Is This Normal?


On Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about roses.

This rose foliage may not look all that unusual to you. I meant to take a photo all summer and then cut out this cane. The fact that it’s still there tells you that it’s been a difficult gardening year for me.

Actually when I went to take the photo today, I took it in 3 different versions. I wasn’t sure what would show you how unusual this is relative to what’s around it in the dead of winter.


If this photo doesn’t work for you, perhaps this next one will.


Yes, that straight cane–and the well branched canes with the tiny rose hips behind it–are on the same plant. Now I think you can see the problem.

The long straight cane is obviously a sport or mutation that needs to come out.

I would tell you that it was the rootstock trying to assert itself, but I believe that this is a rose grown on its own roots (as opposed to many roses which are grafted onto hardier rootstock in which this sort of thing can happen).

In any event, this long mutant cane needs to be pruned out now before it causes harm to the rose.

By “harm,” I mean taking over or possibly passing disease.

This is a priority for me very early this year.

2 thoughts on “Is This Normal?

  1. tonytomeo February 16, 2020 / 12:30 am

    That is actually normal, and preferred for those who want to promote flowers of better quality. Those types of roses do not need to to be pruned as aggressively as those that are grown for flowers for cutting. Branched canes do not produce such exemplary flowers, but they produce many more flowers. Those that are grown for cutting get pruned aggressively so that the produce vigorous canes to replace older canes or bramble growth. After a few years of hard pruning, all growth will be similar vigorous canes. The vigorous cane on you plant can be pruned out, but may be replaced by more of the same. It might be best to prune it out, but not prune the branched canes very much (if you prefer the branched canes).

  2. gardendaze February 16, 2020 / 6:14 am

    Oh sorry, my bad. I never said what sort of rose I was talking about–& without some flowers, it’s impossible to tell. That’s one of the ‘Fairy’ roses. Back before everything was just called a shrub rose, I think its designation was a polyantha.

    Your answer to me–for a hybrid tea, I am thinking—is perfect.


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