Why Are My Rose Cuttings Only Growing Leaves But Not Roots?

rose in potato

Once I tried to propagate rose from cuttings and I saw my rose cuttings growing leaves but not roots. So I asked my friend and she said it’s not uncommon. Some of the issues involve insufficient hormones, improper soil moisture, low humidity, disease, overfertilization, etc.

It can happen because of hormones, improper soil moisture, low humidity, disease, overfertilization, and so on. Well, if you are planning to grow rose plants from cutting, please keep reading. Here, you’ll find something essential that will make your effort successful.

How Long It Takes for Rose Cuttings to Grow Roots?

The time it takes for rose cuttings to develop roots varies, typically ranging from 4 to 8 weeks. Factors influencing this timeline include the rose variety, environmental conditions, and the type of cutting (softwood or hardwood). 

More likely, you will see softwood rose cuttings to root faster than hardwood ones. Maintaining consistent moisture and humidity levels, along with providing an optimal temperature between 65-75°F (18-24°C), accelerates root growth. 

Using a rooting hormone aids in quicker development. Patience is key; some roses might establish roots sooner, while others might take longer. Regular monitoring is essential, gently tugging the cutting after a few weeks to feel for resistance, indicating root formation. 

Once roots are about an inch long, the cutting can be transplanted to a larger pot or the garden. Overall, expect a span of 1.5 to 3 months for rose cuttings to grow roots and become viable plants.

Reasons Why My Rose Cuttings Have Leaves But No Roots?

Here are more reasons why your rose cuttings growing leaves but not roots, along with additional explanations:

Root Zone Temperature

Roses generally require warm soil temperatures for root development. If the root zone isn’t warm enough, it can hinder root growth even if the plant has enough stored carbohydrates. Using a heating mat or placing the cuttings in a warm location can help promote root growth.

Stored Carbohydrates

While stored carbohydrates are essential for initial growth, having enough stored energy might not be sufficient for root development. Roots require a steady supply of nutrients to grow, and a balance between carbohydrate availability and nutrient uptake is crucial.

Low Humidity

Roses thrive in humid environments, especially during the rooting phase. Low humidity levels can lead to excessive moisture loss through the leaves, which can stress the cutting and prevent root development. Consider using a humidity dome or misting the cuttings roses regularly to maintain proper humidity levels.

Moisture Management

Keeping the cuttings too dry or too wet can both hinder root growth. If the cuttings roses dry out, they can’t take up water and nutrients. On the other hand, overly wet conditions can lead to fungal issues and root rot. It’s important to find the right balance by ensuring the growing medium is consistently moist but not waterlogged.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections can occur if the cuttings are kept in high humidity and damp conditions without proper air circulation. Also, fungi can attack the stem and hinder root development. To prevent fungal infections, provide good ventilation and ensure the leaves don’t stay wet for prolonged periods.

Cutting Quality

The quality of the cutting itself can influence its ability to develop roots. Choose healthy, disease-free stems for propagation. A cutting with any existing diseases or damage might struggle to develop roots even if it produces leaves.

Rooting Hormones

Using rooting hormones can greatly enhance the chances of successful root development. These hormones stimulate root growth and increase the cutting’s ability to produce roots.

Rooting Medium

The medium in which you’re trying to root the cuttings matters. A well-draining medium with good aeration is important for root development. A heavy or compacted medium can impede the growth of new roots.

Light Levels

While light is essential for photosynthesis and leaf growth, excessive light can stress the cuttings and divert energy away from root development. Moreover, providing adequate but not excessive light is crucial during the initial stages of propagation.


Root development can take time. Some rose varieties might require longer periods to develop roots than others. Patience is key, as premature attempts to transplant cuttings with leaves but no roots can damage the developing root system.

To improve your success with rose cutting propagation, focus on maintaining optimal conditions for root development, including proper temperature, humidity, moisture levels, and hygiene practices. Experimenting with different rose varieties and adjusting your approach based on their specific needs can also lead to better results.

