How to Graft Rose Plants

What You'll Need
Sharp grafting knife
Spray bottle
Under stock
Grafting wax or grafting tape
Plastic bag

Beautiful colored roses are a welcome addition to any garden. It is possible to enjoy a consistent bloom of roses all year round by grafting rose varieties that are suitable to your climate and soil conditions. You can even graft roses that are less hardy and would normally have no chance of surviving in your hardiness zone.

Follow these steps to successfully graft rose plants or a rose bush and enjoy a more uniform bloom size, color and shape than those grown from seeds.

Step 1 – Purchase Grafting Knife

Purchase a sharp grafting knife from any garden center. Do not use a household knife since it may not be sharp enough to make a clean cut. Grafting knives are available in both left and right handed models, so use the one you are comfortable with.

Step 2 – Cut the Scion

The ideal time to begin the grafting procedure is when the petals begin to droop and the blooms are fading, but the buds are not fully swelled.

Hold a bit of the rose plant you wish to bloom, making sure it has at least 2 rose buds and cut the bottom edge into a V-shape. This part is called the scion, bud stick or bud wood.

Place this graft piece on a clean surface and mist with water to prevent it from drying up within seconds. 

Step 3 – Cut the Under Stock

Cut a smooth small notch in the stem of the rose plant you want to attach the graft piece to, at an angle to receive the scion. This part is called the stock, rootstock or under stock.

Step 4 – Join the Scion and Under Stock

Slide the scion on the cut in the stock so it fits snugly. This point where the two are joined is known as the 'union'. Be sure to do it as quickly as possible to prevent the cut surfaces from drying out.

For best results, cut a superior scion and attach it to your root system that is adapted to growing in the soil and weather conditions.

Step 5 – Cover the Joint

Quickly apply a layer of two of grafting tape over the union and remove your hand. An alternative to this is to use grafting wax that you can soften with your hand and apply around the union to cover it properly. Mist the plant with water.

Step 6 – Caring for the Grafted Rose Plant

Cover your grafted rose plant with a clear plastic bag and keep it in a cool location. Let it sit undisturbed for four to seven weeks to heal from the surgery and develop itself into a healthy plant.

After the wait period, slowly acclimatize your new plant to its surroundings over the span of a few days. Make one hole in the bag on the first day, followed by two holes the next day. Slowly remove the plastic bag and leave it to sit in its shaded spot for an extra week.

Remember, roses are very easy to graft because almost all varieties are compatible with one another.  Graft different types of roses to enjoy a varied plantation.