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How to Kill Rose Bushes

red rose bush image by green308 from

Rose bushes often are a gardener’s pride and joy; however, when it’s time for a change or your roses are not thriving, the task of removing and killing them for good may seem daunting. Even though roses are hearty plants, if you combine pruning, excavation and the use of an herbicide, you can get rid of your unwanted rose bushes.

Cut down your rose bush so about 2 to 3 inches remains above the ground. Use lopping shears or a saw for the larger branches. Discard the limbs at your local yard waste facility, if possible.

Poke around the root ball with a sharp spade. As you feel roots, move a bit farther out and dig. Cut in toward the center of your rose bush to get under the root ball.

Lift the root ball up and out of the hole with your spade by pushing down on the handle. Be careful not to break your spade. You can also pull up on the bush from the top.

Remove as much of the remaining roots as possible. Dig deeper in the hole and on the sides to locate and remove the feeder roots. Wearing gardening gloves, feel around with your hands to locate more roots, if necessary.

Spray any new growth in the fall after it matures with an herbicide that contains glyphosate. This will kill any remaining roots that survived the excavation.

Kill A Rose Bush?

are beautiful additions in a flower beds or fence row until you try to remove them. These thorny shrubs have tenacious root systems that can regrow repeatedly after they are cut down. Allowing the bush to grow for a few weeks after it reemerges and before cutting it back again, helps deplete the root system quickly. Rose bushes are also capable of establishing a presence in areas of overgrown grass. Keeping all parts of your yard mowed or cutting down rose bushes as soon as they appear is an effective way to prevent them from establishing a foothold. The most effective mowing regimen is three to six cuttings per growing season. Premixed herbicides with the active ingredient glyphosate provide simple and effective control of rose bushes. This chemical kills on contact with the bush's foliage and green stems.

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