Long, Spindly Rose Stems
With Small Flower Buds

by Bruce Lloyd
(Rancho Mirage, Ca USA)

Thank you for taking my question. I live in the Desert of Southern California and now is the very best time as the weather has cooled down and we have delightful, sunny days. I prune my roses according to the community rose garden schooling. After 40 years, I have around 50 roses

The plants are bushy and beautiful with dark, green leaves and no signs of disease. They get regular watering twice daily, here in this sandy soil and dry climate.

I fertilize with Miracle grow, rose food, either the green early and the red later to set the blooms. This I do every 2 to 4 weeks.

This season, many of my favorite roses have put out very tall, spindly rose stems with unusually small to tiny buds.

I don't understand what causes this and how to treat them. I have considered pruning down every spindly stem to an outward bud and see if they will develop properly.

Thank you for your consideration

Hi Bruce,
I garden in Los Angeles, and I am aware of the desert climates.
I do think the reason for your 'tall spindly" canes has to do with the very hot weather this summer.
I recommend you remove the spindly tall canes at the base and get rid of them.
That's what I do and it works fine, because they just take energy from the rose bushes as well as looking bad.
Always remove spindly looking canes anytime during the season.
I like the way you take care of your roses. You are doing it correctly for your desert climate.
Best Regards,
Check out my page about growing roses in the Desert Southwest.

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