The Q&A Archives: shoots on rose bushes

Question: I have an Abraham Darby rose which is coming along pretty nicely, buthave put out two long shoots - should these be cut off? They each produced a little rose.

Answer: If the roses are the right color, the stems do not need to be pruned. It just means your rose bush is very vigorous. Next spring you can reduce the size of the stems to help keep the plant more compact. If the roses are a different color than you expect from your Abraham Darby, the shoots are probably coming from below the graft. If so, they should be cut off. If not, these suckers from the root stock will overtake your hybrid rose. Trace the stems down to their point of origin. If above the graft, leave them alone; if below the graft, cut them off. Good luck with your rose bush.

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