How do I kill this stupid rose bush?

owiebrain(5 MO)April 5, 2005

There was a rose bush in the front yard when we moved here. I don't know what kind as I'm not a flower person. It's a bushy type with thorns. We let it go for a while to see what it looked like but decided to whack it down this year. Whacked it clear to the ground and even into the ground as far as we could get. Now it's sending up shoots again and, boy, do they grow quickly!

So how do I end its miserable existence? Would the old salt and vinegar trick work, ya think? Any other ideas other than shoveling to China to get all of the roots? (I don't do Round Up or any of those things.)

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broken_lady(z6 ok)

Hi, Owie, a friend told me that boiling water will kill things like that. I haven't tried it yet but sounds like it should work.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 11:32AM
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wolflover(z7 OK)

Yeah, I'd try the boiling water thing too. Diane, you sound like me. I gave three of my rose bushes away Sunday -- only kept the one Joseph's Coat bush that I love. DH dug them up for me. I sure hope they don't come back from any roots he might have left. I love roses but think they are too much trouble to care for. I'm gonna plant BANANA plants in their spots! LOL

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 12:09PM
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owiebrain(5 MO)

I was hoping for something besides boiling water. I can't make it out there with a pot of boiling water without spilling it all over myself on the way. LOL Between the door and the yard is a door that doesn't open all of the way, then the deck walkway which has zero width (bumping into stuff on the sides, splashing hot water all over), then through the 1' wide exit to the stairs (more bumping and splashing, probably accompanied by my screams of pain), then down the most horrid deck stairs in the world (more bumping, splashing, screaming, and massive cussing, followed by skin grafts to replace my now-missing skin). Finally, I collapse into a pile of quivering flesh at the bottom of the steps, never to reach the rose with any water or flesh left. :-D

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 12:40PM
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    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 1:25PM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

Bleach full strenghth sprayed on the leaves and growing tips will do the job.

If your not in a hurry, water it on a regular basis, talk to it, and tell your friends it's your favorite plant. That should do it also :-).


    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 1:27PM
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OB - SOMEONE FINALLY came and rescued the poor little 'Dainty Bess' rose that I thought I was going to have to put out a contract on. I will NEVER try roses again. What a horrible experience. I still have one rose to uproot and toss in the dumpster, but it will probably have to wait til next year. It has about, oh, let's cane. It stretches about, mmmmmmm, 40' high, and is a very consistent specimen, in that it never, never, never, fails to get blackspot right off the bat, and it never, never, never, never, has more than 1 bloom!

Ah, one of these days, when I have everything else done in the yard, and the aches and pains don't prevent me from lifting an axe!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 1:56PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

My vote is for salt & vinegar, or for bleach. Just add a little soap to whatever you spray on it, to help the "rose-killer" stick to the leaves.


Just tell the kids to say away from it because it is your absolute favorite plant in the world! At most houses, THAT guarantees it will be repeatedly run over by basketballs, young men with large feet, dogs and an occasional stray bike! If you can't get your own kids to kill the rose bush for you, then maybe you could invite some of their friends over to play? LOL

Seriously, if spraying something on the leaves doesn't work, drill as large of a hole as you can into the main woody portion of what's left in the ground, and pour bleach or salt/vinegar right into that hole in the stem. It should kill the thing from the inside out.

Diane, you know, it is painful to discuss willfully killing plants that I like! :) (And I do like roses, but only the tough ones that don't get black spot and that don't need pampering!)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 4:41PM
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owiebrain(5 MO)

Oh, thanks for the bleach idea! I'll go ahead and try the salt and vinegar thing first but, if that doesn't work, I'll go buy some bleach. Luckily, it's not growing too closely to anything I want to keep.

It is/was a very healthy rose bush. Nothing disease-like going on. I never tended it, just let it go wild, and it did its rosey thing. Anyone that wants a rose bush that won't die, better come and dig it up quickly before I kill it. LOL

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 12:32PM
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yes, those rose bushes are sometimes indestructible. Last november, I dug up and tossed out into my yard a rose *miniature* that I thought was dying. In april, I looked at it where it lay, was going to toss on the trash heap and it was greening up! I took it out and potted it up and now it looks wonderful Lol

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 6:11AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I don't know what kind of a rose is multiflora - the one that carries rose rosette disease, but I would suggest vinegar as opposed to bleach. I had a rose with crown gall, and was told to pour straight bleach on it - that the bleach wouldn't hurt it. I poured a cup on the crown, and the bleach didn't hurt it, but later I found galls on the roots, and got rid of the rose.

I probably missed it, but what are you trying to kill? The little sprouts that keep coming up or does it have a stump or something? Even though you don't do Round Up, they sell it in little spray bottles. Would you find it acceptable to just spray that one little sprout and nothing else?


