Anyone growing David Austin roses? Need some info please.

redecoratingmom(8 GA)January 15, 2013

Hi all. This will be my first time growing David Austin roses. I've ordered three of the Charlotte and will be planting them in containers. I picked those because according to the Dr. Armitage at the UGA trial garden, they are one of the top performers with the cleanest foliage in the garden. All of that remains to be seen when planted in my garden. So that brings me to my question: do you have to spray your DA roses? I've read many post of people spraying every 2 weeks. I was hoping to get away with less and still have amazing roses. What is your regimen?
What other things should I be concerned about other than black spot or other fungus?

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WestEnder(z7 Atlanta GA)

I have a David Austin rose called 'Heritage' that I have grown for more than ten years now without spraying with anything at all and it is beautiful. My entire yard and garden are grown organically. I think that whether a rose performs well (after making a good selection, which includes buying a rose that is growing on its own roots, not a grafted rose) it is more important to figure out how to prune the bush than anything else, if you are most concerned with having a solid show of beautiful roses throughout the season. I haven't mastered that skill yet, but 'Heritage' still gives me beautiful roses. Sometimes when I accidentally prune her just right, I am rewarded ten-fold. As an organic gardener, I have also learned this about aphids: You will most likely see some aphids in the spring on the young tender growth of your roses (and other plants). Leave them alone for awhile and don't fret. The aphids hatch out a little earlier than the ladybugs, and are the primary food for the ladybug nymphs. If you kill all the aphids, your ladybugs will have to look elsewhere for food, and you will be depriving your garden of an extremely beneficial predator. Learn to be patient and watch and wait. In just a few days the young ladybugs will come crawling for their first succulent meals, and they will clean up all the aphids. It's a wonder to see. Lesson #2 about ladybugs is that if you sweep your entire yard clean of leaves in the fall, they have nowhere to nest and lay their eggs. They like to lay eggs and raise their young under bushes in leaves and debris. Leave some habitat there for them.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:55AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I have a friend who grows David Austin roses in her front yard, and she pretty much has continuous bloom. She feeds them with my rose mix (alfalfa and some rock dusts) and manure, and mulches well. Occassionally she uses Bayer 3 in one but that is on the rare year that she feels she needs to. Mostly she grows her garden without chemicals and pesticides. Every week she sprays a mixture of powdered milk and neem oil on her roses in the early morning so it dries before the sun burns it. These prevent black spot for her, for the most part. A few of her roses have succumbed over time to disease, but not many. Like Westender says, the most important part of the regimen is pruning.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:08PM
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redecoratingmom(8 GA)

Oh no, there's pruning involved? I'm sending them back! Just kidding, though precision pruning is intimidating to me. This will be my first "true" rose experience. I planted some flower carpets last year but all you really have to do with those is water and fertilize a go along your merry way. Pruning those is mostly for shape. I'll have to research the when's and how-to's of rose pruning.
I really want my roses to look as beautiful and be as healthy as possible so I have no problem with using a chemical every once in a while but my first concern is to create an ideal healthy environment of the roses to thrive in to prevent having to use those chemicals. So I'll take your advice about the aphids, ladybugs, and the pruning. I had to shovel prune some disease ridden hydrangeas because of the constant use of fungicides I had to use last summer. All the spraying just wasn't worth it in the end. So I'm going to put everyone's tips into practice to hopefully have a more pleasant experience this year. Thank you.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 4:26PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Hi Mom, I have a lot of DA roses. Some, like Heritage, are a bit resistant, but most DA roses get blackspot. I do spray my roses. Not every 2 weeks, but a few times in spring then tapering off in the hot months and then again in fall. I'm not sure about Charlotte, I don't grow that one. But many of the DA roses have issues with blackspot in our climate.

The only other thing I'd look out for is thrips. They can ruin many roses with lots of petals, like DA roses. And they seem to like light colored/yellow roses, although I've seen them in other roses. I am experimenting with spraying a bio-agent that can kill thrips and possibly a drench of 3-1 on the roses that suffer the most from thrips. Spray insecticides don't do much for thrips as they live inside the buds, so you really can't get to them before they do their damage.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 7:04PM
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