I have a Red English rose potted on my terrace. I am noticing a sideshoot coming just below the bud union. I am attaching a photo of the plant. Please note that this new shoot is just slightly below the union or may be it's a part of it and I am just unable to identify. I have always have had trouble with identifying if it's a sucker on a rose plant or not.




To describe the new shoot- Every leave bunch has 7 leaves, but to be more precise some of the other stems of this rose plant also have 7 leaves. It is bright green as you can see in image. It does have thorns.

Need your experience and suggestions if this is a sucker that needs to be removed.

  • May I know what you did? I also have the same problem with my rose plant. I'm not able to find out if it is a sucker or not.
    – Mahe
    Oct 12, 2017 at 8:12

3 Answers 3


Hmm, tough one because it's coming from the midpoint of the graft. Suckers are easy to distinguish if they grow from below soil level, or quite obviously below the whole graft. I would leave it for now - if it starts to grow much more rapidly than the other stems, shooting up to twice the height of the rest of the plant in short order, then cut it out where it arises. If it grows at a normal pace, in keeping with the rest of the bush, leave it be - when it produces flowers, you will know for sure whether or not it's a sucker because the flowers will be quite different from the rest of the plant, usually more like a dog rose.

Sometimes a sucker will have a different number of leaflets in each composite leaf when compared to the rest of the plant, but that's not always a useful guide, because there is some variation in leaflet number on many rose bushes anyway; sometimes they are paler in colour with many more thorns, but your rose bush is quite thorny anyway, so there are none of the usual more obvious signs of its being a sucker.


i guess, its a sucker, because the main flowering stems are different in appearance.


I don't think it's a sucker - it comes from within the graft knot, and the leaves seem similar to the rest of the plant. If it was a standard Rosa Indica rootstock the leaves would be substantially different. I would let it continue, as grafting branches are the best foundation for the plant and grow the fastest.

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