New to roses - what do I have?

roch_plantgirl(z5/6 NY)October 16, 2005

We just bought our first home last year, and I've inherited 7 rose bushes (2 climbers and 5 bush-like). I didn't even know I had roses last fall since they were buried under a huge pine tree. This year, they seemed to do very well with finally seeing sun. They did have a bought with black spot (I'm learning), but they seem to have recovered. The house is about 40 yrs old, so that's the oldest they could be.

I'm hoping you can help me identify 4 of the bush roses so that I can prune them properly this fall. I'm new to gardening, and I'm not sure if I should prune them to the ground, or part way (I have a book, but since I don't know what I have, I still don't know what to do). Attached are 4 images - I hope they're good enough to gather at least enough info for pruning's sake:

Rose Bush #1: Mini red roses, about 3ft high, bloomed all summer long. Dense and bushy, and did not get the black spot the others had. No real fragrance.

Rose Bush #2 (2 images): Large deeper red blooms, about 3ft high. Bloomed earlier in the summer, and again now (we had an early fall heat wave here; I think they're confused)Light fragrance.

Rose Bush #3 : Large red blooms, but this plant is more delicate than the others - only 2 thin canes, and the blossoms were more loose with fewer petals than above. No real fragrance. About 1-2 ft high.

Rose Bush #4: This bush had light pinkish/peach flowers with slightly darker pink around the edges, with a nice fragrance. The blossoms bent over like they were too heavy for the stem. The leaves are waxy and a lighter green. This plant suffered heavily from the black spot, and just started growing it's leaves back. It's currently only about 10" high.

I figure I probably shouldn't prune # 3 and 4 at all since they're smaller and a little stressed; What about 1 and 2?

I hope this is enough information to glean something - I apologize for my lack of knowledge, and I appreciate anything you can do!



Image link:

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rosetom(7 Atl)

First, you don't prune in Fall.
Second, 3 feet is what you prune to, not prune from. If that's their max height already, I wouldn't kill them any further.

Wait until Spring before considering any pruning - and it doesn't sound like you have something you should prune, anyway. Mulch them with some of that pine straw that must be laying around, and be patient until Spring. If they've survived, then you might try some fertilizer and/or composted organic matter - once there's an inch or two of new growth.

It sounds like they may be too puny at the moment to properly identify. There's a bazillion reds anyway, and you may need several photos - flower, petals, leaves and bush to even have a good start on narrowing down the possibilities of a red. Wait until the roses are strong and healthy, then take note of the traits for a possible ID.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 8:54AM
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roch_plantgirl(z5/6 NY)

Thanks, Tom. As I said, I'm brand new at this and don't have a clue what I'm doing. I'll leave them alone and see how they do next year.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 10:00AM
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rosyjennifer(z 6/7 MD)

Hi. My love for roses began when I started taking care of some neglected roses.

There are a lot of red roses, so they are hard to ID w/o more info. You can check around the base of the rose, often under dirt or old mulch and you may find old metal tags that will ID the rose.

My guess is the roses will need some food like Miracle grow in the spring and some organics like manure or soil conditioner as a mulch. Water deeply several times a week starting in the spring and read a bit on fungicide treatments for blackspot. Many newbies like the ease of Bayer 3-1 soil drench that you apply about once a month. It treats blackspot, many bugs and feeds the roses, too.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it isn't. But if you only have time to do 1 thing for a rose - water it.

Good luck! : )

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 9:06PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

If it's dead or dying next spring, cut it out.

That will cover about 99% of your pruning questions. They are going to pretty much die back to the ground this winter, and eventually wither away. HTs are not reliably perennial where you are, which is why they are so small in the first place.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:19AM
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