How Do I Make My Rose Fuller?

“I had a question about roses. I have a rose bush that blooms by itself every year. I was wondering if there is a way to make it more full or expand it. Thanks!” Question from Lisa of New York, New York

Answer: The best way to encourage a bushier rose is by pruning. Cutting your rose back in later winter to spring will give your rose a fuller, bushier habit. To learn how to prune roses, see the video below.

You can also consider taking cuttings from your rose, if you really like it and want more starts. Overall, roses are very easy to propagate from cuttings, and it’s an easy way to get free roses. Propagating roses is a project best done in summer because roses that have recently bloomed root best. Here’s how:

Rooting Rose Cuttings

Using a sharp knife or pruners, cut stem tips of a rose that has recently bloomed. Cuts should be at a 45-degree angle and the cuttings should be 6 to 8 inches long and have at least three buds along the stem. Cut off the old rose at the top, and remove any leaves from the bottom 3 inches of the cutting. Place the cuttings in cool water.

Prepare a 6″ pot with a mix of one part vermiculite to one part perlite. Wet the mix down, and place a saucer below the pot to catch water. Remove the cuttings from the water and dip them in rooting hormone powder. Dibble out 3″ holes in the mix, and stick at least three cuttings in the pot, being sure to press the mix firmly around them. Keep the cuttings in bright, indirect light in a cool room. Water them just enough to keep the mix moist, not wet.

Rose cuttings can take one to two months to root, sometimes longer. Once they have begun to root, you can upgrade them into a small pot filled with Black Gold All Purpose Mix, and place them in the sun. When they grow further and leaf out well, plant them outdoors!

Happy Rose Growing!

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist



Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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