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Before we prune anything,
it's helpful to review some anatomy.
Thorns, Spines and Prickles.... ouch - look at these...
MAIN CANES: grow straight up and support the bush, especially in a climber.
LATERAL CANES: grow from the main canes and need to be gently trained horizontally (as close to 45 degrees as possible) because they are the only canes (especially on climbers) that bloom.
SUCKERS - can emerge from 2 places:
One: on a grafted rose, a sucker will grow from the original rootstock
Two: a sucker can grow from the graft.
(see sketch above)
If a cane grows from the rootstock, the sucker will produce a cane that may flower, but it won't be the same as the rose you purchased.
The base root (or rootstock) is chosen for its hardiness to support the newly grafted (or 'budded") rose which could otherwise be too tender for some zones.
Remove the sucker because it can literally “suck” the nutrients from the root before they reach your (grafted) rose.
HOW? - Gently pull aside the soil from the base, until you can reach the sucker and tear it off.
If you cut it, it will grow back.
: 3 leaves and 5 leaves
Deadhead above a 5 leaflet
as the cane will be thicker
and strong enough to support a new bloom
BUD UNION is the area, knot or nubby growth at the base
of the rose where all canes start.
The bud union is on both an "own root" or "grafted" rose
(where one rose has been grafted/budded
onto a stronger base or rootstock).
Always plant your rose so the bud union is beneath the surface of the soil - especially in zones with freezing winters:
4 to 5 inches below soil surface.
Grafted roses are grown so a less hardy rose can survive in colder climates by being supported underground by a hardy root or rootstock like "Dr. Huey" a common rootstock for grafted roses. If the graft dies, the rose will continue with Dr. Huey... a tough, rose that will grow most anywhere.
Rose Trees are usually strong, upright canes with one or more other roses grafted to the top of the cane so they look like a small tree.
This makes overwintering these roses difficult...
See OVERWINTERING ROSES for more.
Some grafted roses will have the graft to one side of the rootstock and some, grafted at the top. Growers may graft 2 roses to the same root and then see which one will take... sometimes both and sometime only one.
OWN ROOT ROSES grow on their own root.. no graft. These roses are sometimes hardier than grafted roots, especially in zones lower than 5 or 6.
They don't have to support 2 different roses.
BUD-EYE: is the little swelling where new growth emerges
with a small half circle beneath.
Usually there is one main eye on a cane
with 2 "guard" eyes - one on each side,
so if one dies, the other will grow.
Above: Rose cane's emerging bud-eye
Above: Rose cane's emerged bud-eye
The sketched bud-eye looks like an
OUTWARD FACING BUD,
meaning it faces away from the centre
of the rose bush.
HOW TO TELL?...picture a line down the centre of the bush
and decide if the bud is facing inward
toward the centre
or facing toward the outside of the bush.
The new "modern" roses are hardier and more disease resistant,
so there isn't the same need to keep the centre open for air flow.
BASAL BREAKS are
the new reddish stems (or shoots) growing from the canes.
Basal breaks mean your rose is healthy
and putting up new canes that will bloom next season..
Be careful though... they are fragile at first and if you knock one off by mistake, it will not re-grow.
Basal breaks will eventually replace
older, tired and bloomed-out canes.
On Own Root roses, basal breaks come from the base of the rose.
On Grafted (budded roses), basal breaks come from the graft itself.
When the basal break reaches about a foot tall,
prune it back to a bud eye.
This forces the cane to branch out with more flowers.
When you shorten the cane, it has more energy for blooms.
New canes coming up from the ground,
might also be suckers coming from the rootstock
and below the graft.
(see also SUCKERS)
If your rose is a grafted rose,
and buried deep below the soil level,
the basal breaks might appear
as though growing separately from the stem
as in the sketch above.
Be careful not to confuse new healthy growth
Rose Rosette Disease (RRD).
HEALTHY ON THE LEFT
ROSE ROSETTE ON THE RIGHT
See also: roserosette.org
A BLIND SHOOT: grows tall quickly
but won't produce blooms
unless you prune it back to a healthy bud-eye.
One cause of blind shoots
is a late frost in the early spring
which can kill off new little end buds.
When a rose “sets hips”
it sends a signal that discourages
the rose from producing flowers -
It then creates a seed pod
and the rose knows it is time to go dormant.
Leave the hips for the birds (Vitamin C)