The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Sucker problem on Rosa 'Canary Bird'


By Lily2

Berkshire, United Kingdom Gb

A friend has a Canary Bird Rose which is about 10 years old. Unfortunately it was planted with the graft below the soil level and is suckering badly, these are traced back to source and pulled off. The rose is growing in a bottomless brick raised bed 6' x 18" and 2'6" high so it is likely the roots go down rather than spreading. Lowering the soil level to below the graft will mean small things cannot really be grown in front of the rose. It would be difficult to dig the rose out to replant but would this be likely to succeed if it was possible?
My only idea was to remove the soil around the graft and loosely encase it with something like a bottomless flower pot and then bring the soil back around it. Would this be likely to work or are there any other solutions?



To transplant a rose of that age and size would be risky, I think - but not impossible if you wait until it's dormant, cut it back and then get as much of the rootball out as possible under those difficult conditions.

Why not take cuttings as an insurance?

Your idea - well, it's worth trying - it depends on where the suckers are coming from. Are they growing from the immediate rootstock??

2 Sep, 2009


Not sure Barbara, it was raining when I was round there yesterday so didn't have a dig around below soil level. Do you think the problem is caused by burying the graft? I have one the same with the graft above ground and don't get suckers as such from below ground although I do get the odd long wayward stem! I tried rose cuttings once a long time ago but they failed and I've never tried again. Generally roses don't do well around here, too sandy, but for both of us this one is the exception, it's lovely. Is November the best time to try a bit of an uplift/transplant on it?

2 Sep, 2009


Yes, spot on! That's when the bare rooted ones get sent out...

I think that's true about the graft point - the advice is always NOT to bury it, after all!

I read that rose cuttings can be done in large pots of compost - not only in the ground, so although I realise that they can take 6 - 12 months to root, it's worth a try, wouldn't you say??

2 Sep, 2009


Yes it's always worth having a go at something, nothing to lose. I'll have a read up on that. I always prefer to do things in pots, seeds cuttings etc, that way I can keep an eye on them and give them the best care. Not that that always works best, sometimes neglected things seem to fare the best!! That's gardening! Thanks Barbara

2 Sep, 2009


You're very welcome. :-))

Let us know if you succeed with the rose removals!!

2 Sep, 2009


Well it won't be me who decides, it's whether my friend can persuade her hubby to have a go and if she succeeds that might well be a case of brute force and ignorance. Maybe I'd better get cracking on those cuttings! lol. I suspect now is not the right time or is it?

2 Sep, 2009


Yes, I do believe it is!! :-))

2 Sep, 2009


Right then, that's a task for tomorrow, thanks B

2 Sep, 2009



2 Sep, 2009

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?