Friday, January 20, 2012

Separation Anxiety

You might remember an entry I made last year about how roses can sucker.  Suckering is when a rose sends out lateral growth underground that emerges away from the mother plant.  This growth will also send out new roots to support the plant.
Precious Dream is one of my roses that has sent out such growth.  I had been debating whether I wanted to separate this new growth from the mother plant to create a new bush and decided that I would do it this winter.  Precious Dream is in a sheltered area and in this mild winter its dormancy hasn't even caused it to loose its leaves.  To prepare the plant for this separation I have been watering it this past week to make sure it was well hydrated.
Next I dug up the lateral growth to make sure it in fact had developed roots and to track down where it connected to the mother plant.  I even found a new shoot coming from this same lateral growth.  The lateral was shallower than I had expected it to be. 
Then came the hard part, actually taking the shears and severing the plants from one another.  Not that it is physically hard, just the wondering if it is really ready to be on its own.  (Do I sound like a parent with two kids in college.)  This is made easier by knowing that dormancy and being well hydrated keeps the stress levels down on the plants and that now each will be able to recover more easily.  After separating the two plants I added some new soil on top of the uncovered lateral and roots, pulled the mulch back over, and then watered them again.  Now I will wait until March to move the new plant to its new location at the Prague Rose Garden. 
I also, much less delicately, separated a sucker on Reine de Violettes with a shovel placed very near the mother plant and then simple plunged the shovel all the way into the soil and withdrew the shovel without disturbing the soil.  I prepared this plant with some light pruning a week before and keeping it well watered.  It will also be moved to the park in March.  This photo was taken a week after I had separated the connection between the mother and child plants.


  1. Good photos and great explanation. What a nice way to get a new plant!

  2. When some of my roses suckered I didn't realize how they could really take off and spread! At first they seem so fragile, but if anything like a couple of mine- watch out- they can really run! but when you love the rose it is a welcome runner.