Rose Transplant

Junbug added on January 10, 2018 | Answered

As a novice knowing not much I transplanted a giant rose bush at the end of last summer, when it was in full bloom. I dug a big hole, tried to make it about as soft as possible, back-filled with soil and a fertilizer recommended for roses. I also watered a lot through the final bouts of late-summer heat. Now the leftover, cut stalks, about 15 two-feet high of them, are black. I'm really hoping I did a good enough job and it'll come back in the spring. Now it's January. Should I cut them all down to the ground level, leave them standing, what?

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Answered on January 29, 2018

10 canes are too many. Depending on the type of rose, you want 5-7 max. Remove some of the interior canes as low as you can just before growth in spring. Remove canes that are growing back toward the center of the plant instead of outward and canes that cross or rub against each other. You are after just a basic simple frame that is open to light and air which minimizes leaf disease. YouTube has numerous rose pruning videos. I can't say whether your "tan" and my white are the same. You'll know if spring. If it doesn't leaf out to the end of a cane, prune off the stub 1/4 inch above an outward-facing leaf bud. I think you'll be very surprised at how fast roses fill in after spring pruning.

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Answered on January 28, 2018

Thabks so much for the info. The plant has 10 stalks clearly bigger than a pencil, which I've cut down to about 14-16 inches. The angle cuts show light tan interior. With all the side branches coming out, there's about 33 cuts and open tan faces. I didn't see any particular buds or anything to cut above. If there was a healthy looking offshoot, I tended to cut above that. I took some pictures, but don't know how to share them here. Would be happy for a bit more feedback, but I'm also just eager to see how it develops in spring! Ben

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Answered on January 11, 2018

Hang in there; you did some damage but roses are pretty tough. Next time you get the urge to move a plant, and we all experience this, make yourself do the research first. Unfortunately, I don't know where you live but most rose pruning is done in early spring right as the leaf buds are swelling. If your plant is now dormant, it won't be able to heal pruning cuts. Black canes likely indicate die-back. When it is time to prune, cut just above an outward-facing leaf bud, at an angle, until you come to white pith. The pith is the middle of the cane. Tan pith is dead so prune further down the cane until you reach white. You will also notice a very thin layer of green just under the cane "bark". It would be helpful to know what type of rose you have as there are some differences in pruning technics. Having 15 canes sounds excessive. Prune any cane that isn't at least pencil thick down to the ground. Also remove canes that point back toward the middle of the plant, canes that are damaged or diseased, and one of the canes where two are rubbing against each other. The goal is to "open up" the center to allow sunlight to penetrate and ensure good air flow, necessary to prevent leaf diseases. Roses should be fed early spring, after the first flush of bloom is over and a lighter feeding in early fall. You want at least 6 weeks between last feeding and frost so the plant can prepare for winter dormancy. Feeding too heavily or too late stimulates new growth which won't harden off before winter sets in and kills it. As a general rule when transplanting, don't fertilize until you see new growth forming. The plant must first establish roots in the new location and nitrogen works against this. Water, not too heavily - soil should be moist, not wet - mulch the plant well and provide some water over winter during dry weather. Don't be surprised if you end up cutting those black canes back. New growth will likely emerge from the base. When it is in bloom, write back with a picture and we'll try to help you ID the type of rose you have.

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