How to Grow and Preserve Roses

Roses are beautiful to see and smell, they are also symbolic of many of life’s precious moments. They are flowers that are given to show love in many ways.


The red rose for passionate love, the yellow rose for friendship, and the white rose for sympathy, but also purity. With so much meaning, it is not surprising that roses are one of the most popular garden flowers.

Here we look at how to grow roses and how to preserve them to enjoy out of season. Each method of preservation has disadvantages, so you can sidestep all these by going direct to the experts at In the meantime, here is how to grow roses and how to preserve them too.

Growing From Seeds


Rose seeds need to be planted about 0.5cm deep into seeding compost trays, with about another 7 cm for the roots to grow. The soil should be very moist but not soaking wet, then the tray is sealed in a plastic bag and placed in a refrigerator for 10 to 12 weeks.

After this time, the tray is moved to a warm environment of around 21 Celsius (70 Fahrenheit) when they will start to sprout over two to three weeks. Once the rose seeds have sprouted, they can be transplanted into other pots, without touching the roots at all.

The seedlings are vulnerable to overwatering, but plenty of light, good ventilation and some fertilizer at half the recommended strength will see them thrive. You may want to use a fungicide at this time. If you do get disease or pests, it is best to destroy those seedlings and just keep the strongest. Be patient, and you will get the flowers.

Growing From Cuttings

rose bush

If you want copies of an existing rose bush, chose a plant that is strong and healthy. You need to wait until the petals have withered and take the cutting in the morning when the plant is well hydrated.

You can get several cuttings from one stem. Choose a stem between a withered bloom and the rose's woody base. From this stem, remove the petals and stem tip. Right above the first set of leaves at the top, cut the stem at a 45-degree angle. Cut again above the last set of leaves at the stem's bottom and immediately put the stems into water.

Each stem can then be cut into lengths so that each has four nodes, which is where the leaves grow from. Remove all the leaves EXCEPT for one set at the top of each cutting.

Dip the bottom half of the rose into rooting powder and using a pencil or thin stick, make a hole about 8 – 10cm deep. Pop the cutting into the hole and make everything up to at least two of the nodes are covered, and then firm the soil around it.

Caring For New Rose Cuttings


Create a mini hothouse around your cutting with a clear plastic bottle with the bottom cut out and the cap removed which will keep the humidity levels high. Water regularly to keep it moist, but not soaked.

Roses will usually root within two weeks and can then be transplanted if you want.

Growing Rose Bushes


If you have a rose bush, dig a hole to a depth that suits, which depends on how much protection you need in winter. The colder the winters, the deeper you need to dig. You also want the hole wide enough to take the roots without squashing them.

Add some bone meal at the base of the hole to help the roots get established. Slowly fill the hole so that the soil is lightly tampered down so as not to hurt the roots and bank up the soil onto the bush. For the next few weeks, make sure the rose bush is kept moist, but do not overwater.

Pruning Roses

rose garden

When pruning roses, make the cuts at a slight angle about 0.5cm above an outward-facing leaf bud. You can then seal the ends to protect the rose bush from predators.

For small rose bushes, a simple spring prune can be done when the first leaf buds have formed. You can prune back to within 5 – 7cm from the ground, removing the canes damaged by the cold. This heavy pruning is necessary for all roses except for climbers.

In the autumn, rose bushes can be pruned once they have gone dormant. These taller bushes are pruned to about half their height to help prevent damage to the bush from winter weather. The roses soon grow back to a good height with stunning flowers and foliage.

How to Preserve Roses


Which method you use to preserve roses will depend on what you want from them once preserved, whether to give as a gift, frame them or something else. Choose the best roses and keep them out of direct sunlight. Here are some of the methods you can use:


Replace all the water in the flowers with glycerine, just by soaking the roses. The petals and foliage keep their texture, even if the color fades slightly.

Freeze Dry

Although expensive, professional freeze-drying will have your roses looking perfect, though they are very fragile.

Air Dry

Simply hang your roses, tied up with elastic bands, upside-down in a well-ventilated area. Roses can take several weeks to dry out this way but still hold their shape. However, they do become brittle.


Press the rose between absorbent paper and press under a heavy book or within a flower press. To do this with roses, it is suggested that the bloom is dismantled and pressed and then reformed as they are large flowers to press.


A microwave on a very low setting for just a couple of minutes can take all the water out of the roses that have been covered in silica gel.


Create your own design within a resin mold for your own unique paperweight or other design.

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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