Tea Roses, Deer and dependable rainfall

anntn6b(z6b TN)January 31, 2012

My true tea rose bushes have never looked better. They all still have their late fall and winter foliage and it's healthy. No blooms, but I can handle that; it's the great foliage going into February that may not have happened before. We've had consistant rainfall of an inch a week and temps that bottoms out in the low teens.

Today the noon deer herd at the bottom of the hill numbered six; boy, does that herd grow when I'm not looking. And it's so nice to see the elders of the herd showing the youngsters how to climb through the fence around our species rose garden.

That dependable rainfall had positives: some of our big trees appear to be five to ten feet taller. Their offspring, that I overlooked when weeding last spring are now three to four feet tall and need shovel treatment to get them out of the rose gardens. I've lost two chinas that were on the north side of slightly larger roses; except the slightly larger roses (White Pet) are now much larger and just shaded White Pearl in Red Dragon's Mouth out. One of my Safranos was also shaded out by Arcata Pink Globe.

With the not-frigid temps we've had there is no way to slow down growth. The one thing I've got to do is get on top of some cankers that are active on some of the more modern roses. The mild that I like to work in the garden is the same mild that stimulates the fungi that are my rose cankers AND the red-magenta rims around those cankers are expanding (response to fungi-making ethylene gases.)

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seil zone 6b MI

Anne, it sounds like spring's already hit your place. I was out today (it was 58F out!) checking things and I have growth going on all over the place. Not the best thing for the roses but like you said you can't stop it. I'm most worried because everything is leaf mulched for winter and, of course, we haven't had much real winter weather and there's no snow anywhere. So I'm worried about cankers too. I don't dare pull off the mulch because you know the instant I do that it'll go down to sub-zero and I'll lose them. We have all of February and a good part of March that's still winter and could decided to behave like winter. So I'm just sitting tight and hoping and praying. If it's still this warm come the beginning of March though I'll probably pull the leaves off the beds and let them grow. I don't know about the pots because March can be a wild month weather wise here. It can be in the 50s during the day and the teens at night. What do you do in weather like that? Do I take them out and hope they don't freeze to death or leave them in and hope they don't cook?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 6:19PM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

This is stuff I have to deal with basically every year anymore. Here in Italy, global warming has ruined the climate. This year is particularly worrisome. Up to now, it's been mild and super-dry (this driness will, however, hopefully ensure lack of fungus problems, so I guess that's the silver lining,though it won't be fun if they have to start rationing water...)Many of my roses have started growing, sort of, with lots of little leaf buds swelling. Others have put out the beginnings of basals and new leaves.Now, a Siberian front has moved in. We did get some snow last night,maybe 4 inches,thank Heaven. But the temps are predicted to go way down below normal, with HIGHS at-9 degrees Celsius! Worse yet, it's supposed to last for more than a week.Awful. regards, bart

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 4:03AM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

Yes, Ann, I'm also worried about my poor roses (everything else seems to love it!!!). Their feet are probably so soggy with all the rain, I'm curious what will happen in the spring. I just hope its been cold enough here to snap the once bloomers into full dormency so they'll bloom!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 8:57AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Tammy: it's rainy here too. We went from really dry to wet. It's the WARMEST winter here in a decade. My roses are still green to the tip. Normally Knock-outs die back to the crown. Thanks for the info. that once bloomers need cold dormency to bloom (I didn't know that).

Our temp. was record high 50's yesterday, now it's 40's. It feels weird to send my kid to school without dressing her up in snow-pants and boots.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 9:22AM
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I envy you that rainfall. We've gotten half our usual amount of rain this January. We're in danger of fires right now, and I'm irrigating several times a week. The roses look great, except my last flush froze.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 2:08PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

It happened after I typed. I was out weeding and I heard a clatter (finally got to use that Christmas poem word) down in Rocky Narrows where the paved road is. Lots of sounds that I hadn't heard before.

Then one of the handsomest horses I've ever seen emerged. He couldn't have made that much noise! Then a pair of ridden horses really close- then two more ridden horses all in a four horse hitch. The four were being trained to pull a wagon. The wagon was heavily laden, much heavier than I expect the old wooden wagons to be. Then a glint of sunlight hit the barrel of the cannon. This was not a small cannon, but one almost five feet long.

What a great thing to do on a sunny January day. Train your horses so they can participate in reinactments. (Beats weeding.)

Back to roses.

I have kept roses in pots in a wheelbarrow for moving in and out of the garage. Also on a two layered cart, also for moving in and out. Before we had three vehicles in need of garaging, the third bay that faces south was mine in winter for certain plants: good weather=door up; bad weather= door down.

About the once blooming OGRs. In late fall, when I talk to my roses, every fall I tell the OGRs how smart they are. Forget the moderns that hold onto their leaves well into December. The OGRs drop their leaves regardless of the apparent hot/cold; it HAS to be length of day related.
Now spring has its own effects on them. I've had moss roses here that bloom and are nice for a short while. Then we visited the garden up west of Canton Ohio and I almost went into shock at the size of the sprays of roses that developed on their moss roses. HUGE sprays of ten or more buds (I would be lucky to get three buds per spray.) On their sprays, two or three buds would bloom at once, and there were still so many, many more buds to come that they were going to have a longer bloom time, just because their were so many more buds to happen. I'd guess that that was a function of cooler growth times in early spring. Then there was the Madam Hardy we saw up in Portland Maine. My Madam Hardy made three inch blooms. The one up in Portland was five inches across. (Their version of the Pacific North West moster HT blooms.)

This winter will go towards ballancing out the two winters we had here (we've had this place for about 16 years) when temps were below 0Fahrenheit.

Re the soil moisture: as long as the soil smells OK while I'm weeding, I know the moisture is moveing through and I am avoiding anoxic conditions. IF I were to get that rank sulphur smell, I'd rather know now than later when the plants would show a problem. This is one place where being on a hill with a roll-down if you slip slope is an advantage; I can always change the drainage if the plants don't like it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 3:40PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

Strawberry, I believe that the once bloomers need full dormency to bloom their best; I remember hearing that someplace...but maybe someone else can clarify it further. I do know there's some roses that don't do well in warm climates because they need that cold snap every year to perform well. :)


    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Oh, Ann, I'm a horsewoman, and I would love to have seen that. We have a highrider two person cart, but I've gotten too arthritic to climb up in it. It sure would beat weeding.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 4:39PM
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seil zone 6b MI

What a wonderful spectacle that must have been, Ann!

Not all once bloomers need a cold period. It depends on what class they are. Chinas, noisettes and tea roses don't need any cold to bloom. There are probably others too that I don't know about because I can't grow most of them here anyway. As for the rest if you've had frosts or freezes a few times that's probably all it will take and they'll bloom just fine for you come spring. I don't think it takes weeks of complete freeze to trigger it.

And like Ann noted, the length and strength of daylight does play a major part in their coming out of dormancy. As the sun gets higher up in the sky and the daylight hours get longer the roses begin more active growth. So that may also be playing a part in why all of our roses seem to want to be growing now. I know I've certainly noticed the longer daylight!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 5:11PM
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