Is this normal? Wm Shakespeare 2000 tomato like growth habit.

lola-lemon(5b East WA)June 7, 2011

Hi. I posted a message about this yesterday in the general rose forum and because I can't upload pictures there, I am reposting it here- as I think the pictures are helpful.

I have a new William Shakespeare 2000, on his own root with what seems to me as impossibly spindly and prostrate growth (acts like a tomato vine hanging down out of the pot). I don't know if this is from bad pruning, or a genetic defect, or totally normal. If it's normal, will it grow out of this habit? I don't have the room for a creeping rose. ai yai yai.

It looks like the main canes (from below soil) were already nipped at about 2 inches on both original shoots. It gets weird from there. All this new growth (fairly lush) is coming off side shoots, and side-side shoots. It puts on a litte cluster of shoots about every 1-2 inches. So, it's super multibranched at only 15inches height and cannot support itself.

About one third of the plant appears to literally want to grow straight down because it is a bunch of side branchs that came out facing down, then they rebranched again. Good news is there is what appears a new shoot, which is about 7 inches and it seems normal.

He was transferred from a band? into a gallon pot for me by the nursery about 5 weeks ago, and I just picked him up from them yesterday. I transferred him into a 5 gallon pot in the evening and his roots looked fine- running all around the soil.

His leaves are normal colored and although some are quite small (all this multiplexed branching, I guess) he also has quite a bit of normal sized foliage. Lots of buds ( i removed most).

To me, he doesn't look diseased. But he looks nothing like any of my other austin's. If he just needs time to grow, could you offer me advice on how to manage him? I can't imagine pruning him, seems that would make matters worse. Should I just let him hang down and be weird for a while, since the branches grew like that?

I'd like to hear any suggestions (even hunches if you haven't had this particular issue yourself before). Thanks!

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