Suckering

andrearkOctober 22, 2013

I have read a number of posts that refer to 'suckering'. And the people writing the post, say that they have to cut out many suckers.

My rose beds are young. The oldest being only 18 months old. I just don't know what suckering looks like.

If anyone has photos (prior to cutting out suckers), of these suckers, could you please post them here.

Thanks,

andrea

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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

There are two different categories of suckering, based on whether the rose was grafted/budded or own-root.

On grafted/budded roses, it includes any top-growth coming from the rootstock. This can be true suckering (new shoots from the roots), or simply new growth from the cane below the graft/bud union. In these cases, the suckers will be the rootstock variety, NOT the top-growth variety, and can overwhelm the grafted/budded top-growth variety if left unchecked. You'll want to remove these.

On own-root roses, it's new shoots coming from the roots some distance away from center of the plant. It could be just a few inches away, or a few feet (depending on the degree of suckering). Some own-root types of roses will naturally spread this way (for example, Gallicas and Rugosas). If they're own-root, then the suckers will be the same rose as the top-growth. Think of it as simply getting more of the rose you planted. You can leave them if you don't mind the spread, or remove them if you do. But keep in mind that if you want them removed, it'll be something you'll have to do again when new suckers appear. Suckering is simply the way some types of roses will grow when on their own roots.

In either case, if it's coming from below the ground, you want to rip it out rather than cut it off. Cutting it is like pruning it -- it will come back again. If it's new growth above the soil line but below the graft/bud union, then cut it as close to the main stem as possible.

If you do an internet image-search for "suckering roses" you'll find pictures of both.

:-)

~Christopher

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:19PM
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Annalyssa(Europe 9 - Tuscany, italy)

Thanks for the (timely for me) question and thoughtful answer!!!
Here is a link to a useful image...
(I haven't read the article but the image was handy!)

Here is a link that might be useful: Suckering image

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 1:46PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

To tell you the truth, andrea, I have never had a rose sucker in the 30 some years I have been growing roses. So I never worry one way or another about suckers.

Well, maybe one exception to that statement, now that I think of it. I dug up a climbing rose some years ago. Thought I got all the roots, but evidently it was grafted and a little bit of the rootstock was missed when I dug up the rose. About 4 years later, suddenly a rose was growing about 2 ft. away--where I had never planted a rose. I let it bloom, out of curiosity. Turned out it was Dr. Huey--rootstock that had suckered about 4 years after I spaded that rose. To this day, it puts out a thin cane every spring and I cut it back every spring--and it will probably sucker again next spring also. Persistent little devil! : )

Kate

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 3:48PM
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sidos_house

Christopher's post was comprehensive and informative as always. It depends on what kind of roses you have. Like Kate, you may never have a problem or a sucker! I think there are many pictures on this forum and on the rose forum of rootstock interfering with the grafted/budded rose. You could do a search on Dr. Huey (a commonly used rootstock in the u.s.) and probably get a good idea of what to look for if you have grafted roses.

I just started growing Gallicas and had my first sucker (the second type of suckering Christopher described) only a few months after planting. It's pictured below. Ironically, in order to prevent suckering by roses that are prone to this behavior, you could buy them as grafted plants, then you wouldn't have to worry about the underground suckering, only the rootstock suckering!!! LOL :)

(the photo only shows the sucker, not the mother plant, which is about two feet away, it's like a rose just popped up out of no where.)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 8:27PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I know of two roses that the Doc pops up off the roots, both have had shoveling done to them more than once.

And I bet my once bloomer will sucker and I KNOW the species rose I collected will, so it will live in a pot part way in the ground.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 10:53PM
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andreark

Thank you all so much. What I was actually interested in was the suckering by an own root rose. I will be getting 5 of these from Chamblees this week.

The suckering by a grafted, I would be able to see very easily. I live in California and our grafts (Huey) are above the ground line. Anything below that is probably
a sucker.

Thanks again and have a great Thanksgiving. This will be the first time in about 30 years that I haven't made a 25 pound turkey and ALL trimmings.....(all cooking alone) This year I will be dining at the Claremont in Berkeley. I probably won't know how to handle it!! I love the cooking,,,,,but doing without ALL the work, might be nice.

Happy T-day to all,

andrea

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 11:21PM
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