    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 6:49AM
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owiebrain(5 MO)

Sammy, you're talking over my head with the multiflora, rosette disease, and galls there. LOL

Anyway, I'm trying to kill the whole darned rose bush. A few weeks ago, hubby cut if off at and below ground level. Now it's sending up shoots again, laughing at us. We can keep cutting off teh above-ground stuff but I'd like to kill the underground part, as well, so we're not forever battling it.

Nope, no RoundUp at all. I'm a stickler about it. I might consider a small atomic weapon, though...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 11:41AM
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What about Borax. That is a plant killer. Used to kill mold and works better then bleach. Was told that was the best thing to use if you want to kill any kind of plant.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 8:38PM
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broken_lady(z6 ok)

Hummmmm, wonder if borax would work on Trumpet Vine??????

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 2:36AM
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(Hand raised and waiving wildly)
I know how you can kill your rose bush!
The only bloomin' plant in our yard when we bought this place was a nasty, diseased climbing rose. The trunk was so thick we figured it had to have been planted in 1955, when the house was built, or shortly thereafter.
I tried for two years to cure this monster and finally gave up.
Invited my son over one lovely spring day and handed him the pick ax. He's a very physical kind of guy and was up to the challenge.
Sufice to say that he told me he would never, ever offer to remove a rose again!
It took him all afternoon.
In the end, I had a huge hole (about 3 feet deep!) with a huge severed tap root at the bottom. That was a deep as he was prepared to dig.
It worked, though. The rose is long gone.
After that little episode, and one other experience with a huge rented sod remover which I'll save for another thread, my son became just a little more wary of my calls for help in the yard.
As in he has drawn a line. No holes over two feet deep and no mechanical equipment bigger than a Troy Built tiller!
Heck, I can handle that stuff. LOL

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 5:21AM
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owiebrain(5 MO)

Borax, huh? I just so happen to have some. Hmmm...

Broken Lady, you silly thing. No one can kill trumpet vine. They're indestructible alien beings sent from a galaxy far, far away. They're currently running an elaborate maze of tunnels throughout the Earth's crust, just waiting for the right moment to simultaneously shoot up all at once, strangle us all, and rule the planet.

Dawn, I'll be impatiently awaiting arrival of your son into my mailbox. I might need to get a bigger mailbox, though.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 11:35AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Diane, Maybe you could plant a trumpet creeper beside the rose bush and it would just strangle the bush to death! Tee hee! Giggle. Just trying to help!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 7:04PM
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oklahawg(NE OK z6-7)

Had 4 that needed to go away. Loosened the dirt around it (reasonably dry) to a depth and width 4x that of the trunk width. Tied a ski rope around the base of the trunk and hooked it to a garden tracker and pulled it out. It came out well enough for the guy who had the garden tracker to replant them, with 2 actually still living 4 years later.

Might work for others. Might not. I seem to have the most macabre luck with gardening--easy stuff is often a struggle yet I can get some toughies to flourish.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 11:20PM
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Just invite me over with the intentions to give me the rose bush. It will die instantly. I have the worst luck, although I do have my first bloom showing at this time.
Vingear will kill the bush, however, and as usual there is a however, it will sterilize the ground also. I was watching tv the other night on weed killing and this was their story. Boiling water will work, but I'm a nurse and don't want to have to take care of you for third degree burns, so I'd drop that idea unless you gave one of those gas fish or turkey fryer handy you can sit next to the plant. Round-up might work except i'd tried that for years on the grass in the flower bed, so far the grass is tuffer.
Good luck killing that rose bush, I'm just keeping my alive and still planting the stupid things. smile.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 2:09AM
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Horse manure will burn it up real fast. Do not mix it in the dirt. Just cover the area where it is coming up and sit and wait.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 12:43AM
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cuzz64(7a SW OK)

We killed a mimossa that was growing right next to a nice old 7 sisters rose bush by cutting the mimossa down to the ground, drilling a big hole in the stump, and pouring stump killer in the hole. You can buy the stump killer at a nursery supply store. I keep it handy just to kill all those pesky little trees that keep growing on our fence line.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 3:21PM
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By the time time you mess up your soil with the vinegar and salt you should just spray round up and be done. After all it is just a salt that neturalizes on soil contact where as regular salt would ruin your soil.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 8:30PM
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EngiN117(7a GA)

