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Encouraging basal breaks on my austin?

Posted by zone6-nj 6 (My Page) on
Thu, May 1, 14 at 7:24

Hi everyone,

Hope all is well. I have a question. How would I encourage basal breaks on my (last year planted) Chamblees eglantyne? During our terrible winter, I lost all its canes but 2 -which are 2 very far canes. After removing all dead wood, I literally have 2 canes around 9 inches apart from each other that are leafing out now because it's spring, but it looks so weird because the plant looks so oddly shaped. Will it get better?

Also, I don't know if it matters but I didn't prune out the dead wood completely, just to the soil line. In other words, if I removed more soil from the plant more dead wood would be there. Is that bad?

Thanks for the help guys!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Encouraging basal breaks on my austin?

I found it isn't necessary--I've accidentally damaged basal breaks cleaning out that dead wood.


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RE: Encouraging basal breaks on my austin?

Sometimes the rose sends out horizontal basals that make right angles to become new canes. The rose forms a wider base which is what you want. Be careful digging around the graft because it probably has buds that will become basals and you don't want to injure them. If you planted the rose well and it looks good and is leafing out and you are taking care of it then you will probably see some basals pretty soon.


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RE: Encouraging basal breaks on my austin?

I agree not to dig down into the soil even if everything to the soil line is dead, since it's really the rose roots (or graft) that you want to be actively growing and you have some active growth going on that you don't want to interfere with.

Something that might help and can't hurt to encourage more basal breaks is to scatter some alfalfa meal or hay (no added salt) around the base of the plant and cover it with a little extra soil and mulch to discourage the critters. Normally you could scratch in the alfalfa to the soil, but again you don't want to mess with the roots, and frankly I'm too lazy to scratch it in anyway. Alfalfa has a deserved reputation for encouraging rose growth and new canes, and being organic plant material there isn't the same danger of "burning" a plant that can occur with synthetics if overdone. I'd still keep it away from the base of the plant, and mix it into the new soil/mulch a bit as it can clump up in the rain if it sits by itself.

Have fun, and it sounds like it'll be fine - just water it and don't mess with it too much.

Cynthia


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RE: Encouraging basal breaks on my austin?

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Fri, May 2, 14 at 9:15

I think you've done everything you need to do. Now it's up to the rose. It's often thought that giving a rose some epsom salts will encourage new basal canes. I've tried it but really can't say I noticed any difference. I think the rose just needs to do it on it's own.


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RE: Encouraging basal breaks on my austin?

agree with all of above. i also like the alfalfa and epsom salts.


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RE: Encouraging basal breaks on my austin?

I put in a diluted mix of epsom salts and water.


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RE: Encouraging basal breaks on my austin?

Or use some organic Plant-Tone or Rose-Tone (available at HD)--it has some alfalfa in it (may have some Epsom salts in it too--I don't remember right off hand). Spread out to the drip line, but not too close to the base. Water in well with a strong spray of water and cover with mulch.

Don't know about where you live, but in my area, you have to buy a 50 lb bag if you want alfalfa--so I started using the --Tone fertilizers instead since they have some alfalfa in them. Not a lot, but some.

I do believe alfalfa promotes basal break growth.

Kate


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RE: Encouraging basal breaks on my austin?

Kate - for what it's worth, if you ever want to give something a shot of pure alfalfa and want a smaller quantity, go to the small animal section of a pet store. In the bags of Timothy Hay for guinea pig/rabbits, there will also be small bags of Alfalfa hay. They run about $7-8, which is relatively reasonable for adding alfalfa to small gardens. I'd estimate those bags could supplement 7-10 roses depending on dosage.

Of course if the "tones" work for you, you're getting the alfalfa and a lot of other good stuff. Just wanted to clarify some options.

Cynthia


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