The Q&A Archives: nematodes and roses

Question: In almost every article about growing roses in South Florida I am told to get roses that are nematode resistant, but whenever I refer to the information on the plants or ask the vendor (including Home Depot)they look at me as if I have two heads. What's the story? Do resistant roses exist and where can I actually find them?

Answer: Mark,

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!

It is the rootstock that is resistant. The variety of flowering rose that you graft onto the rootstock will not be affected by the nematodes, which dwell in the soil. If a rose it not grafted but rather on its own roots (grown from a rooted cutting), then nematodes will become a problem. Fortuniana (Rosa fortuniana, Double White Cherokee or Evergreen Cherokee) is a rose rootstock usually recommended in southern areas with nematode problems.

Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!

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