I recently trimmed back a rose bush (I believe it's a Liebeszauber Hybrid Tea Rose?) that sits in some shade in my front yard, as its branches grow pretty long and eventually start leaning into its neighboring shrubbery. The roses that had bloomed on it were now mostly wilted, so I removed them too along with the couple of remaining good ones, because I could then spray the entire plant with insect and mite control, as its leaves were getting eaten up pretty badly.

A gardener a year earlier had suspected a couple of the branches showed signed of rosette and that I should immediately trim them from the base so that it didn't spread further. I had it trimmed back pretty severely at the time, and it grew back really nicely. Being more familiar now with rosette than I was then, I have a question as to whether this bush is again showing signs of the disease.

I've just now noticed three really long branches shooting up above the plant:

image of most of the affected rose bush

This plant's new leaves usually have a red coloration to them, and they don't currently have an odd growth pattern to them, so nothing there is out of the ordinary. I've seen examples of really bad "witches' brooms" on rose bushes, and this doesn't have that. What I'm curious about, though, is the irregular thorn pattern on these new shoots. Again, it's nowhere near as bad as other photos I've seen of plants with rosette, but I didn't know if this is cause for alarm:

close-up of one of the new vertical branches

even closer photo of one of these new branches

Is that normal for this type of rose when it rapidly grows back after being trimmed?

Update: here's an additional photo showing the base of the plant, per JStorage's suggestion that these are suckers from the root system of a rose graft:

Base of the rose plant


2 Answers 2


These are most likely rose suckers. You should trace it down to where they are originating from (most likely below where your rose was grafted). If that is the case, you want to remove it ASAP from it's point of origination otherwise it sucks away the nutrients thereby deriving and hurting your rose plant. Another indication is that the suckers have 7 leaves vs. the typical 5 leaves. For more information I am including some links

http://www.finegardening.com/what-%E2%80%9Csucker%E2%80%9D-rose-bush https://www.quora.com/Why-do-roses-with-7-leaves-on-a-branch-not-flower

  • Great suggestion - not being an expert in roses at all, I didn't realize that the top of the plant is often grafted onto the root system of a hardier rose species. I added an additional photo to the end of my description showing the base of the plant. I can't tell if the little knobby bit at the bottom left is a graft point, in which case one or two of these might be suckers. All the other newer growth on the plant looks pretty similar, so maybe it's normal after all?
    – Derek
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 15:41

You've had a bout with sawfly and possibly some other insect, no big deal. The new growth is healthy. What have you fertilized with? Notice any aphids? If you don't I'll be amazed! Trim off lower non productive and damaged leaves to enhance air movement and lessen the problems with powdery mildew in a few months. Do check out the origin of the branches. If they are growing from below the graft, prune them off.

When pruning, always sterilize your by pass pruners with alcohol and cut all the way back to a main stem or a bud that is oriented away from the center of the plant. There is a great example third picture lower right. You cut back to a bud pointing towards the center of the rose bush. I would take that down to the next bud an inch or so below your original cut. This bud is oriented away from the center of this plant. Prune out some of the old growth to enable more air flow. Especially damaged leaves. Not all, just some.

I can see lots of other plants that this particularly healthy rose will be out competing for light and air flow. Your rose is very healthy. Make sure you have not used fertilizer with Nitrogen higher in percentage relative to Phosphorous and Potassium. Otherwise, lovely leaves, no flowers.

Make an executive decision about what plants should stay and remove the weaker ones that will only get weaker and cause problems for the plants you want to have healthy and vigorous. I am guessing that out of the different types of roses this is a floribunda, possibly a vine. It needs room. It will always grow vigorously and will best be served by training it on wires. Another subject. Again, your fertilizer has to be lower in N than the P and K. Tell us what you've used. That might be the reason for the vigorous growth. There are no reproductive/flower buds as yet. Normal for floribundas and vines.

  • Great tips, stormy, thanks! I actually haven't used any fertilizer on this at all. We have a good 7 or 8 different kinds of shrubbery around our front yard, and I haven't had the inclination nor time to think about how to properly fertilize it all, so they've so far been at the mercy of Mother Nature giving them nutrients. (Readys self for a stern talking to)
    – Derek
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 15:45
  • Is this a link to a book? Or from you? Stern talking to...I can tell you push the boundaries if you are getting ready for a trip to the 'woodshed'...LOL!
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 21:15
  • You hit the problem on the head, you haven't had the time to learn EVERYTHING. That is why we are here sharing our wealth of knowledge and experience because no one has that kind of time. Don't you dare put yourself down for that!! Mother nature does not 'give nutrients', not at all. In established ecosystems, all 'nutrients' or chemicals necessary for photosynthesis which makes food for plants are tied up in the biomass. Not in the soil. Something dies, that gets decomposed, feeds the soil organisms and what is left over the plants get to use. Always just enough. We humans short...
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 21:18
  • ...circuited all ecosystems to 'develop' our cities, our 'yards'. We have to add chemicals to the artificial systems we created in order to have healthy plants/lawns/soils. There is no such thing as a 'rich' soil with all the chemistry plants have to have to live. Rich, sure with decomposed organic matter, great tilth but the chemistry is all wrong unless we know enough what is necessary to add. For fertilizer. Pesticides? None at all are necessary nor are they beneficial unless someone has royally screwed up and a 'band aid' is necessary. btw a 'skeleton' or foundation landscape...
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 21:23
  • ...planting is made up of one or two maybe three different species that essentially 'ties' the composition together. Humans are only able to deal with 3 things at a time. Some do better because they are able to group elements together to be one reducing the...anxiety of too much stimulus. True stuff about humans. We can help...keep asking questions.
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 21:26

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