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I'm gonna hack it back!

Posted by CEFreeman DC/MD Burbs 7B (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 22:50

Did your attention!? LOL

I have one thing with pickers in my 3 acres of gardens and it's this darned rose. It's lovely and I could get the name of it if necessary, but in the meanwhile, it's spindly and straggly.

I'm cutting out shrubs that didn't make the winter, and this thing is catching on me terribly. In bad spots. :( It's got very thick trunks, then long weeping canes(?).

Do roses bloom on new growth? or old?
It needs feeding judging from the reading here I've done, so it's going to actually get some water beginning tomorrow. Last year it bloomed for a long while. This year, it's been too hot, I think. I would love to get it healthy enough to maybe bloom again. It is lovely, but I hate pickers.

After all that whining, will I kill it if I hack it back to maybe, 3' tall? leaving leaves for photosynthesis?
What do you think?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I'm gonna hack it back!

I seem to be the first one to see your post, so I will begin.

Roses are not very expensive compared to the pleasure I get from them, and the time they can take. If I had a rose that you describe, and I did not know the name of it, I would dig it out, and replace it with a rose that could suit what I want and need.

If I were to keep the rose, and would cut out all dead and damaged canes, clean up the ground under the rose, balance it as far as cane size goes, water and fertilize, and wait patiently for new growth next year.

What I suggested is what I did with one of my Penelopes yesterday. I have cut so much wood, that the rose will not look pretty this year. However, I hope it will thrive, and be pretty next year. (in my case, I have put down ant granules because they have built too many hills around it.)

Many popular roses today bloom on new and old wood. Once bloomers bloom on old wood, so you need to be sure not to prune them much in the spring.

I am not sure what "pickers" are.


RE: I'm gonna hack it back!

Sammy, thanks for your response!
I do love the flowers and can ask the person who gave it to me what its variety is. It came from a GW, Mid-Atlantic Gardening Board Spring trade a few years ago. It is the darkest, reddest rose without pink in it. Which is why she gave it to me. I'm not a pink fan.

"Pickers" are what we grew up calling "thorns." I forgot not everyone calls them pickers. I have nothing with pickers! Not even some of the incredible, red Bayberries simply because of their thorns.

I am going to go out and give this bush the stare down. But the ground it's in is hard and not terribly rich. I'll start with water and fertilizer.

Ants: One of the banes of my existence.
I was given 11 dumptrucks of dirt when my next door neighbor dug out a driveway. I really needed that for grading and was trying to figure out how to pay for it. A blessing.

A month or two later, I had my fumigator over for April termite treatments.
He looked at my yard and asked, "What are you growing?"

I replied, "Ants." There were so many ant hills on this dirt, the dirt looked tilled. He was astonished and said in 25 years of this line of work, he'd never, ever seen anything like it.

Despite him treating the dirt, and my 3 years of trying to stave off the millions of ant mounds,not only in the grass, they pop up in my Japanese Maple pots, around and under every hosta and hellebore, and God forbid I don't wet down and cover with potting soil any dead leaves. Under my siding, steps and flowerpots. I've come to hate stepping on that soft ant hill dirt.

They've moved east across my acre and are making their home in my other neighbor's yard and garden. My point in all this is I've been spraying. I never thought about granules. What do you use? The Ortho stuff?

Sorry. I always have a story.
I'll get to work on my rose.

RE: I'm gonna hack it back!

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 12:24

It sounds like a once blooming rose. They only bloom on old wood. Usually those are pruned only AFTER they have bloomed out for the current season. However, if it hasn't bloomed yet and you don't see any buds forming on it yet it may not bloom this season so pruning it now should be fine. It could be that this past winter killed off the year old wood that would have bloomed this season. It was a very nasty winter.

Take out any dead wood and cut it down to the height you want then leave it alone to grow back new wood that should bloom next year. Yes, keep it watered and fertilize it. If you have any pictures from last years bloom post them and maybe we can ID it for you.

RE: I'm gonna hack it back!

Yes, I think it's a one bloomer.
I didn't deadhead this year, so it's stopped.
I'll trim the baby down and see what happens.
Thanks for the suggestions!

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