Why roses get strange branches
I had beautiful rose bushes until about three years ago. Some of them were fifteen years old and still every year they were beautiful roses. I started finding what looked like a brownish red or wine colored branch growing out from the main bush. It seemed to stunt thier growth and they all started looking bad. I sprayed everything that I was told to use, by the pros. Nothing helped. I transplanted some, still they died. Please help. The last rose bush (Joseph's coat of many colors) has gotten two big branches of whaever it is. Gets buds, they open enough to see the color of the rose, and then shrinks. They also stay there on the branch and don't die. It seems to make the rose bush sick. Please help, Kathleen
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It could be that you have what are know as grafted rosebushes. The canes you speak of could be the rootstock sending up canes of its own. These typically are not the same rose that you originally saw blooming and usually have a different color to the blooms. If this is not the case, the rosebushes will send out new canes as the rosebush rejuvinates itself. Those new canes should not really harm the performance of the others though. It could be that the sprays are the problem as too much spraying can cause some seriously negative reactions in any plant, especially the rosebushes. The only spraying I do fairly often is with a fungicide called Green Cure. If I have a big problem with black spot getting started I pull out more powerful cures. Then go back to the Green Cure. The wine colored canes you describe is very much typical of a rose sending out new canes so should not be a problem unless it is below the grafted union on the rosebush. Make sure you feed the rosebushes well with an organic based food, add some kelp meal to the soils and work it in nicely. Water in well. Also you might want to try giving the rosebushes 1/2 cup of Epsom Salts mixed lightly into the soils and watered in. I do that once per season for all of my rosebushes.
Stan The Roseman :)