestead.com/rootstock.html
    Therefore, I would stick to rooting the top-plant stems.
    I hope I suplied you with the information you are looking for!
    Regards,
    David Clark, CNLP

  11. Hello Kristi!
    I would not cut into the root area of your rose plant for propagation as most modern Hybrids are grafted plants. The scion (the top part of the plant that exhibits desirable traits) are bud grafted on the rootstock (the underground portion that lends vigorous root growth) the to scion. Cutting into the root stock will yield you an wildy-growing rose, with flowers unlike to top portion.
    For more information on rootstock for roses, read this article:
    http://scvrs.homestead.com/rootstock.html
    Therefore, I would stick to rooting the top-plant stems.
    I hope I supplied you with the information you are looking for!
    Regards,
    David Clark, CNLP

  12. Hello Joyce!
    Yes, I understand your frustration with the demise of your plant! Rooted cuttings should gradually be hardened off (acclimatized to outdoor conditions) over a period of a week or two, The best way to do this is to open the bag covering your rooting chamber, and place it outdoors in a shaded position, perhaps under a leafy shrub. Make sure to monitor the container for moisture, as you do not want it to dry out. Once your cuttings are exhibiting good growth, you may them plant them in the ground observing regular rose planting instructions,
    I hope I supplied you with the information you are looking for!
    Regards,
    David Clark, CNLP

  13. What a great treat to watch you and see someone so charming from back home. I remember my dear mother sticking bouquet roses in the ground and putting jars over them. She created five bushes, each a different color for her five daughters. You just proved to me I didn’t imagine it.
    Thank you.

  14. Indeed you are. Living in Charlotte, NC has it’s privileges, but, oh how I miss lilacs and lilies of the valley. And yes, snow!

  15. Hi. Can we use anything else than perlite? Every single bag of pear lite I have ordered is mostly dust and I can’t be sure if that would work. Thank you

  16. Wow! I was just looking to see if anyone has tryed to roots roses this way and you were the first on the list that poped up . I love the roses you get in a bouquet and down in South Fla. They dont look that way when you buy them and i know its the tipe of roses they are and this is great to know . Thank you very much . If you ever do a class down here I will be there. Thank you again. My daughter works at Flamingo Botanical Gardens in Davie If you come down you need to see it . Its wonderful.

  17. Hello Rita Vogel!
    Thank you so much for your kind words! The video was fun to shoot and I am happy that many people have found inspiration in the technique.
    Sometimes the old ways are the best ways…The jars over the stems created the prefect growing conditions to grow roses from cuttings – I saw it too when I was growing up in Eden, NY, in gardens tended to by wise folks.
    Regards,
    David Clark, CNLP

  18. Hello Elvisa!
    Thank you for your question and your thoughts on perlite. Do try to buy a larger grade of perlite. A good size to use is U.S. Mesh #3, which is about the size of a pea. Smaller particles may pack down with a resulting loss of aeration in the rooting container.
    Yes, Perlite looks dusty in the bag, however, I do rinse mine or at least moisten the contents of the bag before using it, as the dust can be irritating to the lungs.
    Sand can also be used as long as you add 1/4 to 1/3 parts peat moss to help retain moisture in this mix.
    I have also heard, although not experimented with, using potatoes as a rooting medium. A stem is inserted into a potato, and then the potato with the stem inserted is buried in the ground about three inches deep.
    Plants are amazing, yes?
    Regards,
    David Clark, CNLP

  19. Hello Lisa Novella Day!
    The internet is an amazing resource to learn about plants, and I am happy that you found my video!
    Yes, there are many types of roses. The ones folks get in bouquets are painstakingly and lovingly grown in optimum conditions on commercial growing ranges in many places around the world, mainly Colombia and Ecuador. Miami is main importing hub of the floral trade from these growing areas.
    It would be wonderful one day to be able to teach classes at Flamingo Botanical Gardens!
    Thank you so much for your question and observations!
    Regards,
    David Clark, CNLP

  20. Hello Clarence Guidry!
    My apologies for seeing your wonderful question regarding holes in the bottom of the rooting container. One can root stems in water, however, root systems from water have a different oxygen level than the soil they will eventually be potted into. The perlite acts as ‘in-between’ oxygen level media, so the root system will not have to start from scratch again, once planted in soil.
    The rooting hormone has a fungicide incorporated into it that suppresses rotting issues.
    The plastic bag should still be used, even in Louisiana- just make sure to keep the set-up out of direct, hot sun. An east facing exposure would be best.
    There is a fine line between too much and too little moisture. I would not mist the stems daily, however, in commercial propagation operations, the rooting material stems are inserted in a growing media, and placed under automatic misting systems, but without the bag. Being grown on benches, they have optimal air-movement around them.
    We are trying to duplicate this high humidity using the plastic bag. I would recommend monitoring the water level in the container as being more important than the air humidity (that will be regulated by the plastic bag).
    A wonderful question that I am sure many folks have also wondered about!
    Keep me posted on your successes!!!
    Regards,
    David Clark, CNLP

  21. David, I have a bouquet of miniature roses given to my daughter on August 8, 2018. The flowers are dying but the stems are growing leaves. I would like to root them so I can plant in the yard. They are still in the vase and when the water gets low I give them rain water. Any suggestions on how to root these? Any advise would be appreciated. Thank you and God bless!

  22. Hello Rene!
    Learning to propagate plants is a rewarding experience and I am glad to hear of your interest in the technique.
    The video explains the process of rooting rose stems and I hope you will give it a view.
    Do keep me posted on your progress!
    Regards,
    David Clark, CNLP

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