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Q.How do you split rose crowns?

Zone TA7 0AX | Anonymous added on July 12, 2020 | Answered

I have 2 roses, both 20 years old plus and have always been in containers. 1 is a variety called Whisky Mac, the other I am unsure but is very similar to the Whisky Mac variety. Both have deep red blooms.

The crowns have become very big and I notice this year for the first time they are not generally performing well. I have been told that it is possible to split the crowns, but I cannot find a good way or set of instructions on how to do this. I obviously don’t want to damage them beyond repair as they were both given to me as gifts to commemorate my parents passing. Can you advise (a). is it possible and correct to split the crowns on older rose bushes? and (b) if it is advisable, how do I do it?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 12, 2020

I would not advise trying to split the crowns. The best way to get more of the same rosebush is by taking cuttings from canes that are mature (have had blooms) and follow the process to get them to grow as new rosebushes. The link below explains.

If the rosebushes have been in the same container for many years, it is likely they are becoming or have become root bound. You can sometimes move them to larger containers. Gently pull what roots you can out of the shape of the current container when you move them into the new containers. Getting the roots freed up a bit will go a long way to their better performance. When transplanting any rosebush, I water them with some water that has a product called Super Thrive in it the day before the move. Then once moved to their new locations/containers, water them in with some water that has both the Super Thrive and a Root Stimulator in it. The next 4 to 5 times the rosebushes need water, water them with a fresh batch of such mix. This will be the best thing you can do to help them deal with the shock and stress of the move to get back to performing well.


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