If you are interested in the causes and quick fix for orchid root turning brown, you should go through this article.

Cause & Solutions:  Rose Cuttings Have Leaves But No Roots

Let’s have a quick review of the problems and solutions related to rose cuttings growing leaves but not roots:

Factors Reasons Solutions
Root Zone Temperature Insufficient warmth inhibits root growth Use a heating mat or warm location
Stored Carbohydrates Carbohydrates alone may not support root growth Ensure a balance between carbs and nutrient uptake
Low Humidity Dry conditions lead to excessive moisture loss Use a humidity dome or mist regularly
Moisture Management Inconsistent moisture levels hinder root growth Maintain medium moistness, but avoid waterlogging
Fungal Infections High humidity and poor ventilation can cause it Ensure good air circulation and hygiene
Cutting Quality Disease or damage in the cutting affects rooting Use healthy, disease-free cuttings
Rooting Hormones Lack of stimulation for root growth Apply rooting hormone for enhanced root growth
Rooting Medium Inadequate medium can impede root development Use well-draining, aerated rooting medium
Light Levels Excessive light stresses the cuttings Provide appropriate, not excessive, light
Patience Roots need time to develop Wait for an adequate period before transplanting

These potential causes and solutions address the issue of rose cuttings producing leaves but not developing roots. Carefully assess each factor, make necessary adjustments, and monitor progress. Remember that successful rooting requires a balance of favorable conditions and patience.

Rose Cuttings Only Growing Leaves But Not Roots

How to Treat Rose Cuttings That Have Leaves But No Roots

Treating rose cuttings that have leaves but no roots requires addressing potential issues that might be hindering root development. Here’s a step-by-step approach to help you:

Step 1: Assessment

Examine the cuttings roses in potato closely to rule out any visible problems like diseases or physical damage.

Step 2: Rooting Hormone

If you didn’t use rooting hormone initially, dip the cut ends of the rose cuttings in a rooting hormone powder or gel. This helps stimulate root growth.

Step 3: Check Moisture

Ensure that the soil or rooting medium is consistently moist but not waterlogged. Inadequate or excessive moisture can affect root development. Mist the leaves occasionally to maintain humidity around the cuttings.

Step 4: Humidity Dome

If humidity is low, create a makeshift humidity dome using a clear plastic bag or a transparent container to trap moisture around the cuttings. This encourages root development.

Step 5: Temperature Control

Maintain a stable temperature within the recommended range for rooting rose cuttings to root (usually around 65-75°F or 18-24°C). Extreme temperatures can impede root growth.

Step 6: Rooting Medium

Check that you’re using a well-draining, sterile rooting medium that provides aeration to the cuttings’ base. Adjust the medium if needed.

Step 7: Time and Patience

Remember that root development takes time. Be patient and continue to care for the cuttings, even if it takes several weeks.

Step 8: Inspect Cutting Type

If you use hardwood cuttings, they might naturally take longer to root. Research the specific rose variety you’re propagating to understand its typical rooting timeline.

Step 9: Avoid Overfertilization

Discontinue or reduce fertilization during the rooting process, as excessive nutrients can inhibit root growth.

Step 10: Sanitation

Ensure cleanliness in your tools and planting environment to prevent diseases from affecting the cuttings.

Step 11: Gentle Tug Test

After a few weeks, perform a gentle tug test. If you feel resistance when pulling lightly, it indicates root growth. If not, give it more time.

Step 12: Reevaluation

If you see no improvement after an extended period (several months), consider taking fresh cuttings and starting the process over, addressing any potential issues from the beginning.

By addressing these factors and providing optimal conditions, you can increase the chances of your rose cuttings in potatoes developing roots successfully. Also, remember that not all cuttings will root, so don’t be discouraged if you encounter some failures along the way.

