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How to create new canes?

Posted by Toolbelt68 7 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 30, 13 at 16:59

Hi, I'm new to this forum so I hope I'm not asking a question that has been answer a ka-zillion times....

I have 30 Zephirine Drouhin roses around the place that are now 15 years old. I just tied them to the trellis and/or fence and let them grow. They are on a drip system so they get plenty of water. I trim out most of the dead limbs but have never removed any of the big canes. Most are still doing great but some are down to only a couple of canes or canes with very little growth on them, thus fewer flowers.

I want to create more canes from the ground up.

Soooo, what to do? Do I cut the canes with little growth off down at zero ground level, couple inches up, or what?? When do I do this, Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter?? Most canes are over 6 feet or much higher tall.
Thanks, very much


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to create new canes?

Photos? I'd love to see thirty Zeffys in one garden. Please don't prune until spring. You didn't specify what/how much you are fertilizing -- to stimulate new canes, I'd apply alfalfa meal in spring once the soil warms up and continue to feed Rose-tone throughout the growing season.


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RE: How to create new canes?

You don't want new canes starting in October because they will probably freeze and waste plant energy.

Pruning out a number of old, less productive canes at the base will cause the plant to make new ones in order to rebalance itself. Do this either in March or immediately after the first flush of bloom. Thenceforth it's a good idea to remove some canes each succeeding year.


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RE: How to create new canes?

yep, a hard pruning in spring will do one of 2 things - either rejuvenate aging roses....or kill them. Try it with a couple of them - stool them right back to ground level, water and wait - will take a couple of years to build up mass again but this is a tried and tested method to increase vigorous juvenile growth. You can also cut back about half of the older wood over a two year rotation (a method used to refresh aging hedges).


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RE: How to create new canes?

Wow, thanks to everyone!!!! I'll follow what you all said and let you know the results.
Here is a picture of my roses. I combined them so the file would not be too big. Street, front, deck, entrance/steps, far side, and back yard. All are on a drip system and as you can see we get tons of flowers but there could be MORE!!! lol

enjoy.... and thanks again.
Toolbelt


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RE: How to create new canes?

Epsom Salts are known to create more new canes (bottom breaks).


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RE: How to create new canes?

The use of Epsom salts (actually the Mg in the Epsom salts) has been promoted for years as a basal break stimulator. However it is a good idea to first test your soil to see if it is deficient in Mg before adding Epsom salt, many garden soils are not, & excessive Mg can be detrimental to your roses. Michaelg's pruning suggestion along with a feeding of some high N fertilizer (1-2 TBSP of a lawn fert.) at the time of pruning gives me my best basal breaks & I don't use Epsom salts because my soil tests high in Mg. Also remember if you use lime on your roses, the most common form of lime is dolomite lime & it adds plenty of Mg to your soil.


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RE: How to create new canes?

Awesome photos Toolbelt! Thank you!


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RE: How to create new canes?

I agree that we shouldn't apply epsom salts without a soil test and especially not if dolomite lime has been applied. Excessive levels of magnesium do occur naturally or can be caused by overuse of epsom salts. If Mg is deficient, then epsom salts are helpful.


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RE: How to create new canes?

Soooo, I'm to test before applying epsom salts, thanks. I tossed a handful on each plant at the beginning of the season for years. Also added a handful of Once fertilizer. Got tons of flowers for years but as I said the canes have gradually stopped producing. Come this Spring I'll cut off one of the old canes after the main bloom is finished.

I don't worry too much about the nitty gritty of things, to me, it's grow or go!!

Wirosarian, what is a good fertilizer? "feeding of some high N fertilizer (1-2 TBSP of a lawn fert.)" I can't find the Once on the market anymore.

Cecily, glad you liked the pictures. Our place POPs in the Spring.
Our robot lawn mower keeps the grass in check..... lol

Thanks everyone for the help, as you can tell I don't know much about roses so if you don't see it listed above and you know something that I should know by all means post it for me.


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RE: How to create new canes?

For a high N fertilizer I use whatever lawn fertilizer I have, usually something with a 26 to 30 first number, just make sure it is NOT a "weed & feed" lawn fertilizer.


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