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Have finally gotten around to clean out the borders of dead stuff and periwinkles that is taken over the place and noticed that parts of my zephirine drouhin has completely died. Is it safe to prune out the deadwood now or should I wait. The plant is sprouting already.
It's not too late to prune, in some area's people don't prune till April, so you should be fine.
Absolutely fine - do it this weekend.
Excellent. Will do it now. Should have said I am in Bristol.
Hopefully it will produce more stems from the base at some point as I have only one main stem and a very weak second.
Give it some rose food and a dollop of compost to help it recover from winter.
I usually put the food under the compost because of dog
Love that rose
Is there something going wrong at the roots? Stuck in heavy wet clay? Or not planted firmly in light soil and being tugged about by the wind. You could try digging the whole rose up very carefully and re-planting working in plenty of compost and some bonemeal which will both help a really good root structure to develop. Generally if a plant is poor on top, it does have poor roots. Additionally, if you cut off a piece of rose stem about foot long and push about 2/3 of it into friable soil, with a leaf bud at the base of the stem and perhaps just removing a bit of bark at the bottom, inside 12 months you will have a brand new plant. I generally find the new plant from a cutting is much stronger and healthier than the original.
The rest of the plant seems fine. The part that died might even have died last year. I am a bit concerned that it will not produce more stems from the bottom as there is only two main branches left and one of them is not that big. Don't think it has been disturbed by the wind as it is in a corner in a walled in garden. Should probably spread some worm casts around it to perk it up.
Is there a way to make it produce shoots from the bottom?
A good sprinkling of Fish Blood and Bone and a mulch of well rotted farmyard manure (not touching the stems). Cut out the dead wood and reduce the rest of the stems by two thirds - that'll make it shoot from the base.
wow that sound quite brutal! Not sure I dare to do that...
Nope, not brutal - just what it needs - trust me. Growth follows the knife