What happened to my Roses? - Knowledgebase Question

Perris, Ca
Question by pdrponies
September 22, 2009
I have always had big healthy blooming roses. I pruned back in January but the new growth is puny, weedy looking, and the new buds look like mini roses. What happened. I did feed. I have 18 hybrid teas. 4 Grandiflora's ok.

Answer from NGA
September 22, 2009


My first question to you is how far back did you prune? Hybrid tea roses are grafted onto vigorous root stock. If the grafted hybrid part was pruned off, you'll be left with growth from the root stock, which may explain why they look so different this year. Check each rose bush to see if you can find the graft, which looks like a swelling on the main stem or trunk. If the growth is coming from below the graft, it's from the root stock. If it is coming from above the graft, the puny growth can indicate another pruning mistake. Here are a few guidelines:
Prune hybrid teas, grandifloras and floribundas to leave 3 to 5 strong canes in a
vase-shaped configuration, with the center of the bush open. Cut tall canes back to a
lateral branch growing in the direction you want. Prune to an outward facing bud if the bush grows too upright. If the bush sprawls outward, prune to an inward facing bud to make the bush more compact. Avoid injuring the bud by making your pruning cut about 1/4-inch above the bud. If your rose bush is very tall (6 or 7 feet), cut the canes back to one half their length. Otherwise, do not shorten the canes by more than one third. Prune out lateral branches that have diameters smaller than that of a pencil. New growth from small diameter branches will be even smaller, and eventually the puny branches will not be able to support the blooms. I'd wait until January to prune again, this time removing the stems that are smaller than the thickness of a pencil. Hope this information is helpful!

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