Ask a Question forum: Hedge Roses Dying

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Name: Susan Pingitore
IL
SusanPing
May 17, 2016 7:18 AM CST
I planted three hedge roses about six years ago. They've done well until now. Something is killing them. I'm not sure what it is or how to treat them to prevent further loss. So far, I've only been pruning off the dead areas. I've attached a photo. Please help! Thanks!
Thumb of 2016-05-17/SueZQ/ef1698

Susan
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
May 17, 2016 8:24 AM CST
I have had roses die back in a similar fashion. I wish I knew the reason. Let's hope some wiser rose enthusiast will help out.
Porkpal
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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kniphofia
May 17, 2016 9:39 AM CST
Have they been in pots all that time? Have you fed them at all?
Name: Susan Pingitore
IL
SusanPing
May 17, 2016 10:45 AM CST
The roses have never been in pots. They have always been in the same spot.
Susan
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
May 17, 2016 10:52 AM CST
This is going to sound like horrid advice, but often you can find out the answer by digging up a rose and looking at the roots.

Looking at the photo, I can make several guesses, but I'd rather not because there are too many possibilities.

This spring, I had one rose out of one hundred that did not leaf out along with all of my other roses and finally dug it up and found out what the problem was and learned that the rose did not have a chance of succeeding in that location no matter what I did to care for it.

My best suggestion is to dig it up and see what is happening underground.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 17, 2016 10:52 AM CST
Welcome! It does look as though they're in a container of some kind from the picture. Do you know the name of the roses and what your hardiness zone is?
Name: Susan Pingitore
IL
SusanPing
May 17, 2016 1:55 PM CST
Sorry for the confusion about my roses being planted in a pot. The picture I took was one of the stems that I had trimmed and then stuffed into a pot to get a close up picture. If it would be helpful, I can take a photo showing the roses as they exist in the ground.

I could dig them up to check for problems, but since I'm a novice I honestly don't know what I'd be looking for.
Susan
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
May 17, 2016 2:27 PM CST
Let me start over ...

Welcome....

It's hard to help you when we can't see what you see. What I was seeing in the photo didn't match what I thought would make sense for a "hedge rose" that was six years old. That's why I suggested you look at the roots. If you did not have good drainage, the roots would show root rot, or if there was a fungal disease attacking the roots weakening the rose, it would be pretty obvious even to someone who was new to looking at the roots. Unhealthy material really does not look right.

We are all novices in one way or another, so don't worry about that part.

There are a lot of people here that just love helping people who are novices. Helping those who are new to parts of gardening is as much a part of gardening as putting plants into the ground and caring for them.

If you could share a photo of the plants in the ground where they are sited and a little more about where you are growing your roses, you may get some answers that may be far more helpful to you.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Susan Pingitore
IL
SusanPing
May 18, 2016 10:03 AM CST
Thanks fellow gardeners for trying to help me out. Today I've attached two photos which I hope will be helpful in figuring out my dilemma. One photo shows the area where the hedge roses are planted. The bed is pie-shaped and wider in the back than the photo depicts. The second photo is a close up of these little orange spots that are interspersed with brown spots on the leaves. They feel somewhat raised from the surface of the leaf when I touch them.

I sincerely appreciate any help that is offered. Thanks for taking the time to help me out.


Thumb of 2016-05-18/SueZQ/9d6c7f


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Susan
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
May 18, 2016 1:16 PM CST
Raised spots are normally some type of fungus. Your photos would not enlarge for me, but it doesn't look quite like black spot, the most common fungal affliction of roses. If you don't mind spraying, a rose fungicide might help.
Porkpal
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
May 18, 2016 1:38 PM CST

Plants Admin

Looks like rust and blackspot to me.
See third image down. http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/rose-rosa-spp-and-hybri...
It will cause them to defoliate.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 18, 2016 1:51 PM CST
I wondered about rust too but according to this article it is not usually a bad problem in Illinois where the OP is:

https://ipm.illinois.edu/diseases/rpds/630.pdf

One thing I wonder about, though, is the competition from the groundcover (goutweed?). I suspect that isn't helping the roses. The rose stems don't look too good either.

Susan, do you have any idea what the names of your roses are?
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
May 18, 2016 9:26 PM CST
Hi Susan ...

Sorry I couldn't respond earlier. I had to go over the mountain for a dentist appointment. Not fun.

The orange spots you describe does sound like a fungal disease called "rust", but I have a feeling that the roses are probably showing more disease symptoms because they are stressed.

Your photos did not enlarge for me either.

