The Q&A Archives: Weird Growth On Rose

Question: What can I do about the red leaves and stems that grow on my rose but do not produce blooms? I have tried to prune them off, but it does not help.

Answer: Hybrid roses are generally grafted onto hardy rootstocks. The growth you see may be coming from below the graft, in which case it won't bloom. Is it possible that your rose bush died back because of cold weather? If so, you've lost the original hybrid and are getting only growth from the rootstock. Inspect the stem of the plant to see if you can identify the swelling where the graft was made. Then follow the growth of the canes to find out whether they're coming from above or below the graft.This should solve the mystery. Prune out the growth coming from the rootstock so the plant can put its energy into producing flowering canes. If there's nothing coming from above the graft, you'll have to replace your rose bush.

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