Sunday, May 20, 2012

Basal Canes!

That's what every rose grower dreams of, basal canes! A basal cane is a new branch that grows right out of the center of the rose bush. New canes support better flowers. When the plant becomes mature it will make more canes making the base of the plant look thicker. But a branch will never grow thicker than it already is. I know that sounds weird. But it's true. So it's great to get basal canes because they start out thick and will end up replacing older canes that will die and be pruned away. After the first flush of blooms in the Spring is usually when basal canes occur. So watch for them. In my photo it is the red growth.

Please note the difference between a basal cane and a sucker. Most modern roses are grafted onto a different rose rootstock. You can see the graft or bud union at the base of the rose where all the branches form. Sometimes that rootstock will decide to grow under the graft, usually right out of the ground. It is advisable to remove those suckers. Or the rootstock may overtake your grafted or desirable plant growing just Dr. Huey which is a once a year red flowered climbing rose. And the part above the graft will die because the rootstock is more vigorous. So definitely watch for suckers too! Happy rose growing!

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