AceOHearts
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:32 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Please help me identify these "rose bushes"

In my back yard there is a giant, tangled up, thorny mess of plants. None of them have any blooms and in fact I only discovered they were rose bushes when my land lord informed me so (unfortunately in the same conversation he also told me I wasn't allowed to remove them). Since I can't get rid of them, I'd like to try and revive them a bit if at all possible. First, of course, I need to know what kind of rose bushes they are (if they're in fact rose bushes at all). None of them look very healthy, I have a feeling this will be a long road to recovery. Any advice is appreciated. Here are some pictures I took while trimming them this morning:
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lorax
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Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

They look like Gallicas and Damasks allowed to grow absolutely wild, to me.... They seem pretty healthy, though.

The first thing to do, since you can't prune them radically until fall, is to take off all of those hips (think of it as the deadheading that should have been done last season.) Then wait for flowers (they will bloom this year - just wait for it) and post back once they're open - seeing the flowers will allow us to refine the IDs.

AceOHearts
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Thanks lorax, I didn't even know where to begin. I looked up how to deadhead on youtube and just finished up. Unfortunately without thinking, I pruned the crap out of them when I first went out this morning. Hopefully I didn't do any major damage. I guess only time will tell.

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lorax
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Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

Ace, roses are basically pretty weeds that we cultivate because we like the flowers. You won't have permanently damaged them by pruning heavily as they're coming into new growth, but you might have set them back a year in terms of blooms - all roses bloom on new growth, so depending on how much of the new growth you hacked off, you may or may not see flower stems.

On the good news front, though, the foliage looks very healthy (good colour in both emergent [ie red] and established leaves, no blemishes) so the canes are likely in good shape and the roots will of course be just fine.

For now, I'd let them be and see what happens - if you've been having a cool spring, you might just see another flush of new growth (leave this alone!) and then tons of blooms in early to mid summer.

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

Please be sure to read the two threads at the top of our Rose Forum. The Announcement on [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1122]Specific Winter Protection of Roses[/url] is as helpful now to gardeners in cold-winter climates as when it was started in 2005, and the Sticky on [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=560]Organic Rose Care[/url] is and has been very helpful to me since 2008, when I found this forum. :)

Once you understand why roses do certain things when they do, you'll be in a better position to take care of them. Lorax has given a tentative ID, which is more than I could've done; but just in case she has made an error, I'll mention that some roses are climbers and some are bushes. If a rose is a natural climber, pruning it to death will not change its nature; it will still send out tall "scouts" looking for a structure to cover. Those photos you see in magazines and of botanical gardens with rose-covered pergolas; those are climbing roses.

Best wishes.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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