Pine Needles Falling On Climbing Roses - Knowledgebase Question

Waldorf, MD
Avatar for jimitz
Question by jimitz
March 21, 2000
On the neighbor's side of my picket fence, there are pine trees all along the fence line. I have planted climbing roses along that fence but they keep dying. I am on my fourth or fifth planting of these roses. I think the pine needles that fall from the trees are just too much acid for my roses. What can I do? Should I just dig up the roses and plant them in another location? I really didn't want to do that. Perhaps there is a hardy rose that will live through anything. If so, please advise.

Answer from NGA
March 21, 2000
It doubtful that the pine needles are the cause of your problem. But to be sure, have a pH soil test done Your county extension agent (301-934-5283) can tell you where to have it tested or kits are available at garden stores if you want to do it yourself. Lime could be added to the soil if indicated.

Are the roses in full sun, or are the trees and fence casting a lot of shade? Is this area near the driveway where perhaps there is asphalt causing some detrimental conditions? Have you prepared the planting holes well with additions of organic matter such as compost? Are you following instructions for fertilizing, and not overdoing it?

Whether it's the pine trees or some other condition, the roses are obviously not happy there. Why not put them in another spot in the yard and try something else against the fence? If you'd like other ideas, post another question with more details about the growing conditions of the area in question.

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