by Sandy Swegel
This is going to be a short post because it only takes moments to act now to have free rose bushes growing in your yard next spring. No lights, heaters, no fussing.
The internet often calls this method of rose propagation “Grandma’s Mason Jar Method” because it’s how pioneer gardeners brought their favorite roses across the country. And that’s how I learned it from a grandma and esteemed rosarian years ago.
What you need:
A cutting from the end of a mature rose cane. About 8 inches. (Not the soft green growth of late summer but a cane that had a rose on it. )
A quart mason jar or plastic jar.
Decide where you want the rose to grow. You’re going to put the cutting exactly where you want it. No transplanting needed. Put some water and mud in the jar and swish around. This is to make the jar more opaque. (Here in Colorado we have to worry about harsh winter sun frying the cutting.)
Prepare the place the rose is going to go…it should be decent garden soil. Water it if the soil is very dry.
Push the cutting about 3 or 4 inches into the soil and tamper in. Put jar over cutting.
Now leave it alone until next May or June. Seriously. No peeking or opening it up for air on warm April days. Leave it alone. Water the area if the soil dries out terribly. Let leaves drift on top of it. Just let nature do what nature does.
Not every cultivar of rose propagates easily, but many do. Do lots of cuttings, each with their own jar, to increase the odds of success. My gardening friends have used this technique in harsh Colorado weather and it’s just a miracle.
Photos and more info: