Old rose brought back from North Dakoka the early 20th century

jbanderFebruary 3, 2012

This is a rose that has been in my family for about 100 years, my mother took care of it for 40 years at her house , I grew up with it. Well here is the problem, I'm no gardener but I'm the last one with it growing in my yard, I've had it 20-25 years . Now the plant comes up and only grow a foot tall at th most, mostly just a few inches tall and they haven't bloomed in 20 years ,or I haven't seen a bloom in 20 years. What should I do to Bring them back and pass them on to the younger great Nephews and nieces . I think I have acid soil which is good I guess for roses , we have lots of oak trees on the property. Their is a bug that goes after them all the time it is about the size of a small fly but it has a real long sucker on it and it eats the plant. I would guess thats part of the problem. Any help will be appreciated.


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seil zone 6b MI

It would be helpful to know where you are located. Climate conditions can be very important in any advice we can give you. Also if there is anyway to post a picture of the rose that would be a great deal of help.

As you can see this rose has lasted for a long time, passed from home to home and under various conditions so it is a survivor! It may only take a few changes and a little effort to bring it back to it's full glory.

You say you have a lot of oak trees so my first thought is that the rose may not be getting enough sun. Roses need a minimum of 6 hours of full sun to bloom at all and at least 8 to really thrive well. Very few roses will grow in partial shade and none that I know of bloom in full shade.

Were is it planted? Are the trees close to it? Or are there other large perennials and shrubs in the same place? If it is crowded with other large plants it may be fighting for root space, water and nutrients.

You do not say if you have done any pruning and how much if so. If you are pruning it heavily that may be another cause for poor vigor. Some roses do not like to be pruned and some roses only bloom on last years wood so you may be pruning off the wood that would bloom for you.

Please give us as much information as you can about the rose, it's history and current growing conditions so that we can help you save this family heirloom!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 7:12PM
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Also, has the elevation changed substantially in recent memory? Might soil or high levels of debris or leaves been piled or washed around it, raising the soil level greatly, essentially burying the plant? If any plant is buried too deeply, it can suffocate it. You might need to gently reduce the soil level around the plant to permit sufficient air, water and sunlight into it to stimulate it to grow.

Might you be able to find photographs or take photos of the insect you say eats it? If either insects, rabbits, squirrels, gophers or other vermin are eating the plant, essentially keeping it severely pruned, it may not grow and flower. Something is definitely wrong when a plant which has flowered for approximately a century, stops blooming for twenty years.

Any and all photographs can help diagnose the issues, so take lots from various angles, showing the area, overhead canopies of any nearby trees, anything you think might affect the plant's performance. You may post them to Photobucket and link them here or any other photosharing site. Some even permit you to copy and paste the address to this form so they open right in your post.

Seil is right. Knowing where you are, where the plant grows, can assist greatly in suggesting what you might be able to do to encourage it to grow and bloom. What's appropriate for Idaho right now, is probably very different from what I would suggest to someone living here outside of Los Angeles, where I am. It makes an enormous difference. Kim

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 7:39PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Thanks for the further information. I've crossed linked the two posts so people can read from start to finish.

Here is a link that might be useful: Old rose continued

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:38PM
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