The Q&A Archives: changing roses

Question: For 2 years now I have had two of the most beautiful roses I have ever seen. but this year, the bushes have changed. They used to have long stem roses . The roses were about 5-6 inches across, now about half of the bush gets the big beautiful roses, and the other half gets branches that look like climbing roses. Even the flower looks different.It's even a different color. it's red & the other half is a very pretty brite pink. It looks like I have two rose bushses planted in the same hole. It just started doing that this year. I am very confused. What can I do to get my original bush back.

Answer: Your pink roses are grafted, with the desired rose being grown on a different rootstock. The red rose you are seeing is the rootstock. The rootstock has begun to send up canes and will overwhelm the desired rose. You need to prune out the canes that are different. Cut them off as short as possible. You may have to (gently) dig down a little to cut them off. Depending on how deeply the rose was planted, the graft may be at ground level or several inches below ground. Every spring, check for and remove any new growth trying to start from below the graft. During the season, if you see the different looking growth from below the graft, remove it immediately. Good luck with your roses!

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