Hardy shrub roses all died back to the ground...

ostrich(3a AB)May 23, 2014

I am wondering if anyone can help me with this. I planted several hardy shrub roses last year - Morden Belle, Morden Blush and Morden Sunrise. I thought that being hardy shrub roses, they would do well in Calgary. However, they have all died back to the ground. So far, only the Morden Belle is sending up a new cane, but the others are still not doing a thing.

Do these hardy shrub roses all still die back to the ground in our climate? Do they start again later in the season? Or should they be sending up canes by now?

Thanks for your help!

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LOL, I've been meaning to make a post something along these lines from Edmonton too! I have two Morden Centennial roses that are at least 10 years old. They've never proven fully hardy for me, usually I lose about half the top growth each winter, the upper parts of the branches that were latest to develop. But this winter I lost ALL the top growth on one plant, and about 90% on the other -- never come close to such damage before. I was expecting very little damage since we had warm weather into mid-October last year to ripen the wood, then a deep and persistent cover of snow. One of the mysteries of gardening.

On the good news side, I watered my rose bed heavily about a week ago, along with a shot of fertilizer, and now the Mordens plus my hybrid teas (which kill to the ground every year anyway) are putting up new shoots beside the old dead stems. Give them a good soak and that should wake them up.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 1:56AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks so much, don! I will try just that!!! :-)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 10:44PM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

I have Winnipeg Parks, Morden Sunrise and Purple Pavement and they always die back to the ground every year for me but usually bounce back. This year they are way behind though and it looks like I lost one Morden Sunrise. I think having no reliable snow cover plays a big part in how well they manage throughout the winter. This photo was taken May 15/2013 and this year you would not even know there were roses in that garden.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 9:15AM
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One of my roses died back to the ground this year also. I've never had that happen before. As usual we had good snow cover, but I think the persistent cold this year just got to it.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 9:37AM
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Morden Sunrise is not as hardy as some of the other Mordens like Ruby, Blush etc. I won't be replacing mine this year (I think I've bought at least five over the years). Hope for Humanity is a really nice and hardy red shrub rose.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 4:43PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks everyone for your input - this is really helpful information! I am going to wait for a little bit but if they don't show up soon, they will be "shovel-pruned"! LOL!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 6:35PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

My Winnipeg Parks is one of my worst for dieback. My Mordens are fairly small but come through the winter better than WP on average. Last year WP "died" and I didn't dig it up because there was a big delphinium growing right next to it, so I left it and it sprouted in August. Lazy beast.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 8:51PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

northspruce, I am so surprised to hear that your Winnipeg Parks is like that!!! I was considering planting one, in place of the hybrid tea (Pink Peace) that I planted last year as I am sure that it will not come back. However, now I need to think again.

I am wondering if anyone has experience with Campfire?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 12:40AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

I think my teeny weeny campfire rose is going to make it but I'm not holding my breath. I planted her last year for my coming grandson. Yesterday she looked alive and she has been covered with leaves up until yesterday. Time will tell.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 12:48AM
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Wow, Ginny, why do you keep things covered for so long? I removed the leaf-cover from my tea roses and blackberries around April 20. If it works for you, that's what matters, but I cringe at losing a month in our too-short summers.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 2:15AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Don, I don't usually really cover anything unless it is new and tender. I have not been well this spring and am late at getting the yard work done. I almost forgot that I planted Campfire last spring and she was just under a layer of leaves that had blown in....usually all the cover my garden gets. I like the leaves to keep the mud down in the spring so I don't usually rake them in the fall or I rake them onto my flower beds. It's all good. :)


    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 2:29AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I don't uncover my roses until the native trees start leafing out. That was this past week! Spring has been really late here in MB. Since I've been doing it this way, I've stopped losing roses. I'd have to check my records but I don't think I've lost a rose besides the near miss with WP for at least 4 years.

It sucks for the tulips and crocuses I have planted near them though. They shouldn't be covered up that long.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 9:01AM
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This is the first year 4 of my roses died back to the ground. I thought they had had it but all have new growth so with a good pruning they will be fine. Morden Sunrise is one (rated zone 3 I think) and 3 Country Dancers which are rated zone 4. I'm in zone 3b so it wouldn't be very surprising except that IMO last winter was milder than other winters when they survived well.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 12:48PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

WOW! Seems like this is a bad year for our poor roses! Sigh.... I am just wondering how much longer I should give them.... so far, only Morden Belle is showing new growth. Otherwise, my Morden Blush and Morden Sunrise are not showing any sign of life still....... SIGH!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 9:43PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

ostrich if it helps you at all my Morden Sunrise only started to show signs of life 2 weeks ago and I have been, for the most part, considerably warmer than you. I have a John Davis that has green canes that is not showing anything yet. Although it is still in the one gal pot from when my dad bought it and the only one that showed hopes of surviving.

Thinking about it one thing I have found weird is that weeks ago I pruned my MS back to green wood yet no growth has come from those canes.

Luckygal I totally agree that last winter was mild BUT we did have very short cold spell that the thermometer dipped to -34. While it was only that cold for less then 24 hrs from what I am reading it isn't how long the cold is for but how cold it got. In an article I read from a professor at the U of S (wish I could find it again) he stated that it didn't matter how long the cold was for just tell him the coldest temp recorded and he would tell you what lived and what died, or to that effect.

Lets hope this year is better on the plants..


    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 9:46AM
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John Davis and John Cabot were both tip hardy this year. Cabot's getting quite tall - almost 5 feet after two years. The rugosas came out fine.

