Gardeners warned to act now and do one 'easy' job or risk losing roses this spring

Bush of garden roses
Gardeners should do a simple job on their roses to keep them thriving -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

Vibrant roses might not survive the rest of spring if one gardening task isn't done quickly.

Roses add stunning charm to gardens, but they require careful attention to prevent sucker growth. Suckers are rogue stems springing from the plant's base, often appearing when rose roots have been damaged that grow swiftly, dominating the plant if not addressed promptly.

If such suckers remain unattended, they pilfer nutrients, sunlight, and water from the rose bush, significantly weakening it. This can inhibit flowering and even eventually cause the death of the plant, reports the Express.

Kimberley, a Master Gardener with over 30 years of experience and founder of The Rose Geek YouTube channel, has shared some advice on getting rid of these suckers. She advised pulling them off at an angle to ensure that they do not regrow.

She noted: "You can certainly just cut it off to see if that will get rid of the sucker, but in the reading that I have been doing it tends to be more violent as you need to rip it off."

To keep roses healthy, gardeners need to dig around the plant base until they find the sucker connection point at the roots and then tear it off. Followed by replacing the soil, applying fertiliser to your roses, and providing sufficient water.

In an online video, Kimberly demonstrates how to remove the sucker without much hassle.

Picture of someoneone cutting a stem
Picture of someoneone cutting a stem

She added: "I might clean up this cut here where I have snapped it off... I will probably use some antiseptic on it. But there you go, it's so easy to do that I didn't even need garden gloves although I probably should have had them on."

Kimberley also shared that the most important step to dealing with suckers is to know what they look like so you can "catch it in time [and] save the rose." Suckers are often paler and taller than the rest of a rose bush and if it flowers, the blooms will look different from the rose bush.

Kimberley advised: "You're going to be looking for that colour change, that's a telltale sign, and you're also going to look for a growth that is coming out of the cane. You're also going to be looking for a very strong vigorous growth which all of a sudden out of nowhere is shooting up to the sky."

To prevent suckers in the future, make sure to regularly prune roses when needed but the most important gardening job is to keep an eye on roses regularly, as suckers are more likely to pop up during the flower growing season in spring.

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