Dog urine and roses - Knowledgebase Question

Los Angeles, Ca
Question by nancy7923
August 13, 2010
My dogs had been urinating on my rose bushes. They are blocked off now, but I am noticing some problems. I am not sure if its at all related to the urine. Some of my rose bushes are not blooming at all (just green leaves), and some that do produce blooms turns brown and die before the open up. What can be causing this problem? Is there something I can add to the soil to neutralize the urine?


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Answer from NGA
August 13, 2010

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Simply leaching the urine out of the soil is probably all you need to do but if you'd like to do more, remove the top 3-4 inches of soil and replace it with fresh soil from another part of the garden. The urine contains concentrations of salt which can burn the surface roots but a healthy rose bush will replace those damaged roots with healthy new ones over the next growing season or two. Urea is high in nitrogen which can result in lush, green growth but at the expense of flowers so the dog urine may be why your roses are not blooming. However, roses bloom in cycles and it may be that you're expecting to see flowers and the rose is simply resting until it builds the energy resource to produce flowers. Try to be patient with your plant. There's a fungal disease called botrytis that can affect the unopened flower buds. You may want to snip off any flower buds that turn brown before opening and then apply a fungicide such as Funginex or Rose Defense to your rose bushes. Apply according to label directions and either of these products will control the fungal disease. Best wishes with your roses.

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