Ask a Question forum: Rose bush desperation

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Suzanny
Dec 27, 2016 7:47 PM CST
I live in SE Wisconsin zone 5. I have a Peace rose that I had to dig up and move for a foundation repair. In the late summer unfortunately. I moved it to another garden and it really struggled. Almost died. So I dug it out and put it in a tree-size Nursery pot. I expected it to die. And it almost did. I basically ignored it. But then after losing ALL it's leaves, it started coming back. But it was October and would be winter soon. Not enough time to establish itself before going dormant. I was told on another site that I shouldn't transplant it into the ground this late in the season, but rather bring it inside for the winter. It's now the end of December, and it's not doing well. It looks like it's dying. How do I save this plant? There are still 4 months before I can transplant it into the ground.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Dec 27, 2016 10:45 PM CST
Welcome! to NGA @Suzanny,

It certainly sounds like you have a stressed rose.

I honestly don't know if you can save it, but we can try.

When you say you brought the rose "inside", did you store the rose in a dark garage with no light, or did you bring it into the house ?

If it is inside the house, it needs to be put into a dark garage or shed where it has little or no light. Roses are not house plants. If you keep them in the house, generally, they are going to fail due to the dryer humidity of our indoor homes during winter since we heat our homes for our own comfort. Also, the light in our homes is not sufficient light for the rose. The plant is getting mixed signals.

Keeping the plant in a dark and cold garage helps slow down the cellular activity in the plant and in a sense helps push it into dormancy. Withholding light sends the plant another message that it is not supposed to be growing and to rest.

You want to lift the pot off of the floor of the garage so that when you do water it, you have good drainage. You will probably only need to water once a month ... just enough to keep the soil moist ... not wet.

When you transplant it out into the garden, you will probably want to give the rose a hard prune so that it has less top growth to support initially. Roses grow their roots first, so your rose will look like it is doing nothing for a while. 'Peace' doesn't really like a hard prune and often sulks, but in this case, I think it will give the plant a better chance of coming back. Again, that will make the rose look like it is just sitting there.

Once it is in the garden, you don't need to give it any special care. You just need to give it a huge dose of patience. That's the hardest part.

One of my rose mentors used to say, "If there is a way, the rose will find it." That takes patience.

Please come back and let us know if this works for your rose.

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Dec 28, 2016 11:49 AM CST
I agree It allways crack up. And im not talkin about you !!! That people think roses are frigial. Shoot there tough. Cant hardly kill em.
Do as roseblush said. And be very carefull with the water. Dont want no root rot. Better to dry than to wet. Just like a catus.
😕😕😕 I believe roses actually originated from the desert !!!
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Dec 28, 2016 12:09 PM CST
Philip .........

You are right, roses are not fragile. Actually, there are about 200 species roses found all over the northern hemisphere ... even in the arctic, but none found below the Equator.

The reason I think this will work is that when roses are harvested in the field, they are yanked out of the ground by machines, thrown onto flatbeds and hauled to the sheds for processing. The soils is washed off, the roots are chopped back and the tops are lopped off. Then they are thrown into cold storage until it is time to prepare them for shipping to the nurseries and big box stores.

Rough treatment when harvested, then cold storage with no light is how roses are handled commercially. Seems to me, there is a good chance using pretty much the same concept might save this rose. The only real variable is how stressed the plant is right now. It can take a rose months to recover from severe stress.

I really can't think of a better way to go .. Smiling

Edited to add ... I did think of another way ... she could take the rose outside and heel it in, but that is nasty work ...
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
[Last edited by RoseBlush1 - Dec 28, 2016 12:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Dec 28, 2016 1:33 PM CST
The best thing would have been to plant it in the fall, if it was outdoors in a pot it would have been acclimated to the cold and should have been fine. I don't think that's an option now in Zone 5 Wisconsin if it's anything like it is here where the ground is frozen and covered in snow. If it's been indoors it would be too cold to put it out suddenly now.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Dec 28, 2016 1:57 PM CST
Sue, it can be done, but it is a LOT of work to protect the plant and lot more chancy for getting the budded rose through the rest of the winter. I wouldn't recommend it for a stressed rose.

Placing the rose in an unheated garage or shed will still give the plant a shock of cold. That's hard on any plant. However, if the rose is in an enclosed environment, it will not be subject to the same kind of temperature swings as it would if were put outdoors.

Canadian studies have shown that roses grow roots at -15F and the plants don't die, so if the container were placed outside and protected, it's possible to bring the rose through the winter even if the container froze. BUT the budded rose, 'Peace' might not make it.

@Suzanny, if you need to put it outdoors, I can tell you how to do it without heeling the rose in, but it is a lot of work and the survival of the budded rose would be more at risk.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Dec 28, 2016 5:00 PM CST
Lyn, the temperature can go lower than -15F in Zone 5 although right now it doesn't seem too cold in Wisconsin. But I'd like to read that study, do you have a reference? I searched on Google Scholar and couldn't find anything along those lines so far. Normally even if a plant can typically take very cold temperatures during the winter, it cannot survive going from room temperature in a house straight into freezing temperatures outdoors. A period of cold acclimation is required so that they can prepare to be frozen (called cold acclimation which is not the same thing as dormancy). The only way I can think of to do that in this case would be to cut it back and put it in a fridge for a couple of weeks before it goes outside. At this time of year it would then be going out into what is typically the coldest part of the winter.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Dec 28, 2016 6:43 PM CST
Sue ... I think putting the rose in cold storage is the best chance of saving the rose. However, you did bring up a good point. It might be a good idea to provide additional protection to the bud union of the rose while it is in storage. That is the most vulnerable part of the plant. Since Suzann has been gardening in zone 5, I am certain she knows about what winter protection she needs.

Unless she can replicate greenhouse conditions indoors, I doubt if the rose will make it through the winter inside.

I'll send you a t-mail with the reference.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

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