Return to the Antique Roses Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Posted by sherryocala 9A Florida (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 1, 12 at 0:04

She's almost 3 years old, and she has always looked funny. She has only a couple of main canes but lots of long side-shoots that fountain off those canes. I have no idea if/how BN normally gets pruned, and I don't know if its current situation is one that requires fixing. It kind of looks to me like it does, but what do I know?? I have seen photos of Blush Noisette growing as a climber and as a bush. The location now isn't really conducive to climbing since she's about 4'-5' away from the fence, but I don't know how to make it a bush. She's probably close to 10' across and 5+ ft tall. I don't have room for her to be 10' wide. Here's what she looks like.

Blush Noisette 1.27.12

Blush Noisette 1.27.12

Blush Noisette 1.27.12

Blush Noisette 1.27.12

What do you think? Thanks, all.

Sherry

Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Sherry, prune her like you would an arching bush. Those long, climbing canes can be trimmed back a bit lower than the rest of the plant to encourage them to throw laterals. When you've seen bush training of this rose, it's required regular "shearing" to keep and make it bushy, full of flowering laterals. Just do the same, as you would for any shrub which wants to periodically throw "wilder shoots". Don't let it intimidate you. You CAN'T do anything wrong. BN has already shown you she wants to grow and is going to no matter what you do, unless you dry her out, fry her with nitrogen or chop her to the ground. Even after chopping, I think she'd probably thumb her nose at you and grow how she wanted, anyway! Go for it! Kim


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Thanks, Kim, but...

I don't know how to prune an arching bush. Duh.

"can be trimmed back a bit lower than the rest of the plant"

What do you mean by "lower than"?

"Just do the same, as you would for any shrub which wants to periodically throw "wilder shoots"."

I've never had one that does this.

If I cut the longest canes to 6' and they throw those really long laterals, it seems to me it's going to be huge. How much should I shorten the long laterals? And do you know if some of the laterals will be short and some long or all long or what?

I guess I know I can't really kill it, but I want to get it started toward looking and growing right ASAP rather than giving her a bad haircut and waiting for it to "grow out".

Also, does BN behave consistently more like a climber in very warm zones like mine? I've only seen Ronda from Carolina's bush photo, and she's zone 7, I think. If I'm going to have to be fighting with BN, I'd rather have Maggie, I think.

Sherry

Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Many things which are "shrubs" where you and others in harsher climates are, tend to be more "climbing" here because we honestly don't have growth checked by weather. I'd take those huge climbing canes back by half, then generally shape the plant into the shape you want it. Cut it back up to a third smaller than you want and keep pinching back the longer, more vigorous shoots to see if she responds the way you desire. If she isn't cooperative, give her to a good home and replace her with Maggie. You can't really hurt her. As I said, she's going to do as SHE desires anyway. All you can hope to do is encourage her to cooperate with you. Kim


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Hi Sherry, Firstly, take a few deep breaths and have a real good look. Some of those arching canes are thicker, greener and healthier than others - tie a string around them. These are going to be your framework structure - you only need half a dozen. Then, follow each of these canes back to the base, cutting all the laterals back to a couple of buds - 4 - 6 inches. While you are doing this, you can cut out a lot of the little twiggy stems which are doing nothing much. Cut them off - right off. Same if there is anything which looks a bit dead, a bit brown and dry (scratch the stem with a finger nail - if it is alive, it will be green under the outer bark -Any that are brown or pale and dry, with no green, will probably even snap off. Any canes rubbing together - lose the thinnest. What you should end up with is a more see through version of what you already have. I agree with Kim, this rose is showing you very clearly how it wants to grow. Now, to make it a little more shapely, cut a couple of the outer canes which arch towards you, a third shorter than the more upright ones. You want to leave less cane to throw out the summer laterals, keeping new growth as tight in to the lower centre as possible. At the sides of the bush, there are a couple of canes which have got long laterals - chop them off. Eventually, some of the framework canes will look a bit ratty - you have a choice to keep new basal canes or to keep a lateral which is growing as near to the base as possible. You can let the new lateral form the framework structure and chop all the old basal back to where the lateral grows from the original cane. Not explaining this too well, am I? Never mind, if you just trim all the annoyingly long canes and have a good thin out, then that will suffice. There is nothing funny looking about this rose to me - it looks as though it wants to make a lovely fountain shape which, if you were inclined, you could support the bottom 3 feet with some basic supports - either stout poles with crosspieces or (what I use) half an old metal obelisk thingy with the top taken out. Or, I have even used an old umbrella stand with the bottom removed and even the metal outer cage of a municipal dustbin!. The aim being to keep the long canes from flopping on to the floor, taking up tons of room. Take charge, Sherry, you can do this without worrying - this is a tough and capable rose....as you are a tough (well maybe not that much) and capable (for sure) gardener. Courage!


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Campanula, I will reread your post another 5 times and maybe I'll get it. I do appreciate your teaching effort. It's hard to describe such a three-dimensional procedure in writing.

Re "follow each of these canes back to the base, cutting all the laterals back to a couple of buds": most of the long laterals have no laterals on them. Am I simply to cut them off so that they are one-third below the top of the vertical central cane? That will mean nine-tenths of that lateral will be gone, seems to me. Alas, when it's time to prune, I'll have to look at it hard and figure it out. I'll probably just start whacking it - intelligently, of course.

