Rogue Growth On Roses & Pre-Emergent Weed Control?

Question:

 I have several rose bushes, but they are developing small red flowers on some aggressive growth. Some of these shoots are over eight feet long. What can I do to prevent this from happening?  

Answer:

  •  This type of rogue growth is common on Hybrid Teas, Grandiflora, and Floribunda type roses.
  • It’s merely sucker growth, as today’s rose types are not growing on their own roots. Instead, they’re budded on to a second rose species known as the rootstock.
    • The aggressive long shoots and cherry-red flowers are the primary methods of identifying this growth. You’ll also notice space between thorns is much further apart than the desired variety.
    • The rootstock and the desired variety are joined together at the bud union. The bud union is the large knot near the ground. Any growth that originates below the bud union and or off the roots is sucker growth.
    • We also find this on climbing and tree roses besides bush varieties. Unfortunately, roses sucker naturally, so it’s impossible to prevent it from reoccurring.
  •  It necessary to recognize it before pruning; otherwise, you’ll trim it back, and eventually, it will dominate and take over the bush.
  • Your best option is to remove the shoots as they develop, but it can be done at any time of the year. The key is recognizing the rogue growth and then removing it. It’s a task that you do a couple of times per year. 

Question:

When is the best time to use a pre-emergent weed control? 

Answer:

  • Pre-emergent herbicides are those chemical weed killers that control unwanted vegetation from seed. They can be applied year-round and are ineffective once the seeds germinate and develop roots.
  • They’re best used right after planting rooted trees, shrubs, ground covers, annuals, perennials, bulbs, and edibles.
  • With new plantings, it’s applied just before watering the plants. Moisture is critical in activating the chemical barrier that kills the seeds. As long as you don’t break this barrier by cultivating, the pre-emergent herbicide should last the season and double-check it for a specific time period.
  • With an established landscape, you reapplied pre-emergent herbicides annually before the rainy season starts if the area is under irrigation or just before the first significant rain of the season.
    • It’s applied right over the top of existing plants without harming them. There are other brands available, so check with the nursery profession for his or her recommendation.
    • With lawns, there are specific turf products for controlling both grassy and broadleaf weeds. Also, there are no products available as a pre-plant before laying sod or sowing grass seed, and they’re only applied to an established lawn.
    • Pulling a few weeds is not a big deal, but manually weeding a yard is; hence, I view pre-emergent’s herbicides as a time saver.
  •  Your best organic method is to manually remove the unwanted growth and is recommended for those who stay with consistently; otherwise, a pre-emergent herbicide could be considered.