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Rose Proliferation

Rose Proliferation

(Tequila Sunrise proliferating at our nursery this spring (2012)

“Proliferation” is a rather unusual looking occurrence, but it is by no means uncommon and is nothing to panic about.

Proliferation occurs when the plants apical cells multiply so fast that they do not stop dividing once a flower is formed, they continue to divide and produce new buds in the centre of the existing flower to which leads to the rather unusual image seen above on a Tequila sunrise this week.

The occurrence of proliferation appears to be quite random and the exact causes are not fully known. Links have been made with cold weather and late frosts in Spring as it usually occurs on the first flush of flowers and then subsequent blooms are fine. This years very warm March followed by a comparatively cold April and May would not certainly not have helped the plants. Any growth put on during the warm weather is sure to have been effected by the cold temperatures which followed.

The long and the short of it is, if you are seeing this happen in your garden this spring then don’t panic, it is something that unfortunately occurs in a number of varieties and seems to be unavoidable. If the growth bothers you particularly then cut the stem back to the first set of five leaves (as you would when dead heading) and a new flowering shoot will break and the subsequent flowers will be true to form.

For plants which are once flowering, we would recommend removing any proliferation immediately because although they will not directly harm the plant, they will divert energy away from other, healthy flowering growth. Should it continue year after year, we would recommend later pruning so as not to allow the flowering shoots to be effected by unseasonal cold weather.

For more information and advice, visit our website at or give us a call at the office on 01243 785769.

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