Rose Cuttings But Not Roots

Tips to Grow Rose Plants from Cuttings

Growing rose plants from cuttings can be a rewarding process. Here are some tips to help you successfully propagate rose plants from cuttings:

  • Choose Healthy Cuttings: Select young, healthy stems from a mature rose plant. Choose stems that are about 6-8 inches long and have at least two sets of leaves.
  • Timing: Take cuttings during the plant’s dormant season, usually in late winter to early spring or late fall. Softwood cuttings are typically taken in spring, while hardwood cuttings are taken in late fall.
  • Prepare the Cuttings: Use clean, sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts just below a leaf node. Remove any flowers or buds from the cutting.
  • Rooting Hormone: Dip the cut end of the rose cutting into a rooting hormone powder or gel. This helps stimulate root growth.
  • Planting Medium: Use a well-draining rooting medium, such as a mixture of perlite and peat moss, or a commercial seed-starting mix.
  • Planting Depth: Plant the cuttings about 2-3 inches deep in the rooting medium. You can plant multiple cuttings in the same container.
  • Humidity Dome: Place a clear plastic bag or a plastic dome over the cuttings to create a humid environment that promotes rooting.
  • Light: Place the cuttings in bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause the cuttings to overheat.
  • Temperature: Maintain a consistent temperature between 65-75°F (18-24°C) for optimal root development.
  • Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Mist the leaves occasionally to maintain humidity.
  • Patience: Rooting can take several weeks to a few months. Be patient and resist the urge to disturb the cuttings.
  • Transplanting: Once the cuttings have developed roots that are about an inch long, carefully transplant them into individual pots with a well-draining potting mix.
  • Hardening Off: Before planting the rooted cuttings outdoors, gradually acclimate them to outdoor conditions by placing them outside for increasing periods over a week or two.
  • Planting Outdoors: Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil for transplanting the rose plants. Space them appropriately based on the rose variety’s mature size.
  • Regular Care: Provide regular watering, fertilization, and proper pruning to encourage healthy growth.
  • Winter Protection: In colder climates, protect your young rose plants from harsh winter conditions by mulching around the base and providing adequate insulation.
  • Monitor and Prune: Regularly monitor the growth of your propagated rose plants. Prune away any dead or unhealthy growth to promote overall health.

Remember that not all cuttings will root successfully, so it’s a good idea to take multiple cuttings to increase your chances of success. With proper care and attention to detail, you can enjoy the satisfaction of growing beautiful rose plants from cuttings.

If you check on the internet how to grow rose cuttings in potatoes, you can try it too. In the future, I will cover this fact after I experience it by myself.


How can I ensure proper oxygen supply for root development in rose cuttings?

Adequate aeration is essential for root growth. Use well-draining soil, avoid compacted media, and ensure proper watering practices to maintain oxygen availability for the developing roots.

How can I prevent the spread of diseases that might hinder root growth?

Using sterilized tools and ensuring a clean planting environment can help prevent the spread of diseases that could affect root development. Proper sanitation measures are crucial for successful rooting.

Can the wrong type of cutting affect root growth in roses?

Absolutely. Different rose varieties root at varying rates. Some might require different propagation methods, like grafting. Research the specific rose variety to understand its rooting behavior.

Are you trying to grow new shoots in ZZ plants but have not succeeded yet you can visit the article. I hope it will guide you to success. 

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About Author


Hello, I’m Khandaker Mursalin, a writer and researcher in the field of English Literature and blog writing. In 2014, I met my wife for the first time in my class. We found out that we two have a great passion for plants and gardening. Our hopes, aims, and interests were quite similar. So, we decided to marry. Finally, we married in 2015. Back then we were younger and had no money to make a huge garden as both were students.

But our passion for plants never decreased. We believed that making a garden at home requires your passion rather than money. So, we kept collecting plants by any means. And now, we have a huge balcony garden with more than a few hundred specifies. Most of them are indoor plants and good for balconies. So, we decided to help and encourage people to keep plants in their homes. And Gardenmysteries is a part of our work.