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Can You Split Rose Bushes?

Brenda Asked

Can you split rose bushes?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Brenda: Roses cannot be split/divided as we can some perennials. If your rose has grown too big for its space, you can prune it to maintain a suitable size. This should be done during the winter months while the rose is dormant or early spring before new growth begins. Pruning at other times of the year will remove potential flowers. As a general rule, it is best not to remove more than one-third of the size of the rose in one season. If you are wondering about creating more than one rose from your current planting, the best way to go about doing this is propagation by cuttings. Spring or early summer is the best time to take your cuttings. Use a clean/sharp pair of pruners and take your cuttings from the newest growth. The cuttings should be 6-8 inches long. Remove all foliage except for the top leaves and dip the end of the cutting in water and then a rooting hormone, which you should be able to find at your local garden center. Plant your cuttings in small containers filled with a vermiculite, perlite mixture or any good container mix. Place in a bright place but out of the full sun. Keep the soil evenly moist. Your cutting should root in 6-8 weeks. You can tug gently on the cutting to see if it has rooted yet. Gradually work it into full sun so the new growth will not burn.

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