Blind Growth: Responding to this quote concerning blind growth..." I was also just reading in my favorite gardening encyclopedia that blind growth is akin to a sucker and does the plant no good and should be removed to make way for healthy growth.'
But, foliage produces food, transpires water to create the siphon to draw sap from the roots to the branch tips and provides 'sun block' for the canes to prevent them from suffering sun scald. I propose any healthy leaf a plant produces provides benefit. Each leaf counts toward the necessary threshold required to generate bloom, whether that branch flowers or not. Those leaves shield those canes from potential sun damage and they play a part in sap flow, drawing water and nutrients from the roots upward.
I disagree with the statement that 'blind growth is akin to a sucker'. A sucker (meaning root stock sucker) takes nutrients away from the budded scion and can eventually overtake it, leading to the decline and potential death of the scion. Blind growth IS a piece of the scion, and as such, helps feed and protect it, assisting in drawing resources from the roots upward. Unless the particular blind growth is diseased, afflicted by fungal issues, it is not, as is implied by the quote, 'unhealthy', requiring removal to make way for 'healthy growth'. Defining a shoot which has not produced a flower, but is otherwise un afflicted by disease as 'unhealthy', is a misunderstanding of the plant's operation.
I also propose the plant knows what it requires far better than we do. Where is it written that EVERY shoot created by a plant MUST produce a flower? If, as has been suggested, a cooler, perhaps wetter spring produces blind growth, logic and knowledge of how the plant 'thinks', why it does what it does, would tell you creating a flower from that blind growth would probably have not resulted in a fertilized bloom, therefore no seeds for future generations. Too cool, too wet weather and bees aren't going to be active, so the only pollination probable would be self set due to anthers folding over the stigma. But, if those parts are wet, pollination is not likely to occur. That is why a rose, or any other plant makes flowers, to reproduce and perpetuate the species. Blooming is ovulation. If conditions were not appropriate for pollination or for the pollinators to be active, producing flowers would be a waste of those resources.
Perhaps that blind growth was formed to help feed the plant, maintain it, set the stage for a heavier bloom load once conditions improved and pollination potential increased? Perhaps the reason that blind growth occurred was due to hormones, auxins or other plant growth regulators stimulated by the cooler, wetter, perhaps less sunny conditions to TELL the plant not to waste those resources creating a flower which would likely not result in seeds being created?
The demand that every branch, every cane, every stem result in a flower is artificial. It is man's unrealistic idea based upon our desires for what we want from the plant, not upon what the plant is genetically programmed to do to operate as efficiently, as perfectly as it was created to operate.
Blind growth, like yellowing leaves and a host of other perceived 'ailments' are not necessarily bad, nor indicative of problems requiring correction.