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giant canes, no blooms

Posted by cinnamonk zone 6-7 nc (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 17, 05 at 17:14

I have recently been "commissioned" to help with my mom's rose garden. (I'm primarily into vegetables; pardon me if this question is dumb.) Her rose garden contains several smaller roses that are doing badly (I've read the posts about which varieties to replace them with, and thank you). It also contains some huge, old climbers that it would be great if we could save - except that they're not doing anything. Is there a way that I could prune them back to health? And do I do it now, or wait for spring?

Thanks a million.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: giant canes, no blooms

Probably these are once-bloomers that flower in May-June. Did you see them then? Once-blooming old ramblers can be rewarding if they are disease resistant, and many are.

They must not be pruned much in fall or early spring, but if pruning is necessary, after blooming in June. As a rule of thumb, remove the barky old canes at that time to generate more productive, younger canes. If they are pruned heavily at the wrong time, they bloom little and make green growth during the blooming period instead of flowers.

RE: giant canes, no blooms

Yes, thank you, that sounds like the bushes! They do bloom once, but the blooms are sparce. Any advice for getting more blooms?

RE: giant canes, no blooms

  • Posted by Elks US5, Can6b (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 23, 05 at 8:24

Train the canes horizontally. They will send out laterals from which there will be bloom.
Increase the sunlight if possible. (Not a very helpful suggestion in most cases.)
Feed with a little more phosphorus (P) if your soil dictates it.

RE: giant canes, no blooms

Elks beat me to it. I also saw in a friends garden that ones trained horizontialy bloomed much better.

RE: giant canes, no blooms

And oh yes, spreading spent coffee grounds around the base line does much to help plants recover from heavy pruning.

In old plants don't forget to look for the cane borer holes in the cane ends and prune them back to fresh stems. If you can't bear losing a whole cane run an old clothes hanger in the end to kill the larvae. If you hang yellow strips coated with tanglefoot near bare end canes you may catch the borer fly before it gets to lay eggs in the canes.

That's all I know about roses. So other more experienced rose growers can expand on that.

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