The Q&A Archives: split cane

Question: I was sent a gift of a rose bush from Jackson Perkins..We've kept it in a cooler with potting mix, holes in the bottom for drainage....Since it would appear that it will soon be safe to plant this beauty, we have left the whole thing outside in a semi-protected area...One of the main canes has developed a split that goes down about 2

Answer: Based on your description I am not certain what is happening to your rose. It is not easy to store a rose under home conditions for any length of time. It may be that the canes are drying out or the roots are too wet. If the soil is workable, you could plant it now and heap soil (taken from elsewhere in your garden) over the canes. This would help insulate the canes and also help keep them slightly moist. Then as the weather moderates gradually remove the soil and expose the canes to the weather. When the buds begin to swell you will be able to see which parts are still alive. Then you would prune it back to healthy cane, cutting just above a bud. You will probably have to trim off the cracked part as well as any shriveled portions. Good luck with your rose!

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