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Please help me diagnose Roses (PHOTOS)

Posted by Linsul Frisco, TX (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 10, 11 at 3:08

I have 3 roses in a northwest facing flowerbed. 2 Belinda's Dream Roses, and 1 Grandma's Yellow Rose. I'm new to organic gardening, and roses (I have knockouts/double knockouts, but they've proven impossible for me to kill so I assume they are as easy as they advertise and don't count them as anything but a pretty starter rose for newbies!)so I'll describe the bed prep. I dug 8 inches deep, and removed all chunks of clay bigger than my fist. I bought a Howard Garrett book on organic gardening and added cotton burr compost, Texas Greensand, and Lava sand in the recommended amounts, mixed in with Vital Earth topsoil and a bit of alfalfa to fill the bed. The clay layer at the bottom was tilled along with 3 inches of that mix 4-6 inches deep before filling the bed up. I mulch with Cedar, try to keep it 2-3 inches but the wind has been insane here lately! I converted the shrub sprayer to a drip line for all 3 roses.

My sickest Belinda was transplanted about 5 weeks ago, it was oddly warm and she was showing slight signs of life, so I did it. The lowest temperature It's been since then has been the 40's at night. She started turning yellow, then crispy, and I have no idea why. She gets at LEAST 6 hours of sun where she is, no sprays at all, and no overhead watering to cause any type of burn. I water for an hour every 3 days, the temps here have been hitting 90 during the day lately. Am I watering too much or too little? Also, I check for bugs, can't find any, not even aphids or thrips. I go out at night to check too. Something is clearly chewing the green leaves, I don't know what though. I want to spray with neem, but wonder if it's too stressed out? Should I care? I put earthworm castings on the bottom of the planting hole, and also used a light fertilizer a week after the transplant. I believe it was 3-2-2.
Here she is:
Sad Belinda :(

My other Belinda was bought at the nursery on the same weekend I transplanted the other. All of it's new growth is wilting, and some leaves are turning brown at the edges. It's tried to put out 5 buds, they all balled, and 2 actually appeared to dry up at the earliest stages. I don't know what I'm doing wrong :( I bought them for their earth kind status and supposed ease of care, but they always seem to be in some stage of stress. Even the one I transplanted had bad blackspot last year that it was not hardy through. It was nearly defoliated despite using an organic anti-fungal spray.
Here's the nursery Belinda, I'm not sure why the top of that center cane is discolored:

Lastly is my Grandma's Yellow Rose. It appears to be in Stasis. No change since I planted it the same weekend as the others. I suppose that is a good thing. A nursery worker suggested some blood meal for them when I presented the problem about 3 weeks ago. I used some, but it was a very spare helping. All 3 rose bushes got the 3-2-2 mix.
grandmas yellow rose

Any help would be much appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Please help me diagnose Roses (PHOTOS)

  • Posted by elks US5 Can6b (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 11, 11 at 6:14

It's hard to say. My guess is transplanting shock. Both the second and third plants have a lot of leaves. When transplanted a plant cannot support so many, so it is wise to prune it pretty well back. The first rose's to leaves look burnt, almost as if in contact with some chemical.

I wouldn't try to feed them too much. Let them be for a while except for water.

I usually transplant in the fall and cut a rose very far back. Most people in warm climates such as yours would hill the rose to reduce transpiration and protect it until the roots have reestablished themselves. It can take a wihle.


RE: Please help me diagnose Roses (PHOTOS)

Hi Linsul

I agree, the first rose looks like transplant shock (messed up rooot system) or it could be too much fertilizer of some sort (burned roots). Either way, it is all about keeping the soil wet, and protect the plant during the hours of the day when the sun is at it's harshest. Some kind of semitransparent fiber cloth is often used to protect, it's easily available. Roses (plants in general really) grown in green houses get this too when they are suddenly planted outside in full sun. They need time to adjust, or leaves will burn.

It looks like you have amended soil generously, and if you have hard clay soil adding compost yearly can be a must to improve it. Cotton burr is new to me, and sounds very interesting. I like seaweed meal too, it's great for improving clay soil. I like to alternate with amendments and use different stuff. Where I live composted cow manure, seaweed meal, and regular garden compost are the easiest to find. You probably don't need to fertilize with anything until the plant has bloomed. Liquid organic fertilizer, the kind that you can use for all potted plants, are pretty safe to use on everything.

If you have hard clay soil it will improve with time, but yearly additions of compost, ground seaweed can be a must.

Regards and best of luck with your roses :-)

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