If you do know the name of the roses, that is a good starting point because it gives us an idea of how large a mature plant would be. Also, could you tell us how closely you planted them together ? Sue may be onto something when she mentioned root competition.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Susan Pingitore
IL
SusanPing
May 19, 2016 9:09 AM CST
The roses are planted between three and four feet apart. The link showing the leaves with the rust does look like what I'm seeing. The ground cover is a plant known to me as "Devil's Weed." It's super robust right now because we haven't hit the warm weather yet here in the Chicago area (zone 5). Once

I can thin it out if that's helpful, but it does seem to help protect the roses from overheating and weeds once summer starts. The rose bed is a raised pie shaped bed that at it's narrowest point is about a foot wide and then widening to about four to five feet at the furthest end. The bed is surrounded on three sides by concrete driveway so this area is literally beaten with the sun.

Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the roses. They were labeled as knockout roses when I bought them. I am not opposed to spraying them with a fungicide if that's needed.

Once again, thank you everyone for your help! I sincerely appreciate it.
Susan
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
May 19, 2016 9:37 AM CST
Sue, if it were my rose hedge, I'd definitely weed the groundcover away from the root areas of the roses (leave 18in. all around each bush) and use an organic wood chip mulch 3in. thick or so under there instead, to shade the roots and keep the soil cooler. Just leave the groundcover along the very edges of the bed, if you like it.

The groundcover plants are robbing the roses of both water and nutrients. Roses need regular good nutrition and water to look their best. They're fairly heavy feeders. As I recall (haven't grown many roses since we left Utah in 2002 but) they get fertilizer at least twice per season, early spring as soon as the new shoots are 3 or 4in. long and again in July. In Utah my roses got watered every day in the early morning, since it's so very dry there. Soaker system on a timer in the bed under the mulch, so that the foliage doesn't get wet unless it rains. Consult the folks on the Roses forum for their favorite fertilizer in your area.
http://garden.org/forums/view/roses/

That's maybe a critical consideration for you to prevent the rust problems from spreading - be sure to water deeply in the early morning, and if you can set up a watering system that doesn't wet the leaves (soakers or microsprinklers) you'll have a lot less fungal diseases. They're spread by air, and if the leaves are wet, it makes a very welcoming spot for them to land.

So: 1. Remove groundcover 2. put down fertilizer 3. mulch over the fertilizer (mulch should not touch the stems of the rose bushes) 4. set up watering in the mornings, low spray or soaker hose.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - May 19, 2016 9:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
May 19, 2016 10:14 AM CST
Hi Susan ...

Thank you so much for the additional information. It really does help when we are trying to problem solve long distance ... Smiling

It does sound like you have spaced the roses far enough apart so that they are not competing with each other. Good work. The concrete surrounding the bed will increase the heat at the base of the roses in two ways that can cause stress to the plants. This is something that most people don't think about, but a friend of mine actually tested down in Los Angeles. Beds surrounded in hardscape, like concrete, are significantly hotter and dry out quicker on hot days than those that are surrounded by lawns and such and will stress roses planted in those beds. These beds need to be monitored for moisture and watered more deeply than we think they need to be watered.

Weeds or other plants do hold moisture in the soil during period of high temperatures. However, there is a downside. They also compete with roses for moisture/water and nutrients. Some are better competitors than others and are quite grabby and the roses lose out.

In my experience, mulch is a much better solution to manage moisture control rather than companion planting. That said, there are a lot of right ways to grow roses and others will have had good experiences growing plants in beds with their roses. However, I do have some concerns about your choice of "Devil's Weed.". I haven't used it in any of my gardens. Maybe Sue, @sooby can help here.

I think that's our next step. We need to understand your companion plant. If it is aggressive as I think it may be, the starting point would be to clear the bed of that plant as much as possible and revitalize the soil with nutrients that the 'Devil's Weed' has gobbled up and mulch the bed well to conserve moisture and protect the rose roots from the heat of summer and nurture them back to health.

There are other steps we may need to take, too, but let's wait to hear back from Sue. Smiling

Elaine ... We cross posted ... we are thinking along the same lines. I just don't know anything about the ground cover .. Smiling
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 19, 2016 10:46 AM CST
Lyn, I'm thinking this might be it:
Japanese Spurge (Pachysandra terminalis 'Variegata')

Both my kids' gardens (in Salt Lake City) have loads of it, and it is pretty aggressive in shady areas. I surely wouldn't grow it under roses.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - May 19, 2016 2:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
May 19, 2016 12:45 PM CST
I was thinking it looked like variegated goutweed, Aegopodium:

Bishop's Weed (Aegopodium podagraria 'Variegatum')

If Susan doesn't think this is it maybe we could get a picture of just the groundcover to try and identify it? If that's what it is, it is very aggressive.

When I Googled "Devil's Weed" the results I got were Datura stramonium. Pretty sure it wouldn't be that! Goutweed is sometimes called Bishop's weed.

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