Reasons Why Your Rose Isn’t Blooming

I have beautiful rose bushes but no roses, the bushes have no bugs or spots that look like disease. Why don’t I have any roses?

I can think of 4 reasons why your rose may not bloom: winterkill, improper pruning, lack of sunlight, or a reversion to the understock.

Winterkill – If you live in a region where winters are severe and your roses are not given proper protection they could die back to the root. In such a case the plant may be not able to return the following growing season with enough vigor to produce roses.

Improper Pruning – Old-fashioned roses should be pruned with a light hand. Severe pruning or waiting too late in spring can diminish bloom production. This is especially true of roses that flower once each growing season, such as Damasks and Mosses. These types should be pruned in the summer after they have flowered.

Lack of Sunlight – For good bloom production roses need at least 6 hours of sunlight. Now there are varieties that will flower in partial shade to light shade. I’ve had luck with ‘Gruss an Aachen’, ‘White Meidiland’ and ‘Marie Pavie’.

Reversion to Understock – Some roses are grafted while others are grown on their own root stock. A grafted rose is created by attaching a bud of the desired variety onto to a more vigorous root stock. The problem arises if the root stock starts putting out growth and overpowers the grafted on variety. This growth can be very healthy and yet not produce any blooms or if you do get roses they can be an unexpected color. Such was the case with a ‘White Dawn’ I had planted in my garden that suddenly started blooming red.