The Q&A Archives: Rugosa Roses

Question: Frist I want to thank you for helping me out last fall. I wrote to you about Endless Summer hydrangrea, and with the information you gave me, my hydrangrea has 7 buds on it right now.
Now, I am having problems with my rugosa roses. They are about 7 years old, and every Spring for the last 3 seasons, after they have leafed out and the blossoms are ready to open, the leaves start to turn brown on the edges, after awhile this all quits and the roses turn back to normal. It looks ugly, the blooms are blighted, they are mulched with cedar mulch and get plenty of sun. Any help you can give me will be welcome. Thank you , Kathy Jones,

Answer: Glad we've been able to help you in the past and hope we can continue to help you solve your gardening problems. Browning leaf margins and buds can be caused by the early spring weather, by a nutritional deficiency, or by an insect pest called Thrips. The larva spends much of this part of its lifecycle scurrying about inside your rose buds sucking vital plant juices from succulent new growth. To determine if your rose has thrips, pull back the bloom?s petals with your fingers and look for small ?slivers? scrambling about looking for cover.

Controlling thrips is a bit more difficult than discovering them. Controls include high-pressure watering wands designed for insect control to natural predators like lacewings and predatory mites to an arsenal of synthetic and organic pesticides.
Since the problem disappears on its own later in the season, you may not discover thrips at all, but it is certainly worth investigating!

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