Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rose Basal Cane!

I'm late in pruning my roses this year. If you've been following along, you know that I've been pruning everybody else's roses and have just been too busy(and tired) to get to my own. So I just started mine last week. I have 200 something and it'll take me awhile.

The BEST thing a rose grower can hope for is a new basal cane! That's new growth that comes right from the bud union(graft) or out of the base of the plant. Rose canes never really grow bigger than they are. That's why when we prune, we cut off little spindly growth because it can't support good blooms. And that's why basal canes are the best because they start out big and grow tall!

I was very happy today to find several basal canes. They're always difficult to photograph though. I hope you can see this one.

Don't confuse basal canes with suckers. Suckers are growth that comes from the rootstock(below the graft) and should be removed. Basal canes are usually fat and suckers are usually skinny. But you have to watch from where they come to be sure. The reason suckers are bad is because they will become very vigorous and might overpower the desirable part of the plant and the grafted part will die.

So watch your plants closely for the good and the bad. And I hope you find some basal canes on your roses this year!

1 comment:

  1. One thing I have learned about suckers: they will not be defeated by cutting them off. They need to be seized, yanked downward and then removed. I forget who taught me this, but it is really good advice for avoiding a succession of suckers from the same place.