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Keywords: disbudding, Rosa

I've been removing all the small, spiky buds and leaving the main developing bud on my rose (I think it's a Floribunda, but I'm not sure). My husband told me I was doing the wrong thing. Is he right? I thought I'd heard that removing the ancillary buds would give me a better-looking single bloom, like the long-stemmed roses you see in displays.


I'm a lazy grower of roses, and so it would not occur to me to disbud in order to have one single larger rose. But you are correct that this is in fact done in some cases. I found a brief item in Rose Magazine online which illustrates the practice (it seems to be used mainly for roses being used in displays, where a kind of perfection is desired). Note the following, about Floribunda roses, which describes exactly the opposite procedure:
"On roses that produce multiple blooms, like those of Floribundas or Grandifloras, it is the terminal bud that is removed. On these roses, the terminal bud will open first. By the time surrounding blooms form the terminal rose is almost fully blown. The result is a floral spray with a hole in the center. By removing this terminal bud early in its formation, the rose's energy goes toward those that remain. The result is a floral spray that is full -- without the hole in the center."

The website of the Desert Rose Society also describes disbudding.
"The practice of disbudding applied to roses can produce some impressive results in the size and quality of the bloom. This is how you get those big lovely long-stemmed roses. When disbudding for one bloom to a stem roses, such as hybrid teas, you remove the side buds that develop at the leaf axils below the main bloom. This is done by rubbing the tiny buds out from of the angle created between the leaf and stem. I find my thumb works best for getting right in there. The earlier you do this in the development of the side buds the better, for you will leave less of a disbudding scar or black stub. How many buds do I remove? Enough that you will have the desired stem length with no side buds. In a rose show, a single bloom on a stem will be disqualified if it has side buds, with the exception of old garden roses and shrub roses.

When disbudding roses that bloom in clusters like the floribundas, it is a little different process. You have to look at the stem and see how many buds there are. If there is a central bud and only one or two side buds, remove the side buds and go for a one bloom stem. When presented with many buds and a central bud, remove the central bud and make this stem into a spray (or cluster) of blooms. The central bud would normally bloom first and be faded when the rest of the buds open. A spray, for show purposes, must contain two or more blossoms and three or more blossoms are best. If trying for a spray for show be sure that the multiple buds have at least three buds of about the same size so they will be open at the same time to give the desired blossom count."

For the meticulous home gardener or professional rose exhibitor, you may find this information on the American Rose Society's judging criteria of interest.

To sum up, the answer to your question about whether or not to disbud seems purely an aesthetic choice.

Date 2018-07-13
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May 31 2018 13:14:08