managing volunteer roses

Asked October 22, 2018, 12:02 PM EDT

The house we purchased has a rose bush in the garden and throughout the summer volunteers kept coming up throughout the garden as far as 5-10 feet away from the bush. When looking online, all I could find was information on removing suckers at the base of the plant. What is the best way to control these volunteers next summer?


3 Responses

Greetings! Thank you for contacting AaE for help.

I'm afraid you'll need to try digging the suckers and their roots which may go all the way back to the main rose shrub. In the future, you could root prune this shrub to contain it's roots within a certain circumference that would keep it from sprouting elsewhere.

You may want to remove the original shrub entirely if it turns out it is an invasive rose variety. Below is a link to the Minnesota Wildflowers web page on Rosa multiflora, considered to be invasive. This page will help you match the leaves, stalks, etc. with your plant to help you determine if you have the invasive.


Thanks for your reply. Can you please provide a little more detail about root pruning.


Root pruning is a method of digging straight down (not slanted toward the plant) into the soil at a certain distance from the plant as deep as the shovel will go. Do not tilt the shovel as if you were digging up the plant, though. Encircle the plant in this fashion. Any roots outside of the circle will be cut off from the main plant. Be careful not to make the circle too tight to the shrub or it will harm the shrub but make it large enough that you'll be comfortable with any suckers that appear within that circle.

If done in the spring and then sometime around early August, you should be cutting off roots that will not be able to support a sucker.

I hope this helps.