Roses forum→Something is wrong

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DaveofNJ
May 20, 2020 2:15 PM CST
Hi, I'm new to this forum. I am a gardener from New Jersey.
I have a rosebush which is not doing well at all. In past years it has always thrived. It is in a sunny spot and never had much in the way of disease or spots or bugs. But in the past month(april/May) large sections of leaves are just drying up. There are some holes in the leaves and yellow discoloration, but much of it just looks like the leaves are dying. No images online that I could find quite match what I'm seeing so I am hoping if I post some pictures, someone more knowledgeable than me can offer some good advice.
Thanks,
Dave
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Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
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jerijen
May 20, 2020 2:44 PM CST
I don't think this has to do with the holes in the leaves. That's just an insect. No big deal.

Ummm . . . Do you have voles, or gophers where you are?

If you went out and took ahold of this plant, would it resist, or could you pull it right up?
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
May 20, 2020 4:14 PM CST
Were it just one or two canes, I might have said rose cane borer, but as it looks like it's the entire bush that desiccating, I'm going to defer to Jeri's suggestion.

DaveofNJ
May 20, 2020 5:51 PM CST
Thanks for the replies. I don't think it's insects either because most of the leaves don't have holes, and also there aren't many insects out and about yet this time of year. I'm not aware of Voles or gophers, but we do have plenty of squirrels and some groundhogs, rabbits, chipmunks, and less frequently, deer. I don't think the plant will come up that easily, it's pretty big: maybe 7 x 4 x 5 in feet. I will inspect it and get back. Thanks again.
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
May 20, 2020 7:59 PM CST
The point Jeri's making is that the roots may have been chewed off by some type of burrowing animal if it can be pulled up easily. If that is the case you need to check if there is any root ball left at all. If not there is no hope for the rose. If you still have some root ball left remove all the dried leaves, cut the canes back and pot the rose up. Keep it in partial shade and well watered and wait to see if it will come back. Do not fertilize the rose. It has too few roots to be able to utilize fertilizer and you can burn what roots you have left.

DaveofNJ
May 21, 2020 7:08 AM CST
Thank you for the clarification.
Name: David Tillyer
New York City (Zone 7b)
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BigAppleRoseGuy
May 21, 2020 10:59 AM CST
Dave. Is that new brick flooring underneath the rose bush? If it is, there may be a possibility of
some contamination there. Two things spring to mind. First, it looks as though there is a problem with
moisture getting to the roots. (This is part of why I asked about the brick work.) Also, the leaves look
like you've got a long, severe case of black spot. I also think Jeri's idea may have merit. David
Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
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jerijen
May 21, 2020 11:15 AM CST
The business of roots being chewed off . . . Out here in the West, we deal with the omnipresent Western Pocket Gopher. Other areas have voles . . .

One day after a windstorm, I went down the hill, and found a formerly 7-ft.-tall rose lying flat on its side. When I picked it up, there was only a smooth stump remaining, where once there had been a network of hefty roots.

As this plant was on its own roots, we soaked it in water, planted in in a 25-G Squat Pot, and kept it very wet for a couple of weeks.

Later, we sunk the pot in the ground (as most of our roses must be planted) and it is now a good 8-ft tall again. Gophers are a menace.

DaveofNJ
May 21, 2020 2:05 PM CST
Thanks everyone for your input and advice.

The roots don't feel loose to me. But I'm going to look into whether there are any burrowing critters around here.

Big apple rose guy: I'm not sure what you mean about brick flooring, but there Isnt anything that hasn't been there for the past 10 years. The plant has an ample bed of soil . However I do wonder if the issue maybe to do with watering. The past month has been dry and I probably should've watered more. Trying to make up for it now.

I'm also interested in the black spot hypothesis. Does anyone think I should do some kind of chemical application?

This is an old rosebush. I have quite a few other varieties of roses and they were my dad's, so I would like to keep them going. They are also old and probably not disease resistant. They're not in the best of health but they are hanging in there for the most part. I applied Rosetone last year, and some are doing a lot better. However two bushes died this past year.

I am posting a few more photos of the entire Bush, and a close-up of the base of the plant.



Thanks again everyone. It's nice to confer with fellow gardeners.
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
May 21, 2020 4:59 PM CST
With paving surrounding it, that bed is probably a hard one to water adequately, however, much of the bush looks okay; I bet it will recover.
Porkpal
Name: David Tillyer
New York City (Zone 7b)
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BigAppleRoseGuy
May 21, 2020 5:47 PM CST
Dave. I see now that the flooring is actually not close to the bush. I would cut back all the dead stuff and then dig a small trough around the base of the bush (no more than 1.5-2 inches) to hold some of the water that you apply twice daily for the next 10 days. Well, maybe, you don't have to water that much, but a lot. David
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
May 21, 2020 5:48 PM CST
Water is probably the most essential need for roses. Even if you don't do anything else, keep it watered. I would hold off on using any fertilizer until you see new leaves starting to grow. Black spot can be treated with most fungicides. Read the labels carefully and follow all the directs.

DaveofNJ
May 22, 2020 6:05 PM CST
Thank you everyone. For now I think I'll keep watering regularly and apply some fungicide.
I hope I can reciprocate and be helpful to someone at some point.

DaveofNJ
Jun 3, 2020 9:57 AM CST
Update:
I've been watering the bush a lot and it looks like half of it has revived and the other half is completely dead. See photo.
I also cleared off some mulch that was on the base of the plant. It looked like it could cause some rot. See other photo.

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Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
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Mike
Jun 3, 2020 1:34 PM CST
Actually, you should replace the mulch, or put plenty of new mulch down. Mulch will prevent the water from evaporating from the soil after you water it. Also, if you have a metal rod or wooden dowel, you would do well to "perforate" the soil at least six inches deep, by poking the rod into the soil all around the plant to make it possible for the water to seep deep into the soil near the roots. The rose will rebound, but this is such a large bush on such a small little piece of soil that keeping it adequately watered will require an ongoing maintenance effort. Less frequent but deeper soaks are more important than more frequent light watering.

In terms of long-term care, I would prune off half to two-thirds of this rose's height next spring, so that it can grow fresh, new, healthy canes that produce many more leaves and flowers, and help keep the bush in bounds.
[Last edited by Mike - Jun 3, 2020 1:39 PM (+)]
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DaveofNJ
Jun 4, 2020 9:19 AM CST
Thanks for the good advice.
I was mainly concerned about the mulch that was right on top of the base of the plant, and causing the base to be permanently damp.
I like the metal rod idea.
Do you think I should cut off the dead part? If so how much? I have had good results in cutting back roses, but I'm a little concerned about traumatizing the plant even more.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Jun 4, 2020 10:01 AM CST
You can always cut off any dead parts.
Porkpal
Name: David Tillyer
New York City (Zone 7b)
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BigAppleRoseGuy
Jun 4, 2020 10:54 AM CST
I spend much of my gardening life cutting off dead parts.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Jun 4, 2020 3:06 PM CST
Me too.
Porkpal
Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
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jerijen
Jun 4, 2020 3:11 PM CST
Me, too!

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