The Q&A Archives: Rose Disease

Question: I bought a fairy rose that has never really bloomed. When I bought it it had lots of buds, but they all dried up and fell off. The plant grows well and I have even made new plants from this rose. But the buds drop off on the new plants too. What is the cause?

Answer: There are several possible causes for your rose losing<br>its buds: 1) if you gave it too much nitrogen, this can cause rapid growth, but inhibits flowering. 2) It could be caused by shock when the rose was transplanted. 3) It could be caused by rose midges, which are tiny yellowish flies that lay eggs in growing tips and stems. (Hatching maggots destroy tender tissue.) 4) It could be from overwatering or underwatering.<br><br>General rose care includes: full sunshine (8-10 hours a day in summer), good air circulation (to avoid diseases), ample moisture (about 1-inch of water a week), mulch over the root system (to help retain moisture and help protect the roots), and fertilizer during the growing season. If you keep the old flowers picked off, the plantwill produce more blossoms.<br><br>You can fertilize with a commercial fertilzer every six weeks. (An 8-12-4 ratio will help encourage blooms.) <br>Inspect the plants for signs of disease and insect damage.<br><br>Good sanitation should be practiced. Remove dead leaves<br>promptly. Prune out and destroy any diseased branches. In spring remove mulch and allow the soil to warm up for about a month, and then add clean mulch.

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