Knockout Rose Stem
by Denise Pery
QUESTION: I planted a knockout rose last fall and it is doing very well.
But I found two very thick stems with roses on them,the stems are much taller then the plant.
Should I cut them out? I was told ,after my friend cut hers out, the rose died. Thank You
ANSWER: Hi Denise,
The first thing you should do is to determine where the two large rose canes originates from.
If they are growing out from the above the bud union, or graft, they are simply brand new main stems that will grow many lateral shorter stems from where lots of flower blooms will appear.
Don't worry about the size at this time because when you do the annual pruning in late winter or early spring, it will be reduced down with the rest of the canes.
Here is my page about pruning knockout roses, please read it for the proper way to prune these shrub roses.
However, if the large canes originates from the ground, it is a rose sucker.
Rose suckers "suck the life" from the rest of the rose bush, and should be removed from the sourse. Here is my page about rose suckers that you need to read to determine where the new canes are coming from and tips about how to remove them.
Personally, I think they are just new healthy vigorous canes.
I just saw the very same thing on my own knockout rose bushes, and I checked and they are not rose suckers.
But only you can find out for sure, because I am not there.
Let me know what you find out by posting a comment on this page.
Thank you for using my contact page and psoting this important question.