Sucker or true to original plant?

vickysgardenApril 4, 2012

I received a poor speciman of a bare-root rose through mail-order this spring, but potted it in good potting soil and have been watching and watering it frequently for about a month....still no leaves coming out of the canes. Yesterday, having given up on it, was pulling it out of the soil when I noticed there was a pink shoot coming out of the buried bud union. On closer inspection, healthy white roots had been added to the old brown ones.

My question is, if the canes do not sprout leaves, is this new pink shoot growing from the bud union going to be true to the plant, or a sucker? Do suckers grow from the roots or can they grow directly from the bud union?

Thanks for any advise from you experienced rose gardeners out there!

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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Shoots from the bud union are of the scion, not the rootstock, although there may be a transitional zone around the bottom of the swelling where you can't be sure which it is. It's not a rare thing for all the cane stubs to die back (or suffer winter damage) and for a rose plant to regrow out of the bud union.

I am also watching a feeble, undersized new bareroot plant. A month is too soon to give up on these.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:17AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

If I'm understanding your description correctly, I'd say you have a rejuvenated plant there--the real thing! New canes grow from the bud union--in fact, you want to encourage such growth in the future to keep your plant young and thriving.

The only time you worry is if the new growth is coming from BELOW the bud union (graft). From below means it is will be whatever plant your rose was grafted to--like Dr. Huey. That you do not want.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:18AM
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I agree with the above - you almost certainly have a rose that suffered damage, but that is now starting to grow and rejuvenate itself with new canes - congratulations! Just leave it alone except for water - don't prune it, don't move it, don't feed it until it gets more growth. As you said, it is starting to put out healthy roots, and it needs TIME to do that, before it can put out many leaves.

As stated above, a month is WAY too short a time to "give up on a rose" - if I did that, I would have to throw away 80% of my roses before they had a chance to grow! First they grow roots, and you cannot see that activity.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 11:15AM
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altoraMA(5/6 MA)

I agree with all of the above-needs more time than a month. In any case, sounds like your rose is bouncing back.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Thanks so much!! I am greatly encouraged as I look out daily and see the new shoot growing. There is more color coming into some of the other plant as well. Thanks for answering my question!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:02AM
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