Pruning a Baby Rose Plant

by Dave B
(Merced Co, Ca)


I know how to prune an adult rose bush. I'm not sure how prune my baby plant I've grown from a single stalk. The flowers are a deep violet.

A bit of history. At my old house I removed a rose bush that had gotten too far out of control as it was old when I moved in and had never been taken care of.
The next spring a few stalks sprouted up from the location, obviously I had not completely removed the plant. I took the healthiest of these with it's roots and transplanted it in a 2 gallon planter.

Now 2 years later, it is in the ground at my new house and has flowered for the 1st time. It's still only about 2' tall and a bit wild as I stopped pruning it when it formed some buds.

Now my question.

Some weak flexible stalks have shot up from below the dirt a few inches from the main stalk.

Should I remove these and keep a the plant growing on a single stalk like a tree or leave them be and let the plant grow into more of a bush with several stalks beginning beneath the dirt?


Hi Dave,
Canes that emerge from the ground are either rose suckers or real rose canes such as the one you are growing now.
Most roses that produce these sprouted canes are old garden roses.
Repeat-flowering roses should only be pruned when they are dormant and not actively growing and flowering.

So since it's flowering now, do not do any major pruning.
You can however, remove any thin and spindly canes
at any time.
I didn't really understand what you meant by "a bit wild", so I can't comment on it.

But you could remove the "wild part" since it's bothering you.
But do not cut down the entire plant now.
Also, if this is an once-flowering rose, as many old garden roses are, it should only be pruned after flowering is over in summer.
The once-flowering old roses only bloom on last years wood, so if you prune it in the spring, there will be now flowers for the new season.

But if the rose is a repeat-flowering rose, it should be pruned when dormant in early spring or late winter.
Now for the "weak stalks" emerging from the ground, you should make sure that they are not rose suckers, as they will harm your rose, and take energy away from it.

So take a hand shovel and dig down to find where it's growing from.
If it's growing from the main cane of your rose below, it's a sucker, and you should yank it off carefully.
I would not keep any stalks growing around the rose.
Remove them as you find them. They are individual roses, and will never be part of the baby rose you have now.
If you allow them to grow, they will cause a lot of trouble for you later.
Removing them when they are small is a lot easier.

However, if you like, you could produce more rose bushes, but they should be growing at least 4 feet from each other.

This summer observe the rose to find out if it only flower once, or flowers all season long, so you know when to prune the rose.

If you have any more questions, use the comment section and I will respond.

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