Growing roses at home can be a delightful and rewarding experience, especially when you explore the innovative method of propagating them without soil. This guide will walk you through the simple steps to grow a rose plant from cuttings using water, an easy and effective soil-free technique.

Why Grow Roses Without Soil?

Growing roses without soil offers several advantages:

  • Less Mess: No need to worry about soil spills and clean-ups.
  • Disease Control: Reduces the risk of soil-borne diseases and pests.
  • Visibility: Allows you to monitor root development easily.

Materials You Will Need

To propagate roses from cuttings without soil, gather the following materials:

  • Healthy rose plant
  • Sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears
  • Clear glass or plastic container
  • Clean water
  • Rooting hormone (optional)
  • Plastic bag or plastic wrap

Step-by-Step Guide to Propagating Roses in Water

Step 1: Select a Healthy Cutting

Choose a healthy stem from an existing rose plant. Look for a stem that is about 6-8 inches long and has at least 4-5 leaf nodes (the points where leaves attach to the stem). It’s best to take cuttings from a rose bush that is not currently blooming.

Step 2: Prepare the Cutting

  1. Cut the Stem: Using sharp scissors or pruning shears, make a clean cut just below a leaf node. This is where the roots will form.
  2. Remove Leaves: Carefully remove the lower leaves, leaving only 2-3 leaves at the top. This helps the cutting focus its energy on root development rather than maintaining leaves.
  3. Optional – Apply Rooting Hormone: Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone to encourage faster root growth, though this step is optional.

Step 3: Place the Cutting in Water

  1. Fill a Container with Water: Fill a clear glass or plastic container with clean, room-temperature water. Make sure the container is deep enough to submerge at least one or two nodes of the cutting.
  2. Insert the Cutting: Place the prepared cutting into the water, ensuring that the cut end and the nodes are submerged.

Step 4: Create a Humid Environment

To help your cutting develop roots, it’s important to maintain a humid environment.

  1. Cover the Cutting: Place a plastic bag or plastic wrap over the container to create a mini greenhouse effect. This will help retain moisture and humidity.
  2. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Place the container in a bright spot with indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can be too harsh and may overheat the cutting.

Step 5: Monitor and Maintain

  1. Change the Water: Change the water every few days to keep it fresh and oxygenated. This prevents the growth of bacteria and algae.
  2. Watch for Roots: In about 2-4 weeks, you should start to see roots forming from the nodes submerged in water. Once the roots are a few inches long, your cutting is ready to be transplanted.

Step 6: Transplanting the Rooted Cutting

Once your rose cutting has developed a healthy root system, you can transplant it into soil or continue growing it hydroponically.

  1. Prepare the Pot: If you choose to plant in soil, prepare a pot with well-draining potting mix.
  2. Plant the Cutting: Gently place the rooted cutting into the pot, covering the roots with soil and ensuring the stem remains upright.
  3. Water Thoroughly: Water the newly planted rose cutting thoroughly and place it in a location with indirect sunlight until it becomes established.


Propagating a rose plant at home from cuttings without soil is a straightforward and satisfying method. By following these steps, you can successfully grow beautiful roses in water and enjoy watching the roots develop. This innovative approach not only simplifies the process but also allows you to monitor the growth more closely. Happy gardening and enjoy your beautiful roses!