Prospero showing extreme chlorosis on multiflora roots

roselee z8b S.W. TexasJuly 18, 2011

I ordered Prospero from Pickering because it is one of the few nurseries offering it. I knew about the chlorosis problems on multiflora roots with Texas' alkaline soil and water so the roses received were planted very deeply in order for them to develope their own roots. All the roses are chlorotic, but poor little Prospero is the worst. Maybe it's having the hardest time growing its own roots. Even so it is valiantly trying to bloom in our up to 108 degree heat. It's planted in a super large container with a mixture of Miraclegro potting soil, peat moss, aged manure, and compost from my compost pile and deeply mulched. I probably should remove the buds, but what else can I do to help it along and try to make sure it survives? It gets about 6 or 7 hours of sun and receives plenty of water. Maybe so much sun is stressing it further, but I'd be hesitant to move it in this heat. What do you all think?

Thank goodness other than fried blooms the rest of my fifty plus roses are doing well in Texas' extreme heat and drouth.

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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

Just out of curiosity, what kind of wood/bark is that on the ground and how acidic/alkaline is that type of wood?


    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 2:24AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Melissa, the mulch consists of chipped tree limbs that were dumped (at my delighted invitation) by a tree trimming company two years ago so they've had some time to start decomposing. They are mostly from oak or Arizona ash trees and I don't know what the PH might be, but I use them and live oak leaves collected from curb side to mulch everything in my yard.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 10:04AM
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Roselee, have you tried soil sulphur? I have to use it in some areas of the garden that are higher pH. You can get the granules or powder. It takes a while (months?) to work but the finer form dissolves faster for a faster effect. I sprinkle it around the bush and water it in. This year I've been more diligent about it, and a particular rose that always got chlorotic hasn't done so. I've been applying it every 6 months. Of course, it needs water to wash it through the soil.


Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 10:36AM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

It sounds like the soil mixture would not be alkaline. Could it be overwatered? Waterlogging can induce iron-deficiency symptoms.

About own-rooting, Prospero will do OK on its own roots once it gets them. I have one own root and two on multiflora. They haven't been prone to iron deficiency like others in the same bed.

Sulfur is slow to act. I would add chelated iron. Fertilizing with Miracid will do that if you can't find another soluble iron product.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 11:19AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Plus -- How long ago was it planted? I know you planted it low, to take off on its own roots, but that takes a while.

If it's still on multiflora, that's what you'll see in an alkaline environment. The Austins I've had here on Multiflora suffered from it their whole lives.

We have a Golden Celebration here, planted about 12 years ago. It's on Multiflora, and it STILL goes chlorotic. The other GCs in a row with it are on Huey, Maybe 9 years old. They do NOT suffer from clorosis.

I can tell you from experience that Prospero doesn't mature quickly on its own roots, (might do more quickly for you, in a hotter climate) but that STILL might be a better choice for you, long-term.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 12:17PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

But this plant is not in alkaline Texas soil. It is potted in a mixture of potting soil and peat, which I'd expect to be acidic.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 12:35PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thanks Sherry and Michael. I have Sprint 330. I don't know why I didn't think to use it earlier except that the pale leaves were not this pronounced until a week or so ago. I don't think it is overwatered. I use a moisture meter in the pots to know for sure they need water as city water is very expensive. I even use the moisture meter on the small lawn we have to see if I've watered deeply enough! It's almost unbelievable how bone dry the sub soil is.

Jeri, Golden Celebration is still chlorotic after nine years -- oh my -- that is NOT good news. The roses from Pickering were planted in March since I didn't order in time to get fall delivery.

I wonder if after the Austins from Pickering develop their own roots it it would help to sever them from the multiflra root stock?

Also, is it mostly Austins that are not compatible in alkaline conditions with multiflora roots or all roses? I have a credit with Pickering and would like to use it wisely.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 12:45PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

It's the multiflora itself that doesn't handle alkaline conditions.

The soil mix should be fine. However, if it's watered repeatedly with alkaline water, that will raise the pH of the growing medium. There is a lot of discussion about this subject on the Fruit forum for people who are trying to grow blueberries in similar conditions. The idea is to acidify the irrigation water with vinegar, but you have to know how much is enough.

The hardier roses from Pickering seem to be on some sort of canina. It's much more adaptable regarding pH than the multiflora.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 12:52PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Just reread your message Jeri and GC on multiflora is still chlorotic after TWELVE years! Did it not ever go own root, or do Austins just grow better for you on Dr. Huey?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 12:55PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I should say -- It's not chlorotic ALL the time, but it sure is some of the time.

