Posted: 04/06/2013 at 18:07
My husband and I were given a rambling rose as a gift about 3 or 4 years ago. I think it's a Phyllis Bide. We only collected it last year as prior to that we had no garden and very little space, so it was sitting in a smallish pot for quite a while. I planted it in our border in the autumn and gave it a really heavy pruning, which might have been a bit too brutal looking back. It was really difficult to handle so I got the branches out of the way so I wouldn't get too many scratches.
Anyway, come spring when all the other roses started getting leafy this one seemed really delayed. It tried to produce a leaf bud towards the top of the branch on the left but after a couple of months the bud just withered and never came to anything. The original branches emerging from the root ball are purple and wooden looking, so I don't think they're healthy. As you can see there is a branch that's shot out from towards the bottom of the branch on the right...is this healthy or does it look like a sucker to you? How do you tell? It just suddenly shot up and looks a bit silly on its own.
Is there anything I can do to get some more branches and leaves growing? Also, should the top of the root ball be under the soil or not? I'm sure I buried it beneath the soil as that's what the care instructions said but I'm wondering whether I misread it.
I know so little about roses. Any help would be greatly appreciated!