Horribly Overgrown Roses


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Hi everyone. I just joined and wanted to see if I could get some help. My family and I bought a home that was bank owned for a few years and tons of plants were overgrown.

We have these two gigantic rose bushes. When they bloom, only the upper part blooms. The lower 1/3 is gray. I've trimmed in past two years, but they never look right. What should I do before giving up on them?

I attached a few images mostly of the base of both plants so you can see what I'm dealing with.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Since there is green growth at the bottom of the roses, they are still alive and wanting to be beautiful! It may sound harsh, but cut the entire bush down to about 18"-24" and then remove all the gray canes. They are going to look horrible and you are going to be so upset, but believe me, the roses will recover.
After you do the severe pruning, give them a gentle fertilizing. I prefer composted cow manure (the roses use what they need and ignore the rest, so they don't get overstimulated or fertilizer burned). What ever you use, make sure it is gentle, and if it comes in a liquid or powder form, use it at half strength.
Don't give up on these roses--they look like they have been around for years, and probably are going to be around for many more!
 
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Thank you for the reply! I've mentioned it to my wife. She keeps flipping out about the idea of cutting them so small, but it has to be done.

When I open my pool in May, I drain all the overflowing excess water out (it's all rain water from sitting all winter, no chlorine) and I let the water drain over the rose bushes and into the drainage ditch behind our fence. The first year, they bloomed beautifully for the first few weeks then died off. I guess it's all that nitrogen and algae. Last year, I decided to put fertilizer sticks at the base of each one and the pool water just gave them a nice head start and they looked great all year, except when you get up close and see those "gray legs", haha!
 
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I guess the problem is physiological. It has to do with translocation of synthesised food materials downwards towards the roots. Trim back the roses to abount 30cm and supply with plenty of water. Make sure to leave some green foliage for photosynthesis to carry on. Application of Potassium nitrate should follow around the base. The other intervention you can try is to spray with Magnesium sulphate. solution which will enhance chlorophyll manufacture. Apply liberally around the base. Hope this helps.
 
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Pat

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I agree you have to cut the plant, I have in the past trimmed mine down to force it to grow better. It is also easier to remove the dead parts when the plant is smaller. I will be cutting mine this spring so that I can get to the older sections. My rose is about 15years old.
 
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I also agree that you need to trim it down and I would even cut the inside branches to force it to grow better and giving it more space to breathe. At the back of my mom's house, we have one very old rose plant, and my brother did this every year, and the rose is beautiful when bloom.
 
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Thank you everyone for the advice. I trimmed them down to about a foot (took a good 6-7 feet off the top, lol). Now, they look beautiful! They never bloomed this nicely before. I trimmed them the day after I posted this thread. Completely worth it. Yes, this pic is in another thread I posted just now because of the surrounding land.
 

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Yes, your roses do look beautiful, and are blooming nicely--congratulations! Trimming those roses so severely was a leap of faith on your part, and it sure paid off. I'm so happy for you, and your roses!
 

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