Send the rose to me, I will take care of it, and it might die anyway. I love roses, but have a very limited budget and would not go out and spend money on them.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 2:00PM
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Ok I read all of those messages and well what about the little things blooming everywhere??? I came in the house to look up a solution for the rose bushes and this was AFTER I dug up the main root. I didn't get it far far down but now what should be my next step??? Will the salt and vinigar make it so nothing else can go in that spot or what is the ruin your soil stuff??? I now need to find a way to get rid of the roots that are sprouting within the area of the main guy. OH MY please help don't have time to mess with it like I have been....Email me at please. NOt sure how this site works. Thanks all.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 6:08PM
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Okay, I am laughing out loud and then again at these postings. I bought a house last fall with 2 rosebushes that I hate. They're pretty and all, but I have no use for them. Now that I'm preparing for my spring garden, I can't get rid of the parasite. I have chopped and dug and filled the hole with water to soften the beast, then hacked at the miserable creature until my neck jumped with spasm after spasm. Mud covered all over my cute little gardening outfit because I am determined to get the little (can't say it here) out of my garden. Now I have a 10 foot hole to China and the tip of a never ending root laughing its arse off at me. If I do Round Up or Bleach or Vinegar, will it ruin the area for the vegetables I want in that spot? I'm not sure I can afford the son ... they're costly.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 10:34PM
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I had a rose bush on the side of my garage that must have been planted at or near the time the house was built (40+ years). About 8 years ago, I enlisted all of my kids, my neighbors' kids, my dad, my husband and myself and we took the thing out with a spade and an ax. Got every bit of trunk and root (or so we thought). It was gone for years. A few years ago, I noticed it growing out of the ground again, but it was small and pretty with lots of blooms. I had to let it go at that time and it has come back each year since. This year, it lost it's is a monster. Around 8 feet high and just growing all over the place-even under the siding. I just hacked it out of the ground again yesterday - all by myself, though, because all of the kids are gone and my husband was working! I just couldn't stand it anymore. Now I will try the salt & vinegar or borax to make sure those roots are truly gone. I can't stand that this rose might come back again. Oh yeah - this is gonna take a couple trips to the chiropractor to recover from!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:35PM
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Lol, after all these 8 years, I sure hope that rose stump is very well dead and decomposed. I should cover and starve the thing from oxygen and sun light with a black upturned trash can also.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 1:30PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Oh my goodness...I was reading through all these replies and thought, Wow, where'd all these new posters come from? and for a poor rose? Whew, it is an old thread and hopefully Owie's rose has been taken care of :) Moving away helps, if nothing else!

I have used round up on a rose that I wanted to get rid of (on the stump)....that rose thought it was fertilizer... It is absolutely beautiful at the moment ;)

Susan, you just need the RIGHT rose! Own root, antique roses are the way to go. Hybrid teas and grafted roses come with a lot of problems.

Sammy, I was just thinking about RRD the other day. I lost a rose to it way back when and I was so sad. I haven't seen any more of it since I got rid of the diseased rose and the multiflora rose that may have been the vector.

Mamachile...that is what I did for my silver maple tree that I had taken out last year. I had the stump ground and then I moved my compost pile on top of it! I haven't seen one peep out of it.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 5:21PM
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If you don't want your roses - this fall, prune them down, dig them up and send them to me. I need about sixteen of them for a little project I'm working on. I prefer the old rosa rugosa roses, but other varieties will do, as well. I need a few of the latter for the bed in the front of the house.

I'll bookmark this page and come back to it later, if any of you are interested in giveng a poor, busted up, crazy old Veteran a ffree rose bushes. Not that I like them. They're for my poor old crippled up wife, you see.

(I wasn't too obvious with that tugging on heartstrings thing, was I? Ah, can't be good at everything, I reckon...)

In any case, it might solve one of your problems while solving one of mine. win-win.

Currently two of the three bare root roses we planted this spring have survived and are now blooming. Pretty little things.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 5:49PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Wbonesteel. You need to go peruse the antique rose forum... you would fall in love. :) Have you thought about rooting roses? ......they are free that way! If you lived closer to okc I'd let you take cuttings from mine!

Look into antique/earth kind roses. They don't suffer from as many troubles as hybrid teas.

Chamblees Roses sells earth kind roses, you could check their lists for good roses. I have have several roses from them.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Thanks, Lisa. I'll look at the rose forum later on.

Chamblees didn't have what I'm looking for. I need between twelve and thirteen rose bushes that will grow about six feet tall with red roses and huge rose hips in the fall. Lots of thorns. A heritage variety, they were often used as hedges, which is how I plan to use those bushes, while getting a bit of vitamin c in the process. When raw, and reasonably fresh, rose hips are crunchy, but with a nice sweet and tart flavor that bursts in your mouth. Loads of vitamin c, too.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 6:44PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Ahhhh, gotcha! I do have a monster bush, but it is Georgetown Tea and it is pink. My thorniest rose is Fairy. That thing reaches out and butchers me anytime I get within 5 feet of it. But I don't grow anything just for the hips. I really ought to try to save some hips though.

Georgetown Tea

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 11:31PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Up close view of Georgetown Tea.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 11:34PM
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Yeah. I'm after something very similar to that.

I don't want them just for the hips, I want them as a hedge.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 8:54AM
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shankins123(7aOKC) can try looking on the website of the Antique Rose Emporium down in Brenham, TX. All of us rose LOVERS should take a trip to see that place at least once in our lives. And/or go to the gardens in Tyler, TX...beautiful!!


Here is a link that might be useful: Antique Rose Emporium

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 3:21PM
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That's the sort of thing I'm looking for! Thank you! Bookmarked.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 6:03PM
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