HAVE a lovely bush of Rosa 'Margaret Merrill'. I pruned it
in July and instead of new shoots, it has sprouted bunches of rosettes
at the end of the cut off stems. What can I do? Do I recut it further
down the stems? Please help, as it gave me a great deal of pleasure
throughout the summer.
Merrill' is a lovely rose, but the growths on your plants sound
very weird - a photo would have helped. The problem may be a growth
of basal or water shoots from the bud union on the branch. In some
areas where it is very cold, they may get killed off from frost.
In warmer areas they can be left as they have the potential for
becoming great flowering canes later on. The shoots usually have
lots of little buds on the ends of short stems. These can be removed
in the winter pruning, but next winter they will have matured and
can be pruned like the rest of the rose bush. If more grow by the
late summer, these can either be left for winter pruning, or just
have the tips trimmed to become more mature basal shoots for later.
Gardener, Issue 108, 2002, Page 22
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.