Everything else got destroyed. About four inches of live cane (snowcover, basically).

This post was edited by shazam_z3 on Tue, May 27, 14 at 16:10

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 12:27PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I did a bit of an inventory the other day. Morden Sunrise died back almost to the ground but is sending up some new shoots. JP Connell and Topaz Jewel are iffy. And my dear Hawkeye Belle seems to have bit the dust. :( No sign of life whatsoever. I'll wait and see if any new growth comes from the roots before getting rid of her. Everything else was okay, some of them with more dieback than others, but they're all leafing out now.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 10:50PM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

My Morden Blush often dies back almost to the ground(a few times it has come back from the ground). My Emily Carr has done the same thing. But both of them typically bounce back really well.

Despite JP Connell supposedly being a bit more tender, it has done better for me the past 2 winters than my Hope for Humanity, which barely seems to survive from year to year. Hasn't shown signs of life yet, although it did bounce back somewhat last year. We'll see.

Purple Pavement is nearly tip hardy. Marie Victorin usually does very well also, but it was heavily chewed by voles this winter, so it is coming up from the ground. I wouldn't plant Marie Victorin again, though. The flowers are BEAUTIFUL when they are at their peak..which lasts about 5 minutes. They very quickly turn ugly. This was my Prairie Joy's first winter, she did fine, but definitely not tip hardy.

The only rose I have that never has any dieback is my Prairie Peace Erskine rose. It doesn't matter how exposed of a spot I put her in!

I always struggle with this dilemma: do I put straw around my roses so more of the canes survive? If I do there is a high possibility of voles in my garden doing major damage. I've probably had more dieback due to voles than cold!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 3:57PM
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Weeper, it's good to here about Prairie Peace, I have a list of roses that I am interested in getting but am trying to avoid the poor ones. Trying to stay with fragrant roses and don't mind if they die back but it is nice if they don't. I would like to find Hazeldean some where. Wayne

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 6:32PM
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CossecaRose_z3(Zone 3)

The winter was very cold and long here in Ontario. Here's an update about how things did in my neck of the woods...
My two Morden Sunrise died down to the ground, but they're sending out some nice shoots with buds on the ends. (Maybe 6'' long now). My Champlain had a few inches long left alive, it's an own-rooter too... Marie Victorin had quite a bit of dieback, it had gotten about 4' high, now there was maybe 7'' long of green canes left... John Cabot surprisingly died to the snowline, shich we had alot of, so he had about 4' high of cane left. The flower carpets (my first roses, about 9 years old now) died to the ground, as usual, and are sending out good, but short shoots... rosa glauca barely had any dieback, it did awesome... the wild roses - acicularis and virginiana - did really great, no dieback at all. Even, in one exposed spot the other (hardy zone 3) perennials all died completely, except for good ol, acicularis, with again, no dieback. The rugosas had little dieback... Quadra had very little dieback, although it was about 3' high in the Fall, so it was under snow... Martin Frobisher had most of his tall shoots die completely back, now all I have left are two tall 4' high twigs that look like they're gonna look like awkward lollipops! Emily Carr died to the ground, but has nice shoots now, a few inches long...Alexander Mackenzie did well, with a little bit of dieback, but it was a short bush still, as did Morden Snowbeauty. But the rugosas, even the zoned 4 rugosa 'Belle Poitevine' had very little dieback. The potted roses in the shed are long long gone... I gotta say, though, those wild roses did really well!
Here I'm days to a week to having some buds open.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 7:42AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Martin Frobisher has always been a reliable rose for me, usually with very little dieback. This winter was no different, fortunately. He's coming along quite nicely. I haven't looked closely at anything lately because the mosquitoes drive me inside really quickly, so i don't know for sure if there are any buds yet, but i would doubt it. It's a slow spring.

Cosseca, where are you? Not enough Ontarians here!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:02AM
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CossecaRose_z3(Zone 3)

Hey Marcia - I love your tag: *tropical3*! Yup, I wish more Ontarians were here too. I'm in Sudbury. Where are you?
Yes, I agree, the mosquitos are really bad here too... oh, well. We're toughies I guess!

How old is your Martin? How big? Books aren't reliable for size in this zone I find. Mine is about 2yrs old.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 3:57PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I'm in the Northwest, betwen Dryden and Kenora, but have been to the Sudbury area many times as my mother had a load of relatives there.

Trying to think how old Martin is. The earliest picture i have is from 2009, but i'm sure he's been around for a lot longer. He had a tough go of it a few years ago - was covered in galls and was very sickly. I pruned him pretty hard and he came back nicely and looks quite well now.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:41PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

I finally pulled the plug, could not wait for it any longer and pulled out all of these dead "hardy" roses.... I was wondering if I would find any sign of life as I was digging them up. Nope. Not a thing.... so they were well and truly dead. Sigh... Buh bye Morden Sunrise, Morden Blush and Pink Peace (OK, this one is not a hardy rose...).

I replaced just one space with another rose, as I just am not sure that I want to go through this again (at least not for now!). Per the recommendations of other posters here, I got myself a nice Hope for Humanity for a spot that would look SUPER with a deep red rose! I cannot wait to see how that would look there.

If my Morden Belle will not do well this season, it is going. It will then be replaced by a Therese Bugnet!!! Sigh...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:08PM
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K I had to take a pic of Therese, just starting to open. The three I planted last yr are beating the one that's 4 yrs old. I also love the color of her stems as you can always tell its her amongst the others.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:26PM
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