A Rose or not a Rose?? That is the question. - Knowledgebase Question

Fort Collins, Co
Question by cabelfb
April 24, 2010
I have 4 different rose bushes in my garden and all but one of them bloomed last year. The bush looks like it is just a bunch of suckers because the 5 or 6 stems that grow out of it just grew straight up very fast about 5 feet tall each! None of the stems ever even started to produce a flower? Could they be a climbing rose or something and need something to cling to before they flower?? thanks!

Answer from NGA
April 24, 2010


Most roses are grafted onto vigorous root stocks and I suspect that what is happening with your rose is that the rootstock is trying to overtake the grafted hybrid part of your plant. Trace one of the extra long stems back to its place of origin. I think you'll find that it is growing from below the graft and is actually from the rootstock. You can prune these off your rose bush to give the grafted part of your rose a chance. If all the stems are coming from the graft (swollen area on the stem), then the top has died and all you'll be getting is the rootstock (usually a rambling rose of some type). If this is the case, I'd dig and replace the rose bush. It won't grow as neatly as the grafted part and there's no guarantee it will even flower for you.

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