Rose Suckers and Blooms

I've been told that roses don't bloom on branches that come from the root; that they have to come from the crown. I am not sure what that means but saw the following on the website and wonder if that is what people are talking about?


I am not sure what a "bud union" is? And what do you mean the suckers will choke the grafted plant above it?

Also, my old, old rose bush has sent out a shoot into the yard. I am wondering if this will potentially grow into a rose bush? It is about 4 or 5 feet away from the original bush.

Pruning Rose Suckers

"Occasionally, the rootstock of a grafted rose will send up a sucker.

Suckers are fast-growing shoots that emerge from below the bud union (the knot on the main stem or "trunk" of the rose where the desirable plant connects to the rootstock). They have small leaves with serrated edges which will be different from the rest of the leaves.

If left in place, a sucker will soon overgrow the grafted plant above it and choke it.

If you think your rose has formed a sucker, gently remove the soil from around its base until you can see where it is growing from. If it is coming from above the bud union, it is not a sucker. Leave it alone.

If it is coming from below the bud union, prune it off flush to the main stem."


Botanical Journeys Plant Guides

Most roses are grafted. This means that the top growth where the flowers form is a different plant than the roots.

This is done because many roses (especially Hybrid Teas) do not perform well when growing on their own roots. So rose breeders take a rose with better disease resistance and cold tolerance and use that for the rootstock and graft a rose with better flowers on top of this.

The bud union or graft union is the spot on the main trunk of the rose bush where the 2 plants join together. It usually makes a bump or knot.

In cold climates, this is often buried a few inches below ground to protect it from frost as it is the most vulnerable part of a rose bush.

Shoots which emerge from the roots of a grafted rose or from any part of the main stem below the graft union will bloom but the blooms will not be like the other flowers that rose has produced. This is because they are the flowers of the rose which forms the rootstock of the rose you purchased.

The reason you might want to remove such a shoot is because the rootstock is generally a more vigorous plant than the plant grafted to it. If you allow that shoot to grow on the same bush it will overgrow the less robust rose with the more desirable flowers.

You say your rose is very old.

Many old garden roses are grown on their own roots.

Look at the leaves of this wayward shoot. Are they the same as the rest of the leaves on your plant? If so, this may just be a sucker of the old rose you know and love.

Even if it is a different rose, there is no reason for you not to grow it as a separate bush. Just be aware that it may have different flowers and growth characteristics than your other rose.




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