What to do with rose with new growth now?

ostrich(3a AB)August 24, 2014

I planted a Hope For Humanity rose early this spring but it did not do well initially, because of powdery mildew, attacks by bugs etc. So it never settled in for a while. Now that all the attacks are gone, the rose is sending up lots of new growth! I stopped feeding in mid July already. Now, as the temperature cools down and that winter will be here soon, all this new growth is not good!

What should I do with it now? How do I "harden" it for winter please?

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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Not much at this point,...just no watering.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:08PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

OK, thanks, konrad. I have not been watering but there has been much rain in Calgary! Sigh! If this thing were growing like this 2 months ago.... LOL!

In a month's time, if it's still full of new growth, what do I do with it then?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:40PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Ostrich, I have done so much research regarding this topic lately (along with HVX) it isn't even funny....there seems to be two schools of thought out there.

First, you stop feeding, stop watering basically stop everything with the thought your helping them go dormant.

The other is that the plant is going to go dormant when it is ready to regardless of what you do. So continue feeding and everything you normally do until the rose actually goes dormant.

So, with my very limited experience, I have some concerns with stopping everything. Lets say the way you feed is only by using very rich soils maybe with compost etc. How do stop feeding? Regarding, watering what if, like last year, you have a wet fall what do we do now?

Again with very little experience I noticed a few things this spring when pruning off dead wood. The most important, I think, was that the dead part of canes on both roses, dogwoods, potentilla's and hydrangeas tended to be usually of the same diameter. So when pruning when I came to live wood I could pretty much prune the whole bush to that diameter cane, I am lazy so was looking for a faster way than starting at the top and cutting every so often to find live wood. After researching on how plants cope, especially woody plants, with cold it made sense.

Now pulling from the research I did on growing grass one of the biggest things the experts say you can do is fertilize late in the fall, before the grass goes completely dormant. This helps the grass build sugars to take it through the winter and start the new year. Last year I only had enough fertilizer in the fall to do less than half my lawn, the part that didn't get it suffered nearly 50% die off compared to nothing in the area that got it.

So, and with no disrespect to anybody here, I came to the conclusion on my roses and most other plants that it would be business as usual. I want my plants to be as big and healthy as possible to go into winter. I will not 'over' do it but just provide them food and water as they need. YMMV.

If I fail next spring you will see a post, like my hosta one, with pictures of me heading to the dump with dead plants.

We will see and good luck with which ever road you take.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 2:25PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

My hybrid teas usually enjoy the cool and moist fall weather, and they put out a nice flush of blooms in September. Therefore, I do nothing to stop new growth in August. I haven't remembered to fertilize my roses for a couple of years, and I water everything when it's really dry, so those are moot points for me.

If it dies back in the winter, it dies back. It's not going to die back any more or less because of anything you did in August. IMO it's important for the plants to be moist but not saturated when freeze-up comes. I let mine get hit by the first few hard frosts, which I believe helps the plant go dormant and store some food up in the canes/roots. Then I cover them up after the leaves are brown or dropped.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 3:33PM
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Most gardeners use water soluble fertilizers which is taken up by the plant very quickly and cause new growths. This is the reason not to fertilizer during August. I stop fertilizing in August but water the roses well.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 4:38PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

I guess my problem is I can't figure out why new growth is so bad. It isn't like the plant is being robbed of nutrients as you are supplying them. As well larger canes are not as susceptible to desiccation and have larger sucrose, dehydrins, proline, protein etc levels which is why, so I understand, they can handle colder temperatures. So even if the plant is making 'new growth' the 'not new growth' is getting bigger, hopefully making it better able to handle winter. I'd be happy to be wrong but his is what my research has led me to believe. Am I off my rocker?


    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 5:26PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I honestly believe that the advice to avoid new growth going into winter is from more temperate regions where the loss of the odd cane is actually remarkable and avoidable.

That and the phenomenon known as "internet regurgitation".

In my experience, the more healthy basal breaks on a rose bush going into winter, the greater chance that some of them will still be alive in spring.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 5:59PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)


I totally concur, just not from experience.

If new growth is not good I am totally screwed because all of my roses, especially this years bare roots, are nearly red with new growth.

Speaking of new growth what growth isn't new? Or is it like 'New and Improved'?

Now some of the expert rosarians say you should snip buds off which will promote root growth for the first year as flowering takes so much energy and nutrients from the plant, I think they say 35 leaves for each bloom. So if this is true snipping off the fall flush would probably be the most beneficial thing you could do. If you really want to help them snipping the blooms all year would be best is this likely to happen in my gardens? Most certainly NOT!

It is interesting to hear others views on the topic.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 6:35PM
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I'm far from being an expert on roses but here's what's worked for me.

I've done everything one year that experts suggested, I've done pretty much nothing one year that you're supposed to do, and I've done about half of what I should have another year. My roses don't seem to care no matter what I do. The only thing I don't do is fertilize after about the middle of August.

I think the main reason mine do fine is because I always have a fair amount of snow cover. Sometimes I lose what's above the snow line, but not usually. If I do lose some, it doesn't seem to make any difference in the overall size of the rose bush during the growing season anyway.

I have Emily Carr and George Vancouver.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 10:08PM
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I would not worry about a Hope for Humanity rose...it is very hardy. My two are doing fine and we have very harsh winters. I don't do anything special to prepare it for winter...right now, they are being watered along with all the other plants in the flower beds. One year, I thought it had died, so I went out and bought another one. Well, it wasn't dead and now I have two. ;)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 12:13AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thank you everyone, for your very useful and thoughtful posts! The discussion has been excellent, and I am learning a lot here!

I guess I should just relax and not worry TOO much about my Hope for Humanity rose then. Que sera sera, right!? :-)

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 12:15AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

!Pasa lo que pasa! Now if you want to start another thread that could bring up interesting conversation ask about winter protection. Especially in your high freeze thaw climate.



For all of you worried I will look after your plants in a much warmer environment for you. No charge, of course. Pm me for shipping details.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 2:08AM
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Nothing to worry about.

I've had roses *bloom* well into October. No harm done.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 6:16PM
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