'roses that bloom on old wood'

fernsk(z2 Canada)April 4, 2007

Hi all

I didn't want to hijack another post but saw this comment and realized that I have no [zero] idea what roses bloom on old or new wood - I'm assuming that means that if a rose died back to the ground and bloomed on old wood that you wouldn't get blooms - correct?

I have 4 roses - 1 is a mystery, Lambert Closse, JP Connell, Prairie Joy - since they are all "hardy" does that mean that they bloom on "new wood" - I hope?

Also if they bloom on new wood should one cut back the plant in the spring or can they bloom on both?


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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Fern, good question and I wish I could answer it more fully. The ones you have all bloom on new wood. A lot of roses that supposedly bloom on old wood, actually bloom best on old wood but new growth will bloom too.

Many of the old-wood bloomers are climbers, as well many are older roses and members of more obscure groups that you're not likely to run into. Very generic but I hope that helps!

If you have a particular rose you want to look up, Helpmefind.com will tell you which roses bloom on new wood, under the "Growing" section. Unfortunately, there isn't a feature to search this trait. (Example, look up New Dawn)

Here is a link that might be useful: Help Me Find - Roses

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 4:11PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Just noticed the rest of your question... in general you shouldn't cut anything to the ground just to get it to bloom. Heavy pruning can be necessary in the south States but mostly we just prune if necessary, for shape and size. Pruning on new-wood bloomers can be done in early spring, removing any dead wood and shaping the bush. Whether you prune or not, for our purposes you will get (roughly) the same amount of bloom on your new wood.

People will argue this, but I don't prune roses much. Winter does enough of that around here.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 4:17PM
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fernsk(z2 Canada)

Thanks for the explanation but a new question arises - if the roses only bloom on "new wood" does that mean that you end up with no flowers at the top of the rose bush?

I know I'm kind of dumb about these roses but... I'm trying to learn


    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 11:11PM
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sazzyrose(2b Sk)

Fern, as the year progresses, your roses will keep growing.
The flowers will be mostly from about the middle of the bush and up. And yes you will have flowers on the top.
I do prune my rose bushes. My rule of thumb is to prune off all that is dead first. Then I prune off any smaller side branches and leave the ones that are about the size of a pencil and larger. This will force the bushes to send out new branches that are larger. I've found that the spindly branches will not produce blooms. Plus if you get rid of the branches that will not bloom you will have more air circulation and less chance of getting diseases. Mostly it will depend on how big you rose bush is. On my newer or less vigorous plants, it isn't always possible for me to prune this hard.
I also get rid of some height if mother nature hasn't done it for me. I like my rose bushes to be full and this helps.
On my older bushes I get rid of some of the older canes as well even if they are bigger.

One thing to try to do once they bloom, is to remove any old blooms. Just like dead heading annuals. It will make the plant want to produce more blooms.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 3:47AM
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Laurie_z3_MB(sw MB)

I agree with everything that's been said above, but since you're new to roses Fern, I've just got one little tip to add. Roses do produce more flowers when deadheaded, that's true, but you should stop deadheading by the end of August and let the hips form. This helps to signal to the rose that blooming season is almost over and to prepare for winter. It's suppose to help them survive our tough winters better. It's something I've done for awhile, so I think it works. :)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 9:20AM
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fernsk(z2 Canada)

Thanks everyone for the info and tips. My Lambert Closse actually has green leaves at the bottom now that it has come out from under the snow bank - the JP Connell also has a few green leaves on it - that must be a good sign


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 9:56AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I just re-read my previous post and I made a mistake... Helpmefind.com will tell you if a rose blooms on old wood, but does not mention anything if it's new wood. As most of them are.

I agree with Laurie about stopping deadheading in August, also stop fertilizing and don't prune. Many roses don't actually set a hip so just leave whatever's left on the plant.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 10:01AM
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