And yet, it is a plant of rampant vigor, which blooms its fool head off.

Yes, ANYTHING on Huey would be superior here -- IF that did not mean also that it was all virused. So those other GC's -- they bloom about the same. Are smaller, and I believe always will be, and never have chlorosis problems.

My earlier Austins on Multiflora (the only way you could get them, back in them there days) were periodically chlorotic all their lives. The Squire and Leonard Dudley Braithwaite sometimes had WHITE leaves. The O.R. Squire we started never had that problem.

Oh, and those Hortico Multiflora budded plants ALL suckered continuously for more than a decade, until we got sick of it, and dug up the plants.

I'm not going to say I'd never plant a rose on Multiflora here again -- but it would have to be a rose I wanted desperately, and which was otherwise unavailable. AND I would immediately start an own-root plant as a backup. (Nothing we plant here is likely to be in patent.)


    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:47PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

I've now had roses from Pickering for about fifteen years. And we've moved a lot of them (including the rearranged species garden that's DH's project.)

Some of the scions have preferred to stay on multiflora rootstock, others have gone own root.

Possible reasons: scions that don't go own root readily in my acidic clays and occasional loamy beds.
Lack of buds below soil levels (unlikely)
Such good grafts that the rootstock predominates.
Voles might prefer the scion roots and not the multiflora roots. (??)

Here's one for research: do roots grow at the same rate throughout the year/growing season/ temperature thresholds?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 2:40PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I've wondered for some time if Ragged Robin might not be a truly superior rootstock for this area. It grows really well here (so does Fortuniana, btw) so, why not?

You do find old rootstock plants of it from time to time, and you actually don't see a whole lot of Huey.

Ann, if you ever come to this area, I would LOVE to show you the incredibly huge half-Ragged-Robin/half-Red Radiance, out at Rancho Camulos. It's remarkable.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 3:28PM
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FYI, I was very disappointed after I bought a big package of peat and then read that it was pH adjusted so that it would not effect the pH of the soil. Dang! That's why I bought it!!


Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 5:49PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thanks for the information Sherry! That is certainly something to watch out for. I'm going to look and see if I saved the bag the peat moss came in. I certainly don't want PH adjusted peat!

Ann, good point -- maybe multiflora roots shut down when it gets as hot as it's been around here.

Thanks to everyone who replied. I'll let you know how, or rather IF, the Sprint 330 works.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 7:50PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Re: where multiflora grows.
Because of RRD/RRV, I have looked all over the southeast whenever we're out and about.

Multiflora spreads readily and it's had a century to do so. Birds. Poop. 'nuf said.

I haven't seen it very far south of Montgomery Al. (we were looking at some historic sites).
When questions arose in the DFW area about RRD, there was not much multiflora that far south, but there was reported to be a lot of multiflora up in Oklahoma along a lake shore, just north of the state line.

Multiflora is very happy with wet roots, so long as the water flows by and doesn't stagnate. We've had some hellish droughts here (mud cracks going down ten to twelve inches) and the wild multiflora survived it all (as did R. setigera.) From some limestone outcrops near me, I know that multiflora can live happily in somewhat acidic soils derived from weathering of fairly low clay limestones. I've never excavated to see if their roots come close to the limestone, though.

I'd expect western caliches to be inhospitable to multiflora (and water that passes through them, likewise)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:34PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

Sherry, have you tried shredded redwood bark? It's often sold in garden shops under the name 'gorilla hair bark'. Redwood bark is slightly acidic, and I use it to mulch my flower beds that contain roses. My mother used redwood bark in her rose garden, and I remember the distinctive smell of the redwood. Today if you go to a garden center they have plenty of bark chips, usually small to medium chunks, and some of it is red *colored* but it isn't redwood, and is sometimes even dyed red. Don't know what the ph would be on wood of unspecified variety.

I bought Reines des Violettes in February of this year from Greenmantle (northern California nursery) and planted it in my garden. Heard warnings that it gets chlorosis. But so far no signs of it at all in my garden, and I haven't added any sulfur, iron, or acidifying plantfood. But I did mulch it, along with my other roses in redwood bark. Perhaps the water percolating through the redwood is acidic enough for this rose. Don't know. But I went out yesterday and snapped a few pictures of the leaves of my Reines des Violettes. She seems to be doing just fine. Would be doing even better if the tree trimmers (who removed 3 huge trees for me!) hadn't dropped a big log on her bigger half and smashed it off. However, she's recovered nicely.


Here is a link that might be useful: Leaves of Reines des Violettes

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 5:00PM
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