How To Propagate Sunrose: Experts Latest Advice

Discover how to propagate sunrose with expert advice. Learn about the different methods, materials, and essential tips for successful propagation.

Understanding Sunrose Plant

Propagate sunrose is straightforward once you understand the features and growth habits of the plant. Sunrose (Helianthemum nummularium) is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows 1 to 3 feet tall with opposite or whorled aromatic leaves. It produces bright yellow or reddish flowers from late spring to midsummer. Sunrose thrives in dry, full sun conditions and moderately well-drained soils.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

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Choosing the Right Propagation Method

There are three main methods to propagate sunrose: seeds, stem cuttings, and division. Each has its own advantages and difficulties.

Seed propagation is the easiest but least reliable. Sunrose seeds are tiny and require light for germination. Germination rate is often low (around 50%) due to seed dormancy issues. The new seedlings also grow very slow initially. However, seed propagation gives you the most genetic variations in the new plants.

Stem cutting propagation is the most effective and widely used. You simply take 4 to 6 inch stem cuttings in spring or summer, treat with rooting hormone, and plant them in moist soil. Success rate can be as high as 80% to 90% if conditions are right. The new plants have identical characteristics to the parent plant.

Division involves splitting established root clumps into sections with buds or shoots. It works best for sunroses grown in clumps with multiple stems. Division ensures high propagation success (around 95%) but the new plants are also limited by the parent plant’s genetics.

Overall, stem cuttings are recommended for propagating sunrose due to their effectiveness and the identical characteristics of the new plants. However, combining cutting and seed propagation can give you the most diverse sunrose population in your garden.

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Preparing the Propagation Materials

To propagate sunroses through stem cuttings or division, you’ll need some basic tools and supplies:


  • Pruning shears/scissors – For cutting stems and dividing root clumps. Stainless steel ones are best to avoid rusting.
  • Knife – If the root clumps are dense and difficult to separate by hands only.
  • Pots and trays – To plant the cuttings and divisions. Plastic 6 to 8 inch pots work well.


  • Rooting hormone – Apply to the stem cutting ends or divided roots to promote new growth. Any organic rooting hormone like honey works.
  • Potting soil – Use a fast draining soil mixture for cuttings and divisions.Add some perlite or sand for better drainage.
  • Labels – To identify different cuttings/divisions after planting.

Preparing stem cuttings:

  • Use 4 to 6 inch semi-hardwood stem cuttings in spring or summer.
  • Remove leaves from the bottom 1/3rd of the stem.
  • Dip stem ends in rooting hormone and plant in prepared soil.

Dividing root clumps:

  • Lift entire root clump from the soil.
  • Gently separate into sections with 2 to 4 shoots and good roots using hands or knife.
  • Dust exposed roots and wounds with rooting hormone. Sul-Po-Mag .
  • Plant divisions into individual pots with fresh soil.

Label all cuttings and divisions with their variety name to keep track. Keep the newly propagated cuttings and divisions warm and moist until established.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Sunrose Propagation

Here is a step-by-step guide to propagate sunrose through stem cuttings and division:

Stem Cuttings:

  1. Select 4 to 6 inch semi-hardwood stem cuttings from new growth in spring or summer. Avoid woody stems.

  2. Trim leaves from bottom 1/3rd of the cutting and dip stem ends in rooting hormone.

  3. Fill propagation trays or pots with fresh potting soil. Water well and allow excess water to drain.

  4. Insert stems into soil up to 1 inch deep and space cuttings 2 to 3 inches apart.

  5. Mist the cuttings and soil, then cover with a plastic bag or dome to maintain high humidity. Secure bag at the base of pots.

  6. Place pots in warm area with indirect sunlight.Check soil moisture daily and mist the cuttings as needed.

  7. Roots should form within 4 to 8 weeks. Gradual acclimate the rooted cuttings to outdoor conditions.


  1. Lift entire root clump from the soil and shake off loose dirt.

  2. Gently separate root clump into sections with 2 to 4 shoots and good root mass. Trim damaged roots.

  3. Dust roots and wounds with rooting hormone (Sul-Po-Mag) and plant divisions into pots with fresh soil.

  4. Water divisions well and place in shade for 1 to 2 weeks to let roots establish.

  5. Gradually expose divisions to more sunlight and move to final location after 4 weeks.

Maintain evenly moist soil and fertilize new propagation plants monthly through the growing season. Monitor Carefully and remove any diseased or damaged growth.

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Photo by Yusuf Evli / Unsplash

Essential Tips for Successful Sunrose Propagation

Follow these tips to maximize your success when propagating sunrose:

1. Use rooting hormone. Rooting hormone, especially organic ones like honey and willow water, help stimulate root growth in cuttings and divisions. Dust or dip the ends before planting.

2. Manage temperature and humidity. Sunrose cuttings need warm temperatures around 70 to 80°F (21 to 27°C) and high humidity around 90% for proper root development. Use a plastic bag, cloche or heated propagation mat to increase humidity.

3. Water regularly but avoid soggy soil. Overwatering sunrose propagations can quickly lead to root rot. Water just enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Lift pots to judge the weight.

4. Monitor for fungal and insect issues. Check new propagations regularly for signs of disease and pests. Treat immediately with organic or natural remedies to avoid spread.Neem oil works well for most issues.

5. Transplant carefully. Handle new sunrose propagations with care when transplanting to individual pots or the garden. Avoid disturbing roots as much as possible.

6. Acclimate new plants slowly. Gradually expose new sunrose propagation to outdoor conditions to harden them off. Start with 1 to 2 hours of partial sun and increase slowly over 7 to 10 days.

7. Fertilize monthly. Begin fertilizing new sunrose propagation monthly during the growing season using a balanced fertilizer specifically for herbaceous perennials and woody plants.

Follow these essential tips to help your sunrose cutting and divisions not just survive but thrive after propagation! Regularly check the new plants and take preventative measures to maximize their chances of success.

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Photo by Mockup Graphics / Unsplash

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