Darlows Enigma

sunnysideuphill(5)May 4, 2014

I have had great luck with this in a sheltered corner. Most years there are some dead tips to remove and that is it. But THIS winter!
There are canes leafing out but also many dead to the ground
At least a quarter of them. And many are interior canes on a 6' plus shrub. If you know Darlow you know what a suicide mission it is to go inside.
SO I'm thinking of drastic action - reduce whole thing to under3' and then finish by removing dead stuff at base.
Your thoughts?

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seil zone 6b MI

I'd say go for it! I had this same problem on some of my OGRs this spring. Reine des Violettes was no problem because she is thornless but Rose de Rescht has those tiny needle thorns! I took her right down and am hoping she'll come back stronger for it. She hadn't really been pruned a lot in about 5 years so she really did need a good hair cut! Honorine de Brabant was a mess too so she got whacked. My climber Blaze I had to take off all but one of the longest canes and that got cut back down to where I could at least see a few buds fattening. It's going to be an interesting season!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:09PM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

I sympathize with you on pruning Darlow's Enigma with all the multiple small branching canes with extensive sneaky thorns. Fortunately, DE is a survivor. You could probably take a chainsaw to the whole bush and it would come back swinging, particularly if it's an own-root bush. Mine has been in an out-of-the-way mostly shade corner for 6 years or so with basically no pruning, so I rarely dare approach that corner. It still does fine with benign neglect, but it shouldn't complain one bit to have random and severe hacking.

Go for it - just do it on a cool day so you can wear body protection.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 11:05PM
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