Reviving Cl. Lady Hillingdon

ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9July 13, 2014

I was so happy to have this rose again, especially since now it seems very difficult to find. Unfortunately, it's persistently refusing to grow and prosper.

I first had it against a house wall where it received mostly only morning sun, but it still seemed stressed. I then planted it across the paved walkway to be a part of Tea Rose Row. It seemed to be recovering and had some new shoots and then stupidly (because of something I'd read), pruned it down more and took its leaves off (I know, sooo clueless in retrospect). Since then the leaves have grown back, sparsely, and the plant is a little taller, but basically it's not flourishing. Aside from copious watering and mulching, what can I do to make this lady happy again? Any and all advice is more than welcome.


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Ingrid I'm not as knowledgable as some of the other posters but it seems like she just needs some time to grow. I would try to be patient until next spring and see how she does. I have a feeling under your skilled and loving care that come spring she will be shooting out new canes and blooming. That's my humble opinion but I am sure others will have better advice on how to help your Lady.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:02PM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

Ingrid, you can lovingly talk to it. Some nitrogen might help also. I guess you won't see much improvement during the summer but I hope things will change come fall. My grafted LH cl. which I planted last fall is taking off quite nicely.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 5:24PM
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When did you receive the rose, Ingrid? What size plant was it then? How large and old was it when you planted it against the house wall, how long was it there and how long has it been since you've transplanted it? Copious (appropriate for the drainage) watering, mulch and weak, more frequent feeding will definitely help. Kim

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:09PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Oh no Ingrid, how depressing!!! I sure hope it turns around. Cl Lady Hillingdon is a true rarity on this side of the country. She is one I hope to find someday, I sure hope yours turns around and is just feeling upset and the changes and deciding she needs more roots.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:26PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I agree with Kim. Plenty of water. Very light feeding. And lots of patience.

I've a couple of plants that get the final rinse water from the coffee pot, every morning. They're picking right up.

You might also look to see what happens when you pour water on this plant. If it tends to run off right away, before it can soak in, consider building a little "dam" to hold water at the plant, so it has a chance to soak in, and benefit the roots.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:45PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Thank you all for your advice. I haven't fed it because I wasn't sure whether it would be appropriate under the circumstances but I'll give it some dilute fish fertilizer tomorrow. Jeri, I did put a dam around it a few weeks ago, thinking also that it would hold in the water. I suppose the heat isn't helping it, although happily at least some roses are putting out new growth and a few are still blooming. It's going to be a long summer, though.....


    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:08AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

If all else fails, you may also want to try applying a product containing the active ingredient 1-Triacontanol which is a natural growth stimulant very effective on roses. Fermentation of alfa-alfa (alfa-alfa tea) produces this alcohol but you can find it concentrated in ready made products under various names. Use sparingly. I would not apply it now but in the fall.

This post was edited by nikthegreek on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 1:48

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:43AM
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It may not be much comfort, but when I've transplanted an established rose bush it usually takes the remainder of the season to revive itself. I suspect that all its energy is going to root growth.
I'm betting that next spring it will be vigerously shooting out new canes.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:01AM
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tuderte(USDA 9a equiv.)

I can only echo what Kim and Jerijen have already said ⦠when I have a plant (ANY plant) that's struggling I give it a weekly feed of very diluted seaweed solution (less than half strength). It seems to work within 2 - 3 weeks - I really can't recommend it highly enough.

I had to transplant four large gardenias early in Spring and they really resented it - I gave them the seaweed solution every week for six weeks until they looked strong and healthy - they're now all flowering prolifically.

I hope it works for your Lady Hillingdon - I have a very young LH (bush) which is presently covered in buds for its second flush this year. When I received it in May (as a small own root plant in a 2.5 litre pot) it had seven buds on it - they all flowered and I was immediately in love with her beauty!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:37PM
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I heavily water my Tea rosebushes when transplanting them.
I water until the ground is saturated and cannot hold any more water each day for 3 days. Then I do this every other day for 4 more days if it is during drought and we've had no rain for a month or more.
I've transplanted a Tea in July doing this and it didn't even drop its flowers, let alone any leaves.

If your plant is less than 1 foot tall;
I would put a stick in the ground just outside its root ball to hold a cover. I make this by cutting a plastic gallon sized plastic milk carton and make a wide enough hole in it so it will slip over the plant, onto the stick, without the leaves touching the inside of the cover.
The cover should touch the ground. but its' o..k if its' an inch or so above the soil.
This creates a green house environment for the Tea. The opaque plastic protect the canopy until the leaves all grow out again. when this happens in 2-3 weeks, remove the plastic jug. I root rosebushes from cuttings this way, and when I see a maiden rosebush (a young rosebush that has not yet blossomed )is not flourishing in the open ground I put a cover over it until it bounces back to vibrant good health.
I agree with the low- numbers fertilizer and digging a berm is a wonderful idea.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:27PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Thank you for the additional comments. I'll get the seaweed fertilizer; it sounds like a magic drug for moribund roses! I'll also push the water; in this weather I don't think you can overdo it. As long as I know that it's doing well I don't mind waiting until next spring for it to really get going.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:15PM
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