How to graft a rose bush of different colors, step by step

Grafting is an excellent way to combine different varieties of roses on a single plant, creating a rose bush that blooms in multiple colors. This technique is both artistic and practical, as it allows you to enjoy the beauty of several rose varieties in one spot. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you graft a rose bush successfully.


Grafting involves joining two different plants so that they grow as one. In the case of roses, this usually means attaching a piece (scion) of one rose variety onto the rootstock of another. The result is a single plant with blooms of different colors.

Materials Needed

  • Rootstock rose bush (a healthy, well-established rose bush)
  • Scion rose cuttings (cuttings from the rose varieties you want to graft)
  • Sharp grafting knife or pruning shears
  • Grafting tape or rubber bands
  • Rooting hormone (optional)
  • Clean cloth or paper towels
  • Disinfectant solution (e.g., diluted bleach or alcohol)

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Selecting the Rootstock and Scions
    • Choose a healthy rootstock rose bush, preferably one that is disease-resistant and well-adapted to your climate.
    • Select scions from the rose varieties you want to graft. Look for healthy, disease-free stems with several buds.
  2. Preparing the Rootstock
    • Choose a branch on the rootstock where you want to graft the scion. Ideally, select a branch that is about the same thickness as the scion.
    • Disinfect your grafting knife and make a clean, diagonal cut on the selected branch.
  3. Preparing the Scion
    • Take your scion cutting and trim it to about 4-6 inches long. Make sure there are at least two or three buds on the scion.
    • Make a diagonal cut at the base of the scion, matching the angle of the cut on the rootstock.
  4. Making the Graft
    • Align the cut surfaces of the scion and rootstock so that the cambium layers (the green, growing part just under the bark) are in contact.
    • Secure the graft by wrapping it tightly with grafting tape or a rubber band. Ensure the tape covers the entire graft area to keep it moist and protected.
  5. Sealing the Graft
    • Apply grafting wax or a suitable sealant over the graft to prevent it from drying out and to protect against infection.
  6. Caring for the Grafted Plant
    • Place the grafted rose bush in a sheltered location with indirect sunlight to avoid stressing the plant.
    • Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Regular watering helps the graft heal and establish.
    • Monitor the graft for signs of growth. New shoots should start to emerge within a few weeks.
  7. Aftercare
    • Once the graft has taken and new growth is evident, remove the grafting tape to prevent girdling.
    • Prune any shoots that emerge from the rootstock below the graft to direct the plant’s energy into the grafted scion.
    • Continue to water and fertilize the plant regularly, ensuring it gets the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.


Grafting a rose bush to produce blooms of different colors is a rewarding project that requires patience and careful attention to detail. By following these steps, you can successfully graft roses and enjoy a stunning display of multicolored blooms on a single plant. With practice, you can experiment with various combinations and create a unique rose garden that showcases your grafting skills and creativity.

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