What Is a Rose Sucker? How Do You Get Rid of It Without Damaging Your Plants?

what is a rose sucker

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If you’re like most gardeners, you’ve probably encountered a rose sucker at some point. But what is a rose sucker? How do you remove it? And why does it seem to be such a common problem with roses? 

If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions, don’t worry – you’re not alone! For some inexperienced gardeners, this issue might be stressful. In this blog post, we’ll answer all of those questions and provide tips on how to get rid of suckers on your roses.

What Are Rose Suckers?

Rose suckers are the stems that grow from the base of a rose bush. If you don’t get rid of them, they can become rather aggressive and harm your rose plants.

Rose suckers look like green shoots on top of each other in an alternating pattern: two leaves next to each other, then one leaf above them again; this repeats until the sucker reaches the top of the bush.

Suckers are usually seen in grafted roses because they have a different rootstock than the plant above them. The suckers grow up through the bud union, resulting in these invasive stems sprouting out of control.

It’s important to note that suckers are not only found on grafted roses. Suckers grow on seed-grown bushes or even apples and pears. Those that plague wild roses may even produce quite pretty flowers to look at.

Why Do You Have to Remove Suckers From Rose Bushes?

Removing rose suckers is vital because they can deplete resources. If you don’t remove them, they can grow taller than the rose bush itself and will start to compete with the roses for sunlight, water, and nutrients.

Rose suckers can also harbour diseases and pests that can harm your roses.

For these reasons, it’s crucial to remove these suckers at the beginning of each growing season before they get too big!

What Happens if You Don’t Remove a Rose Sucker?

If you don’t remove rose suckers, they will eventually take over the entire plant and kill it. You will be left with roses that are weak and unhealthy.

In addition, the diseases they harbour could spread to other plants in your garden (this is especially true for roses). And if you’ve been gardening for a while, there’s nothing more disappointing than witnessing plant disease wiping out all your hard work!


How Do You Identify Rose Suckers?

Rose suckers have different characteristics than the desired plant growth. They will be light green shoots coming out from below ground level, and they may also have thorns on them or leaves that are smaller in size than the leaves on the main plant.

If you’re not quite whether or not something is a rose sucker, it’s best to remove it just in case! You wouldn’t want to take any chances for your roses.

How Do You Remove a Sucker From Your Rose Bush? 3 Effective Ways

There are a few different ways to those pesky suckers from your roses:

Cut Them off at Ground Level

Cut it off at ground level with gardening shears or scissors. Be careful not to damage the main stem of the rose bush in the process! You may need to apply a tree wound sealer to the area to help it heal.

Dig the Rose Suckers From the Ground

If the sucker is more than six inches tall, you can use a shovel to dig it out of the ground. Be sure to get as much of the sucker’s root system as possible.

Use a Weed Killer

You can also make use of a weed killer to kill root suckers. Weed killers that contain glyphosate will kill both the sucker and any other weeds around it.

Apply it directly to the affected area, making sure not to get any of it on the rest of your garden. Remember to use herbicides that won’t harm your roses.

Pull the Suckers By Hand

This method is suitable for smaller suckers, but you need not damage the plant’s roots!

No matter which method you choose, be sure to remove the sucker altogether. If left in place, these suckers can take over your rose bush and choke out the flower buds. By removing them regularly, you can keep your roses healthy and looking beautiful!

How to Get Rid of Suckers on Your Roses: An Easy Guide

Removing suckers from your rose plant is crucial for rose growers. If you do not remove them, they will compete with the main rose bush for resources and even cause disease.

Here’s a beginner’s guide on how to remove suckers from your roses:

  • First, identify the sucker by its long stem with leaves growing directly opposite each other.
  • Then, with your sharp garden shears, cut the sucker off at its base, making sure to remove as much of the stem as possible.
  • If there are any roots left on the sucker’s stem, you can either pull them out by hand.
  • Finally, dispose of the sucker by placing it in the trash or compost bin.

It is vital to regularly remove suckers from your roses – at least every other week. Doing so will help keep your roses looking healthy and beautiful!

When to Remove Suckers From Your Rose Bush

withered roses in garden

You should remove the rose suckers as soon as you see them growing from the base of your rose bush. The best time to do this is in early spring after all of its new growth has emerged.

However, it can be tricky because some plants may have more than one sucker coming out at once! If this happens, wait until each sucker has grown about three inches before cutting it off with sharp garden shears or scissors.

Remove the suckers before they have a chance to grow too tall and start competing with your other plants for nutrients. Ensure that you monitor your roses throughout the growing season and remove more suckers that may grow.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rose Suckers

What Should I Do if My Rose Sucker Has an Extensive Root System?

If you have difficulty removing the sucker or its root system is particularly large, you may need to use a shovel to dig it out. Be sure to remove as much of the sucker’s root system as possible so that it does not regrow.

How Do I Remove a Rose Sucker Without Damaging the Main Stem?

Removing a rose sucker can be difficult if you are not careful. It is essential to use sharp pruners and cut the sucker at an angle close to the main stem but not so close that it damages or tears through the tissue of this part of your plant.

Can I Remove a Rose Sucker With Weed Killer?

You can also use a weed killer to kill root suckers. Weed killers that contain glyphosate will kill the sucker and its root system.

What Rose Variety Is More Resistant to Suckers?

There is no one variety of roses that is entirely resistant to suckers. However, some types are more prone to them than others.

What Are Some of the Benefits of Removing Rose Suckers?

Removing suckers when pruning your roses can help improve the overall health and appearance of your plant. It can also help prevent the spread of disease.

Removing Suckers From Roses Effectively

Removing suckers is essential for keeping your roses healthy. And now that you know the answer to “What is a rose sucker?” and can now differentiate it from your main plant, getting rid of this pesky growth is a lot easier than you think.

If you have questions about removing suckers or growing roses in general, feel free to leave a comment below, and we will be happy to help! For more gardening tips and tricks, be sure to check out our blog regularly.

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