The Q&A Archives: Rose Color Changing

Question: Last year I planted an everblooming hybrid tea rose (antigua) that had lovely golden apricot
blooms. The first two blooms were the same color this year, then this morning I noticed a
deep red side by side with the apricot one--what happened?

Answer: What you may be seeing is a flower growing from the rootstock. Hybrid roses are generally grafted onto a vigorous rootstock. The graft union is easy to identify, just follow the main stem down to the soil level. Somewhere just above the soil line you'll find a swollen area. That's the graft. If canes or stems are growing from below the graft, they should be cut down. Otherwise the vigorous rootstock sprouts will eventually overtake the grafted rose and you'll end up with something quite different than you expected. People often report to us that their rose bushes have changed color over the years. What has actually happened is that the hybrid portion of the shrub has died back and growth from the rootstock has taken over. Don't allow this to happen to your shrub! Cut off those suckers that are growing from below the graft.

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