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How have your roses come thru these hurricanes?

Posted by Elaine_Pawlikowski Cent FL (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 10, 04 at 8:28

Hello all you Florida rosarians out there!
I am the editor of our rose society's monthly newsletter and I am putting together a brief article/report of what Florida rosarians did to prepare their roses before the hurricanes and how they came thru. Of course the most important thing is to secure our homes and keep our families safe ... but with so many days to prepare I think some of you might have also taken steps to protect your roses.

In my garden (200+ roses) we untied the roses from their stakes and let them fall where they may. After 100 mph winds from Charley and 10 hours of 60+ mph from Frances the roses did suprisingly well. The roses are grafted onto fortuniana. Most laid down and escaped any major cane damage - only a few broken canes and none broke off at the grafts. The ones that were growing in large pots were also laid down on their sides. After standing the pots back up they seem to have incurred little damage. By letting the roses lay down on the ground there was little leaf damage (not even torn leaves).

What approaches did you take and how did they work? Also what area do you live in?

I would appreciate sharing your experiences with our rose society members.

Thanks, Elaine P.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How have your roses come thru these hurricanes?

Hi Elaine. I had 60+ bushes pushed over nearly flat. Other than torn up foliage and some minor stem breakage, It was OK. The newly grafted minis were put up out of the weather. As a result of this, I have loosely staked the roses in the ground so they dont whip around so much and tear each other up much. I also will take some height off them for this same reason.

RE: How have your roses come thru these hurricanes?

Hi Elaine--- When Frances headed our way, I secured our house and another elderly couples place. I didn't finish untill mid day Saturday and it was already blowing 50, 60 MPH by then. I didn't have a lot of time to spend in the garden. I grabbed my loopers and started on the east side of the garden and went from bush to bush whacking them down to 3,3 1/2ft. Not hunting for any spaciffic bud eye. Just taking the tops out of the bushs. I finished about 3/4 of the HT's before the weather forced me inside. The rest of the garden was on its own. Including four big bushs of Lady of the Dawn out front. After 3 hrs. of 100+ mph winds out of the north, 2 1/2 hrs of dead calm as the eye past over us,then 3 more hrs of 90+ mph wind coming from the south, my rose bushs were bare. No foliage. Everything stripped right off. I was afraid being laid down one way then being laid down the the other would tear the bushs up. I DIDN"T LOOSE NOT A SINGLE BUSH!!! I had a big bush of The Prince pulled about 8" out of the ground, but all I did was stand him up, stake him, dump a 40 lb. bag of good potting soil around his bare roots, water it down, prune him up real good and he was as good as new. Being without power for 10 days, I was able to spend a little time in the garden( after I cleaned up around the house and helped some of my neighbors clean up ). The bushs that I pruned had NO damage. The ones I didn't get to, wellllll, that was a different story. With bushs 6, 7 ft. tall, the canes whipped back and forth against each other, wrapping around each other and splitting a lot of canes. I had to sit down in front of each dammaged bush, find where the damage ended and prune to that point. Very tough work and the bushs ate my arms alive.When I finished, my garden looked like a SPRING prunning. It's been a few weeks since Frances parked her fanny over my neighborhood, and my garden is solid purple with new growth. I don't know what kind of effect having no foliage will have on my fall roses, but we're soon going to find out. Watch me end up having the best roses I've ever grown.

RE: How have your roses come thru these hurricanes?

We had winds of about 60 mph gusting to 80 mph with Fay along with a foot of rain. Before the storm I gave'em all a Hurricane Haircut and crossed my fingers. Mine are large and staked with rebars. Most are fortuniana rootstock which is very forgiving to movement. Roses are so loving that they cling together in storms anyway. Other than having to untangle some canes, lost none but did have tattered leaves.
I've noticed, however, that following the days of storms I had rampant blackspot and had to spray/spray/spray.

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