Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Excuse me, your rootstock is showing
What's going on with this rose?
It's pink, but we have a giant branch with tiny red roses sneaking through the top of the rosebush.
Is it some new variety with two colors? Nope, it's the rootstock growing up from the bottom.
Most roses are bred for their looks, which leaves little time for working on strong roots. So, they are grafted onto the roots of a rose that isn't as pretty, but has sturdy rootstock.
If you look at the base of your rose you can usually see a knot where the two were grafted together. Any green growth from below this knot is rootstock and needs to be trimmed. Since even rootstock blooms in the spring, now is a good time to check your plants.
Cut off the entire branch as far down as you can. It's also a good idea to make sure there is soil covering the rootstock so it isn't tempted to re-sprout later.