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Rose help please

Hi. My partner has a rose called Remember, a white/pale peach colour, that was bought when her grandmother died, and is very special to her.

It was bought from chain garden centre in late spring 2011 and at that time she tells me it was covered in flowers. When she moved in with me in spring last year the rose looked in a very sorry state - it had been pretty much left to it's own devices in the original garden centre plastic pot (which I thought was far too small), the root as were exposed and in my opinion there was far too much brown and not enough green! Her dog had also had a good chew in it. Let's just say she is not the greatest gardener - if a plant can survive on it's own, great, if it needs any attention it's days are numbered!

She was desperate to save it, and so around May last year I repotted it into a 14x14" ceramic pot in an attempt to save it. I cut it back to about 6" and put about 2" of sterilized broken pots in the bottom for drainage, a good quality compost and some mychorrhizal fungus. It has a good layer of bark on the top, and we wrapped it in bubble wrap over the winter.

Last summer it looked much healthier, and grew a little. We had about half a dozen flowers, but they were very small and only lasted a day or two before shrivelling up and dropping off. I put this down to it being a little upset about it's poor care and then being repotted, and assumed it would be healthier this year.

From early spring this year it has been growing brilliantly. It is a lovely green (with the exception of the odd leaf near the bottom that it yellow and drops if touched), very bushy and seems to be growing new leaves every five minutes! 

However, there is not a single bud or flower on it. This rose is so special to her, and I would hate to lose it, so my questions are... Is it healthy and how can we get it to flower? Also should we even try and get it to flower this year, or does it need more time to recover from it's initial poor start?

It's in a spot that gets sun until mid afternoon (we're in Cornwall if that helps), is watered regularly and has been getting Miracle Grow about every 10 days or so for the last couple of months.

Help! I'm a novice 'trial and error' gardener so please don't blind me with science. I can't let this rose die or it'll be devastating for her. Many, many thanks image 


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,247

    If its growing  then its alive. It sounds like its enjoying the space of the new pot. It may not flower this year. Give it a light prune next spring and it will probably flower next year.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    It sounds very happy to me. I'm sure it will flower in spades one day.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,599

    I agree, it's happy but it had a bad time, give it time to get over it.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • John HardingJohn Harding Posts: 541

    Previous comments seem sound enough to me but feeding with Miracle Grow every 10 days? Could be you are a). using the wrong fertiliser and b). giving it too much too often. Miracle Grow (I think - [not one I normally use I have to say] ) is a nitrogen feed. This will like as not put on plenty of foliage but not encourage flowering. Try switching to a dedicated rose feed but follow the instructions carefully - too much can be as detrimental to the plant as none at all.

  • mdw84mdw84 Posts: 105

    Hi Dilly

    Roses are very hardy, I agree with John I use phostrogen or tomato feed for mine and they do well.

    Did you notice that the rose was grafted, you can usually tell this by seeing a green wax or similar, what is done is that a rose is grafted onto a more vigorous rootstock (2 seperate plants basically).  The reason I ask this is that the long shoots could be "suckers" they are growing from the root stock not the rose that was grafted on, these will not produce any buds. A tell tale sign is that is that if you look at the leaves on the growth are there predominantly 5 leaves or 7, if 7 then its a sucker, another sign that I have learnt is that where you mention you get the odd leaf near the bottom that drops off, this happened to a couple of mine when I first started to grow them, this was the actual rose trying to grow but the nutrients were being taken away by the sucker.

    When you replanted the rose you need to ensure that it is planted deep enough to protect the grafting, you tend not to get suckers then either.

    Another thing I have learnt with roses is that they prefer and grow better in the ground than in pots.


  • Yes I agree, roses like to be in the ground so that their roots can go deep.  Roses take a couple of years to settle in as well and once settled they will flower away quite happily.  Give it time.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,049

    Much of what has been said above is good advice, but again I must dispel the myth that roses with 7 leaflets are all suckers.  

    This may well be true of grafted hybrid teas, however there are many ramblers, old fashioned and species roses that have 7 leaflets.

     I know someone who dug up and binned a fabulous rose because someone told her that as it had 7 leaflets it was a sucker - it was a gorgeous Rosa glauca planted and nurtured by her late husband image


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • DillymintDillymint Posts: 5

    Thank you so much for all your replies. I would love to plant it in the garden in a nice sunny spot but we're renting at the moment while waiting for our permanat home. Hopefully it can be planted in the ground next year when our house is ready image. Anyway, had a good look yesterday, and every limb, except for one, originated from below the graft (which was really clear to distinguish when I dug down a bit). So I cut them all out as close the root as I could get. I am left with one very sorry looking short stem, but at least it is alive which is something. It's had a good feed with rose fertiliser, and I guess now all I can do is keep feeding and hope for the best... Unless anyone wants tho offer me some more advice (please!!).

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,636

    Don't feed it any more now as any new growth won't have time to ripen and harden off before the winter frosts come and freeze it to a mush.

    If you can, re-plant it in a deeper pot with the graft union a couple of inches below soil level.  This will help protect it and encourage new shoots from the variety and not the rootstock.  Keep it moist but not wet and with any luck it will recover and grow.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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