How to Grow Roses from Rose Calyx: A Great Idea

Growing roses from rose calyxes is an exciting and economical way to propagate these iconic flowers. Instead of buying new plants, you can use the calyxes left behind after roses have bloomed to grow new roses. This method not only allows you to expand your rose garden but also lets you preserve and propagate your favorite rose varieties. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore step-by-step how to successfully grow roses from rose calyxes.

1. Understanding the Rose Calyx

The calyx of a rose is the green, leaf-like structure located at the base of the flower. It surrounds the petals and provides support to the bloom. After a rose has finished blooming, the petals eventually drop off, leaving behind the calyx. This structure contains the seed pod of the rose, which can be used to grow new plants.

Benefits of Growing Roses from Calyxes:

  • Cost-effective: You can propagate roses without purchasing new plants.
  • Preservation: Maintain and expand your collection of favorite rose varieties.
  • Rewarding: Witness the entire growth process from calyx to blooming rose.

2. Selecting Healthy Rose Calyxes

Choosing healthy rose calyxes is crucial to successful propagation. Look for calyxes from roses that have just finished blooming and are still fresh and plump. Avoid calyxes that appear dry, damaged, or diseased.

Tips for Selecting Rose Calyxes:

  • Freshness: Harvest calyxes soon after the petals have fallen off.
  • Health: Choose calyxes from disease-free roses with strong, healthy stems.
  • Variety: Select calyxes from roses that you enjoy and want to propagate.

3. Harvesting Rose Calyxes

Harvesting rose calyxes involves carefully removing them from the stem of the spent rose bloom. This process is straightforward but requires gentle handling to avoid damaging the calyxes.

Steps to Harvest Rose Calyxes:

  • Wait for Petal Drop: Allow the rose petals to naturally drop off after the bloom has faded.
  • Cutting Technique: Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut the calyx along with a few inches of the stem. Make the cut just below the calyx, ensuring you leave enough stem for handling.
  • Handle with Care: Handle the calyxes delicately to prevent bruising or tearing.

4. Preparing Rose Calyx Cuttings

Once you have harvested the rose calyxes, the next step is to prepare them for rooting. This involves removing excess foliage and preparing the stems for planting.

Preparation Steps:

  • Remove Excess Foliage: Trim off any remaining leaves on the stem, leaving only a few leaves near the top of the cutting.
  • Trimming the Stem: Cut the stem just below the calyx to create a cutting that is approximately 4-6 inches long. Make a clean, angled cut to promote healthy rooting.
  • Optional: Dip in Rooting Hormone: Some gardeners choose to dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone powder or gel to encourage faster root development.

5. Planting Rose Calyx Cuttings

After preparing the rose calyx cuttings, it’s time to plant them in a suitable rooting medium. This could be a potting mix designed for rooting or a blend of perlite and peat moss that provides good aeration and moisture retention.

Planting Instructions:

  • Choose Containers: Use small pots or trays filled with the rooting medium. Ensure the containers have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  • Insert the Cuttings: Make a hole in the rooting medium using a pencil or dibber. Insert the cutting into the hole, gently pressing the soil around the stem to secure it.
  • Spacing: Plant multiple cuttings in the same container, spacing them a few inches apart to allow for root development.
  • Watering: Water the cuttings thoroughly after planting to settle the soil around the stems. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged during the rooting process.

6. Providing Optimal Growing Conditions

Successful rooting and growth of rose calyx cuttings require specific environmental conditions. Providing proper care ensures healthy development and encourages robust root growth.

Ideal Growing Conditions:

  • Light: Place the containers in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sun exposure, which can scorch the tender cuttings.
  • Temperature: Maintain a consistent temperature of around 65-75°F (18-24°C). Avoid extremes of heat or cold, which can stress the cuttings.
  • Humidity: Keep the humidity levels moderate around the cuttings. You can increase humidity by covering the containers with a clear plastic bag or using a humidity dome.
  • Ventilation: Ensure good air circulation around the cuttings to prevent fungal diseases. Remove any covering periodically to allow for air exchange.

7. Rooting and Growth

Root development typically takes several weeks, during which time you should monitor the cuttings for signs of growth. Once roots have formed and the cuttings have established themselves, they can be transplanted into larger pots or directly into the garden.

Signs of Rooting:

  • New Growth: Look for signs of new leaves or shoots emerging from the stem.
  • Tug Test: Perform a gentle tug test after a few weeks to check for resistance, indicating that roots have formed.
  • Transplanting: When roots are well-established (usually after 6-8 weeks), carefully transplant the young plants into larger pots or their permanent outdoor location.

8. Caring for Young Rose Plants

After transplanting, caring for young rose plants involves ongoing maintenance to promote healthy growth and flowering.

Care Tips:

  • Watering: Continue to water the plants regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot.
  • Fertilizing: Feed the young plants with a balanced fertilizer formulated for roses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates and frequency.
  • Pruning: As the plants grow, prune them lightly to encourage bushy growth and remove any dead or damaged stems.
  • Protection: Protect young plants from pests and diseases by monitoring regularly and taking prompt action if issues arise.

9. Transplanting Established Rose Plants

Once your propagated rose plants have grown and developed strong roots, they can be transplanted into their permanent garden location.

Transplanting Steps:

  • Choose a Location: Select a sunny spot with well-draining soil for planting your roses.
  • Prepare the Soil: Amend the planting area with compost or organic matter to improve soil structure and fertility.
  • Digging Holes: Dig holes slightly larger than the root ball of each plant, spacing them according to the mature size of the roses.
  • Planting: Carefully remove the young plants from their pots and place them in the prepared holes. Backfill with soil and gently firm around the roots.
  • Watering: Water the newly planted roses thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots. Provide supplemental watering as needed to establish the plants.

10. Enjoying Your Home-Grown Roses

Growing roses from rose calyxes is a rewarding process that allows you to enjoy the beauty and fragrance of these beloved flowers in your own garden. With proper care and attention, your propagated roses will flourish and bloom, adding color and charm to your outdoor space.

Benefits of Growing Roses from Calyxes:

  • Variety: Preserve and propagate your favorite rose varieties.
  • Satisfaction: Experience the joy of nurturing plants from their earliest stages.
  • Economical: Save money by propagating roses rather than purchasing new plants.


Growing roses from rose calyxes is a fulfilling and sustainable way to expand your garden and enjoy an abundance of beautiful roses. By following these step-by-step instructions—from selecting healthy calyxes to caring for young plants—you can successfully propagate roses and create a stunning display in your garden.

Have you tried growing roses from calyxes? Share your experiences, tips, and favorite rose varieties with us in the comments below. Let’s celebrate the beauty of roses together!

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