Propagating roses from cuttings is a popular and cost-effective method, and using tomatoes to root the cuttings is a common gardening hack due to the natural rooting hormones they contain. Here’s a step-by-step guide for beginners on how to propagate roses from cuttings using tomatoes:

Materials Needed:

  1. Rose Cuttings:
    • Select healthy, disease-free stems for your cuttings. Cut 6-8 inch (15-20 cm) sections with a sharp, clean pair of pruning shears.
  2. Tomatoes:
    • Choose ripe tomatoes. They contain natural rooting hormones that can aid in the propagation process.
  3. Potting Mix:
    • Use a well-draining potting mix suitable for rooting cuttings.
  4. Pots or Containers:
    • Small pots or containers with drainage holes work well.
  5. Plastic Wrap or Plastic Bags:
    • To create a humid environment for the cuttings.
  6. Watering Can or Spray Bottle:
    • For watering the cuttings.
  7. Rooting Hormone (optional):
    • While tomatoes contain natural rooting hormones, you may use a commercial rooting hormone for additional support.

Steps:

  1. Selecting and Preparing Rose Cuttings:
    • Choose healthy stems that are free from diseases or pests. Cut just below a leaf node using clean, sharp pruning shears. Remove any flowers, buds, or leaves from the lower half of the cutting.
  2. Preparing Tomatoes:
    • Cut the tomatoes into slices, ensuring each slice is thick enough to support the base of a rose cutting.
  3. Inserting Cuttings into Tomatoes:
    • Take each rose cutting and make a small slit or hole in the tomato slice using a knife. Insert the cut end of the rose cutting into the tomato slice. The tomato slice acts as a medium for rooting and provides natural hormones.
  4. Potting Mix and Containers:
    • Fill small pots or containers with a well-draining potting mix.
  5. Planting Cuttings:
    • Plant the tomato-encased rose cuttings in the prepared pots. Ensure at least one or two nodes are buried in the potting mix.
  6. Watering:
    • Water the cuttings thoroughly after planting. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
  7. Creating a Humid Environment:
    • Cover the pots with plastic wrap or place them in plastic bags to create a humid environment that promotes rooting. Ensure the plastic doesn’t touch the leaves.
  8. Place in Indirect Light:
    • Position the pots in a location with indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it may cause excessive drying.
  9. Monitor and Wait:
    • Check the cuttings regularly for signs of roots, which may take several weeks. Once roots are visible and the cutting has developed into a small plant, you can transplant it into a larger container or into the garden.
  10. Transplanting:
    • When the roots are well-established, transplant the rooted rose cuttings into larger containers or directly into the garden, ensuring they receive adequate sunlight.
  11. Care and Maintenance:
    • Continue to care for the propagated roses as you would with established plants. Water them regularly and provide proper sunlight.

Using tomatoes for rose propagation is a fascinating and often successful method due to the natural rooting hormones present in tomatoes. However, keep in mind that not all cuttings may root successfully, so it’s a good idea to take several cuttings to increase your chances of success. Additionally, using a rooting hormone powder may further enhance your success rate. Happy gardening!