Removing Rose Suckers

Most roses are budded, or grafted, onto root stock that is hardy and will survive all climatic conditions. The most common root stock is a climbing rose called Dr. Huey that has small, dark red blooms. A sucker will grow taller than the desired rose, usually coming out from under the ground and the bud union. The leaves and flowers will not be the same as the desired rose. It saps strength from the rose so needs to be removed.

The best way to remove the sucker so that it doesn’t grow back is simply to grasp it near the root and tug it at an angle so that it breaks off. If you have to cut it, apply Elmer’s glue to the break. Sometimes the desired upper part will die completely and will have to be dug up and replaced.

To prevent suckers from forming, new roses should be planted deeply into the soil with the dirt completely covering the bud union.