Roses forum: Weak misshapen leaves on Constance Spry rose

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Name: Michelle
New Hampshire, USA (Zone 5b)
Jun 16, 2019 7:10 AM CST
Hello! I have two 25 year old Constance Spry roses. Last year they were beautiful, vigorous 10 ft tall plants that bloomed profusely. This year one thing different happened. A puppy! She chewed several of the canes at the base, over the winter. When it came time for them to leaf out, this spring, all I got was sparse, spindly, misshapen leaves. I contacted David Austin roses, and they said Constance Spry only has a life span of 10 years. I figured my only choice was a hard pruning. I amended the solid with some composted hummus and manure, and added some Bayer Advanced rose care to the base. My question is was this a result of a vigorously chewing puppy, or could I be looking at a disease of the plants? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Jun 16, 2019 9:35 AM CST


That is not likely caused by your cute naughty puppy but it possibly could be Rose Rosette Disease. Others should weigh in their thoughts.
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Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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Jun 16, 2019 9:38 AM CST
I agree with Suzanne
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
Jun 16, 2019 11:06 AM CST
Herbicide damage is another possibility - even though the puppy does have a guilty look. The deformed growth also seems stunted whereas rose rosette disease often causes wild, exaggerated sprouting.
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 6b)
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Jun 16, 2019 11:14 AM CST
I'll trade you three healthy Constance Spry bushes for your puppy!
Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
Jun 16, 2019 11:58 AM CST
I suspect Rose Rosette Disease ... but if you've used Roundup, I guess that's possible.

If, however, you've been using Roundup -- please avoid that for the health of your lovely puppy.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
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Jun 16, 2019 12:10 PM CST
I would do a hard pruning and give it another chance and see how it comes out from that. If the growth still looks like that then it could be RRD or something else.
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Jun 16, 2019 12:32 PM CST
Sorry, but we are going to be all over the map on this. I find leaves like that on DA roses when they first sprout (especially if I amended them heavily and pruned or moved them) and then as they mature, they are just fine. Plus, I don't trust what chemicals are in any spray. I would give it a week or two to see how the plant does.

If concerned about RRD disease, take a sample cane to your local agriculture agent and have them determine if it is RRD. So far, there have been no reported cases in New Hampshire but there is always a first! (unfortunately).
Name: Michelle
New Hampshire, USA (Zone 5b)
Jun 16, 2019 12:39 PM CST
Thank you all for your replies! I agree with Calif_Sue as well. After reading the link she provided, I recall seeing that irregular growth late last season. When the shrub barely leafed out, this spring, my first thought was the dog really did a number on it. As far as Roundup goes, it isn't a product I use. I pruned them back hard about two weeks ago. I should be seeing new growth by now, but there is nothing. I think pulling them out is the best way to go. Is there a way to treat the soil in that area to kill any remaining mites that spread the virus? I have several other roses, thankfully they are showing no signs of the disease.

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