I’d love to connect with you! Sign up for my monthly newsletter, "Garden Bliss & Blunder”
Before pruning a rose,
it's helpful to know the anatomy (or parts) of a rose....
some rose parts can be a bit confusing...
Thorns, Spines and Prickles.... ouch - look at these...
ROSE - MAIN CANES: they grow straight up and support the rose, we mostly refer to them when describing a climber.
ROSE LATERAL CANES: grow out from the main canes and need to be gently trained horizontally (as close to 45 degrees as possible) because they are the only canes (on climbers) where roses bloom.
SUCKERS - can emerge from 2 places:
One: on a grafted rose, a sucker will grow from the original root (or rootstock) which is where the rose you see above ground is attached (grafted) to a hardy root.
Two: a sucker can grow from the graft itself.
(see sketch above)
In a grafted rose, a cane can sprout from the rose's rootstock;
the sucker will produce a cane that may flower, but it won't be the same as the rose you purchased - it will be the same as the rootstock rose.
The base root of the rose (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 (sometimes there could be 7)
Deadhead above a 5 leaflet
because 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
(see grafted rose sketch below)
Grafted roses are actually 2 roses in one: a less hardy rose is grafted to a hardy root (rootstock) so it can survive in colder climates -the more delicate rose is supported underground by a hardy like "Dr. Huey" - common for grafted roses. If the graft dies, the rose will continue with Dr. Huey... a tough, rose that will grow most anywhere.
Always plant your rose so the bud union is beneath the surface of the soil - especially in zones with freezing winters to protect the graft site.
4 to 5 inches below soil surface is best.
Otherwise, the freeze-thaw-freeze cycle in early winter or spring, can split the graft (see the sketch above)... water can enter a tiny space and freeze, splitting the base of the rose.
The rose's graft can also split with an accidental bump by humans, electric shears or clippers.
Rose Trees are usually strong, upright canes with one or more different roses grafted to the top of the cane so they look like a small tree.
This makes overwintering these roses difficult... but not impossible.
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 often hardier than grafted roots, especially in zones lower than 5 or 6. They still do better when planted deeply.
They also 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 in
toward the centre
or facing 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 as in Hybrid Teas or other delicate species roses.
BASAL BREAKS (we love basal breaks!!!)
the new reddish stems (or shoots) growing from the canes.
Basal breaks indicate 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.
If you see new canes coming up from the ground,
they might be suckers coming from the rootstock
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.
Basal breaks can also emerge from the side of a cane.
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
you prune it back to a healthy bud-eye.
One cause of blind shoots
could be a late frost in the early spring
which can kill off new little end buds.
When a rose “sets hips”
it sends a signal to discourage
the rose from producing more flowers -
That red casing is actually a seed pod
and the rose knows it is time to go dormant.
Leave the hips for the birds (Vitamin C)
I enjoy connecting with other passionate gardeners
and my monthly newsletter
is full of neat stuff about the blunders along with
the bliss we all find in our gardens.