The big hang-up my brain has is that main vertical cane with all those laterals sprouting off every inch up that cane like a tree. (See the small photo.) I have never seen a rose grow like that, and it looks weird to me - really weird - like a deformity. Can someone address this and ease my poor mind?

And thanks, Kim, for the clarification.

Sherry

Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Sherry, that is NORMAL for this rose. It, supposedly, is a hybrid between bushy, twiggy China roses and climbing musk roses. This thing is expressing the growth traits of both types...generating the elongated, climbing canes while pushing out twiggier, bushier laterals. If you shorten the long, main cane, those laterals will bulk up, lengthening and thickening and flowering profusely. You're just not used to seeing anything with this genetic combination, demonstrating these traits. Don't worry. Don't let it intimidate you. As campanula said, both you and the rose are resilient. You can't hurt it (though it can bite the heck out of you!), so reread the above, have a nice, strong glass or cup of tea or coffee or your choice of beverage to gird yourself and dive in! The earlier you do it, the more profuse the bloom you'll have. The longer you wait, the more flowering wood you'll remove and you'll have to wait for it to generate more. Kim


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Well, I'm waiting for our last hard freeze. We usually get a few in February, but it's hard to wait now because the last half of January has been so warm. Everything is totally sprouting with new growth. It's looking like it might stay mild, but who knows? Low to mid 20's will wipe out any new growth brought on my cutting - AND the new growth that's here now. I can't find a long-range forecast.

Sherry

Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

How about just "prune to shape"? Make it look like you want.

The weather is the same here, too. Too warm. It actually feels like spring, and everything is putting out new growth. But we usually get a couple of frosts in February, too. Look out!


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Sherry, I also have this rose! It grows like mad and blooms quite often, almost nonstop. I didn't know what to do, either, so I just hacked it back, tied up the main canes, and pruned out the twiggy growth. Basically what bellegallica said. It's a very forgiving rose. Doesn't care at all about being hacked back, lol. It comes back even stronger than before! It's impressive.


 o
The deed is done

Pruning is done, and looking at these huge photos makes me shudder. I scalped him!

Blush Noisette 2.21.12

Blush Noisette 2.21.12

I think I did what Kim and Campanula suggested. I shortened the longest canes, and I shortened the laterals on all the canes to from 2 to 4 nodes in length (seemed pretty short to me, but now I'm chicken to re-read Campanula's directions to see if I remembered them right). I'm happy enough with it though I think some of the canes are too close (running parallel) and there seems to be a lot of congestion. 9If canes are rubbing or look they they will be imminently rubbing, I just cut them until they and their growth path are out of the way.) My only question is whether this is the way Blush Noisette wants to be. And if it wants to be a billowing pile of canes 10 feet wide, then how will it respond to this shearing. What will it do next? Am I going to have to shear it 2 or 3 more times in the season? Will it be happy staying twice (or 3 times) the size of the pruned bush? I guess I will see as the season goes on.

Interestingly, BN is not the earliest to bud out among all my roses. In fact, he's pretty much last. It has some new growth showing but most of its nodes are just barely swollen.

I hope I did right by Blush Noisette. In other words I hope he can still be who he is after this. If he starts throwing 8-foot long laterals, I'll be back with another thread. :))

Sherry

Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Don't worry Sherry. He'll be just fine! As you've already been assured, this rose WANTS to grow! Even crossed canes aren't that great an issue with him. I'll be you will probably need to move the path out away from him a bit farther, though. I'm sure you will like what he'll become. Kim


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

looks neat to me Sherry. You will have your reward with lots of nice vigoeous canes which, because they are nicely raised from the base, will fountain upwards then out, then, as for all of us, gravity will intervene and pull the canes back down so you end up with a really good full shrub. By no means has it been 'scalped' - treat it like a bad-tempered adolescent and give it a good spanking - You are in charge. Also, I tend to let my roses run amok a little and cut them into shape when I cannot get past so, if you are having to do a sort of sideways shimmy to make use of the path, then whip the secateurs out after its first flush and let it know who is boss.


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Thanks, Kim, for the reassurance re crossed canes and the acclamation that he'll be just fine!

Campanula, how did you know what I wanted to hear? I will keep your advice in my thinking (writing it 100 times if necessary so that I won't forget.) Do you repeat this kind of pruning every year (on a bigger scale naturally), cutting the arching canes back to straight canes? I can't wait to see it grow!!!

Sherry

Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Wow looks like you did a great job! I'm growing two Blush Noisettes as bushes & they're doing fine and after being rather mystified at first I pretty much pruned mine just like you did.
Now I also have 2 Maggies which I would like to grow as shrubs and am not having as much luck. Both are slender, open, upright plants which look like they'd rather climb!
Well, "I" don't really have two of these 2 but I tend two-- one at home and the other at the Chesapeake Arboretum where I planted antique rose garden.


 o
RE: Unsure what to do with Blush Noisette

Barbarag, How nice that your bushes now resemble mine. I saw a picture of Blush Noisette in a magazine (maybe Southern Living) that showed it growing up something and over a stockade fence - quite large, tall and lovely, so if it's planted appropriately with something to climb on, I'm sure it will. Mine through some nicely long canes before I chopped them off.

I just got a baby Maggie. I only know she can be a BIG bush. I've never heard of her being a climber, but that doesn't mean anything. I have to do some switching to accommodate her, and I'm not sure yet how to proceed. I had her when I first started my rose garden, and she took off with a few 5' canes in her first year. I should never have taken her out!

Sherry

Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Antique Roses Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here