After the customary late January pruning, I neglected my roses for the first time and am reaping the consequences. Suckers (7 leaves) now predominate over normal (5 leaves) foliage. The suckers are long, strong and aggressive
I have gone through and trimmed out as much as I could. Now looking ahead to January pruning and have the following question:
Can these roses return to normal foliage after seasonal pruning?
Or have I ****ed up big-time.
This is So. Calif coastal, Santa Monica CA.
Any advice on rose situation appreciated.
NO, DO NOT CUT THEM. You need to dig down to where they start from a
root or the main shoot of the rootstock and then pull or break them off.
If you cut them, they will send up side branches and still try to
overwhelm the plant.
I do have one rose for which I do not remove any suckers. It is a
cutting-grown 'Color Magic' growing on its own roots. Thus, suckers
will be the same as the top growth.
My roses are going through benign neglect. I groom them to remove dead
flowers. I also remove suckers except for those on 'Color Magic'.
However, I stopped feeding them. I had been feeding them lightly once
each month. Fertilizer, however, promotes the growth of foliage, which
then requires additional water. With our severe drought, I decided that
creating a demand for more water by my roses would be a bad idea. If El
Niño does hit us with enough rain and snow that restrictions by my water
agency can be slightly relaxed, I will resume feeding next year.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
+1 in CAPS and with cream on top. Just to add to that emphasis, David
is right. Do NOT cut off any that are growing below the graft - tear
them off with brute force.
Roses are as tough as old boots. I've seen long deserted old houses in
very dry parts of Australia where the only surviving plant were roses
and roses that had the outer parts nibbled at by sheep or cattle or roos.
Roses are as tough as old boots. Yes, they will come back if they aren't
dead and all wood is dry and dessicated and snaps at the use of a little
finger. I've posted into David's response about suckers (don't cut -
tear off). Give then a deep watering after you've torn of the suckersw
and a good mulch of quality hay (eg Lucerne which in US is called
alfalfa) and then go away and leave them alone to get on with their
recovery. If you normally prune in late winter, then that is the time
for you to return and give them a normal prune.
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