Rootstock suckering is one of the worst problems a rose plants can have if untreated and yet quite easy to fix if caught early.

Suckers are growths of the root-stock to which the variety you have purchased was budded onto. Most good nurseries will have very few of their plants sucker through their diligence and good nursery practices yet if the plant is ever placed under stress these unwanted growths can occur.

Often these shoots look different to the original plant, especially if this growth becomes extremely vigorous. Most times the growth comes from beneath the soil and under the graft, or on the upright stem under the bud of a Standard.

The only way to properly remove a sucker is to dig down and clear the soil away so locating where the shoot is growing from. Once identified DO NOT JUST CUT OFF as it can re-shoot. It must be totally broken out with a downward push (I use a crowbar or hammer and cold chisel) or if small it is possible to cut back severely with a sharp blade. It must be removed entirely for any small part left will re grow. Taking some of the surrounding bark which has dormant eyes and are likely to regrow is a good idea.

In the future a larger range of roses will be grown on their own roots so ‘suckers’ will not be a problem. Check our website from year 2022 to see a list of varieties we are growing in this fashion. In most cases the plants will grow exactly the same as a budded plant without any chance of ‘suckers’ appearing.