Roses changed color the next year after planting - Knowledgebase Question

Detroit, Mi
Question by gmelson7
June 9, 2010
I planted a climbing rose bush, the color was Joseph Coat. The following year the climber bloomed and is blooming red roses. I do have two other red rose bushes in the yard. What could be the reason? Are the bees pollinating from the other red rose bushes??

Answer from NGA
June 9, 2010


Roses are often grafted onto vigorous rootstocks. Sometimes the graft is damaged over the winter months and the colorful top part dies in whole or in part. Even without complete death of the grafted part, sometimes the rootstock sends up lots of stems (in this case a red climber) and they overtake the grafted rose. Generally you won't notice the difference in the stems and leaves and won't know anything is going on until you see the flowers. Try tracing the red flowering stems back to the base of the plant. I think you'll find they are emerging from below the graft. With any luck you still have some of the stems from the grafted Joseph's Coat and you can coax them along after removing all of the stems from the vigorous rootstock. Just FYI, pollinating bees cannot change the color or your roses. Best wishes with your Joseph's Coat!

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