Can I save this Neptune Hybrid Tea or is it a lost cause?

Houston, TX

I bought and planted a Neptune Hybrid Tea Rose in 2007. It has had beautiful, fragrant blooms practically all year round until a few months ago. I had some problems with the canes dying off starting about a year after I planted it. First, all of the canes on one side of the bud union died off but the canes on the other side were fine and distributed such that it stayed upright. Unfortunately, the next spring it put out 3 new canes on the healthy side and the entire thing almost toppled over. I cut back 2 of the canes and staked the rose and it has been blooming beautifully ever since, though no sign of life on the other side of the bud union. I cut back the dead canes after a year had past. Just prior to our cold spells this past winter, I noticed that only 1 of the canes left was blooming, and now it appears to be dead as well. All of my other roses are putting out buds or are already blooming. The only life signs seem to be 3 new shoots that have come up a couple of inches in front of the plant and 2 more shoots that appear to be coming from under the bud union. From what I've read on roses, these sound like suckers and am I correct in understanding that they are a part of the original rose and not the grafted hybrid tea rose that I have been enjoying for the last few years. Is there anything I can do or is this rose a goner? I've attached a photo of the current situation and a photo of a bloom from 2010.

Thumbnail by lynn770 Thumbnail by lynn770
Richmond, TX

What you describe sounds like what has happened to most of my grafted roses over the years. They thrive for a couple of years, then bit by bit they die back until they look like the first photo. I agree that the new shoots do seem to originate from below the bud union and are probably from the root stock. I have several Dr Huey plants from that process; I rather like them...(My tendency is to wait and see what things grow into.)

I don't have a lot of time to devote to my roses, so I have concentrated on Old Garden Roses that require minimal care. A few years ago I heard a talk by the former president of the Houston Rose Society. She said that grafted roses in our area tend to have a life span of 6-7 years while Old Roses are practically immortal.

Houston, TX

Thanks for the info. I didn't think about the lifespan being short but that sounds about right for the time period I've had it. I'm prepping my landscaping to put my house on the market in June and I wanted all my roses to look nice, so I probably won't be able to wait to see what it will do. Maybe I'll leave it until the last minute before I pull it out. Just because I'm curious. LOL. Sounds like I should start reading up about Old Garden Roses for the new place.

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