Sunday, May 8, 2011

Suckers can be a Good Thing

Sometimes a rose will send out growth which goes out laterally underground to emerge out from the main portion of the plant.  This type of growth is often called "suckering."  Since most roses are grafted onto the rootstock of a different form of rose (the top half of the rose you see is the desired rose and the bottom half has vigorous growing roots whose flowers you never want to see) suckering is often thought of as a negative thing.
On a grafted rose this growth (sucker) will not produce the desired flowers and worse it will pull the energy of the roots away from the desired rose on top, thus the name sucker.  When roses are grown on their own roots they can still send out a sucker but it is all the desired rose so it simple adds to the size of the desired plant.  Such is the case with the roses I grow and of Precious Dream to the left.  When I planted Precious Dream I gave it some room so this expansion will simply help fill in the area it has been given.

Some roses that sucker will expand over large areas, invading the space of companion plants.  As own root roses sucker the new growth also produces new roots.  Once this new growth has matured it can be severed from the main plant and grown on its own or allowed to grow in its larger capacity.  For now Precious Dream is still growing into its space so I will enjoy the added fullness this new growth provides.


  1. That last shot is gorgeous !

    And I learned something too - bonus !

  2. Thanks Rick. Glad you enjoyed it.