Friday, February 25, 2011

Pruning Roses

The cold season is over in Bangalore. My roses slowed down their blooming sometime in December except for the yellow master performer. It had a strong basal cane and was producing flowers pretty well. But aphids attacked it and its vigor went down.  A strong spray of water helped in getting rid of the aphids but the plant was looking like a mess. All my other roses were also collecting pests. Here is one of the rose plants covered by a web made by who know what. So I decided to start pruning them all. I noticed that some of the other plants that I pruned recently had started showing buds(Jasmine, Bougainvillea etc) and that made me more confident about pruning the rose plants. Most of them are reduced to a couple of small branches now.
In this post I am going to focus on the pruning and after effects on the yellow rose which is the best and my favorite rose plant in the balcony.

I cut of most of the basal cane and left a basal stem that was about ¾ ft long, and I pruned several other branches. Last year I did the same thing to this plant though there were no basal canes at that time. It seemed to take it pretty well and also grew well in 2010. Here is a snapshot of how the plant looks after pruning. This was around the first week of February. 

Within a couple of days I saw new branches sprouting out and vigorous growth in the plant. In about 10 days, this was how the rose plant looked.

About 3 weeks from pruning the plant looks like this.

Now that there is sufficient foliage, I added  a good dose of compost(handful) and commercially available organic rose mix(a few spoonfuls). In a week I am going to apply some banana peel shake(ues you read it right) to see if that is going to help the flowering. I had written about Pachagavya earlier and how it was helping the roses. I have not used it for more than a quarter and can see significant difference in the growth and vigor of the plants. The panchagavya was definitely helping. Right now I have no stock so I am living with what I have.
This is probably the best time to prune the roses in Bangalore/Chennai as the weather is not too hot to dry or damage the young leaves. Infact I should have pruned them in the middle of January. Anyway these are roses and they will definitely grow back. I also kept an eye on any suckers that arise during the growth process as they will “suck out” the energy of the productive part of the plant. They typically look like this(Rose experts, correct me if I am wrong).
This was one of the few rose plants from the garden that was not grafted when we got it from the nursery. I think it was rooted from a cutting(if that works well for roses) or propagated by some other means but definitely not grafting. The basal cane comes right from the bottom of the plant(almost under the soil) and that is why I am assuming that it was not grafted.  Also as a sapling it did not have any signs of tape on it.
The remaining rose plants which are grafted are also doing well after pruning but this guy just races ahead like a rocket in comparison. Don’t know if that determines anything about the way the roses perform.
Hopefully I start seeing flowers in a couple of weeks time. I will keep updating 
I will update pictures of flowers which I hope should show up in the next week or so.
Roses are definitely not EMG in comparison to the other plants I have written about. Coming to the topic of EMG, now that we have about 6 posts on that topic it is time for those of you who are still looking at building your garden to put a plan together and create your own space. Next post will start working on that.


Bom said...

I have to ask if you add eggshells to your banana peel mix also.

Good luck with your roses. Do keep us posted.

Natti said...

I am only using Banana peels. Actually I used to just bury it in the soil but thought it would be a more effective way to maybe blend it. Also we do not eat eggs at home so I do not have access to them :) .

ROUGH.ROSA said...

Hi Natti, read your post with so much interest. Your rose grows so well after you've pruned them, indicating all is well. Congrats!

If I may add, in my garden I don't usually get rid of suckers (100% of my roses are own-root).

Since suckers are built direct from roots, I believe the plants must've had plenty of energy to begin with for sprouting from deep underneath the soil, as opposed to from the bud eyes/union. I usually just let it be. I believe that a plant always knows best on how it should set the course for its own survival which we human should not place too much intervention.

Suckering is a way of telling us that the rose prefers brand new and strong canes, which will soon vigorously producing more and quality flowers. In the long run, the new canes work in replacing the older canes and in time better withstand problems/pests. Suckering helps the rose to achieve vigor and fullness in less time than ones without.

This is just my own belief and my practice. Anyhow, roses here in the tropic grow slowly and not that vigorous for some varieties so suckering is indeed a much awaited event. :)

Suman singh said...

Great post on gardening and for quality flower bulbs, seeds and plants.


That's wonderful stuff you've written up here. Been searching for it all around. Great blog
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