My daughter gave me this rose bush last Mother's Day, which was exactly a year ago. It was planted in a large pot and purchased from a nursery. It's called Fragrant Plum, from this company. It grew nicely, and produced flowers in a beautiful combination of blue and purple I'd never seen before.
I trimmed the flowers throughout the summer, but never pruned the plant. Any areas that look like branches have been cut off came that way.
The plant appeared to have died during the winter, so I had given up on it, but I just found new growth way down at the base. Now I'm hoping I can save it.
The long branches that bore flowers last year appear dead. They're stiff, have no thorns, and, although one is partly green, neither shows any sign of life.
The very dark branches attached to the base do have thorns. There's even a little bit of new growth at another area where one of those branches meets the base (which I called junctions for lack of a better word), that wasn't visible when I took this picture last week, so I'm optimistic.
I think in general we're not supposed to prune shrubs during budding season, but I'm wondering if this plant is using energy to try and support the dead sections that would be better spent on the actual part that's growing.
Should I prune it now? If so, exactly where should I cut? If not now, should I prune it after blooming season, or wait until the fall when the weather turns cold?
Update: After receiving Bamboo's excellent advice, I tried twice to approach it to prune the dead growth. Each time I got close to it I acquired ticks, so I gave up! We've been watering and taking care of it as we always did. I just checked it today, June 3, 2017. Sadly, all signs of the life at the base, and everywhere else, are gone. Even the small area on the one of the branches which had been green, is now black.
Click on pictures for larger view.