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Should I let go of my Bewitched bush?

Posted by Sara-Ann z6b OK (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 20:06

I'm wondering if I should go ahead and shovel prune my oldest Bewitched rose bush? I'm thinking I've had it about 12 years and for most of those years it was very dependable and has given me many beautiful blooms. But since last year it hasn't done much. It bloomed in May both this year and last year and has put out just two or three blooms this year since the first flush. None of the blooms were spectacular at all. Last year in September it did have several really nice blooms on it after being totally unproductive previous to that. It is about 6 feet tall and only has one main cane. I have always loved Bewitched, and even though I planted two other ones last year, I do hate to give up on one of my favorite roses. Do rose bushes just die a slow death some times, is it time to let it go?

Shown is a picture from one of my newer bushes. You can see why I love this rose so much.

This post was edited by Sara-Ann on Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 20:12


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Should I let go of my Bewitched bush?

Could it have crown gall?


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RE: Should I let go of my Bewitched bush?

I have a couple of favorites on the decline, too. They are struggling to come back but just aren't good. I have also wondered if there are just some roses that decline after a number of years while others keep getting better and better. It is a tough decision as to what to do with them. My worst malingerer is Hot Cocoa.


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RE: Should I let go of my Bewitched bush?

Have you tried to make major cuts at the base to encourage new growth? I have been doing that with my older Penelopes, and I think it has been working. However, sometimes if you are tired of working with a particular rose, I feels better to just replace it, and move on.

Sammy


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RE: Should I let go of my Bewitched bush?

If you haven't tried Sammy's suggestion w/ doing the cuts maybe try that? I did this w/ an old knock out last spring and it really helped last year (but then our brutal winter killed it anyway) Otherwise it might be a great opportunity to find a new rose! :o)


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RE: Should I let go of my Bewitched bush?

I also did that to an old, very woody Penelope this spring. It had grown up to eat a five foot block wall and was definitely in decline. The only way to stimulate new basal growth and rejuvenate the plant was through major amputations. It worked! I took the whole plant down to less than two feet, fed and watered it and it now has about four feet of growth all over the plant. I need to reinforce the attachments to hold it to that wall so I can begin training it back up there. Often, it becomes a kill or cure battle. You have nothing other than time to lose by trying to cure an already dying plant. Kim


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RE: Should I let go of my Bewitched bush?

Thank you everyone. I'm fairly certain the bush is not diseased, it doesn't appear to be. I might try making some cuts around the base just to see what happens, if it doesn't work no harm. It is kind of difficult to see a rose decline after it has done so well, but not the end of the world and there is definitely no shortage of roses that I want to try.


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RE: Should I let go of my Bewitched bush?

Does it make a difference if these cuts are made during high temps? I think I need to do this to some of my non-performing HTs, including my Bewitched.


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