Ask a Question forum: New growth on rose dying

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 419, Replies: 25 » Jump to the end
Name: Las Vegan
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
Image
LasVegan
Mar 25, 2017 11:48 AM CST
I have a potted standard rose that had been putting out new growth for the spring. Everything looked good, then I noticed the new growth was taking a long time to mature. Then I left for a few days and when I came back the new growth was wilting and dying. All the leaves in the pic have a crispy, paper like feel to them. The canes still look healthy but I find this quite alarming. Any ideas on what's causing it? I give the plant plenty of water, although it doesn't get much morning sun. Could that be it, or is it something else?
Thumb of 2017-03-25/LasVegan/5d3dce
Thumb of 2017-03-25/LasVegan/f01666
Thumb of 2017-03-25/LasVegan/c5cb91

Mich (Zone 5b)
Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Roses Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tisha
Mar 25, 2017 1:53 PM CST
I'm no good at identifying the problem but many here can offer good help.
Be patient for a little while till someone can.
In the meantime, can you tell us a little more about the plt. in question?
How long have you had it, planted it in it`s container?
Do you fertilize, if so what do you use?
We all want to help so hold on Thumbs up
Name: Las Vegan
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
Image
LasVegan
Mar 25, 2017 3:01 PM CST
Hi Tisha, thank you for your reply.

The plant has been in the same large container for the past 2-3 years. I don't use any fertilizer, because I lost a bunch of plants to it a few years back. This plant was actually the only survivor of that disaster. I estimate it is at least a decade old.
Mich (Zone 5b)
Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Roses Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tisha
Mar 25, 2017 3:15 PM CST
I think everyone went to their local garden centers, spring fever and all Whistling
Good info. Sure it will help.
I have a few ideas but should wait a little longer for `wisdom` to get here Smiling
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Mar 26, 2017 8:56 AM CST
Spider mites?
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
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
Mar 26, 2017 9:33 AM CST
How many days were you away, and did someone water it for you while you were gone - or is it still cold enough there that whatever you gave it before you left should have been sufficient? If it was cold, did it go below freezing?
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Mar 26, 2017 11:15 AM CST
Not to be an alarmist, but Is there any way you can dig down a bit to see what the soil in that container looks like? I once lost a container rose and when I pulled it out, the soil in the container had turned into a nasty, clay-like mess. I'm sure it died from lack of air to the roots. After such a short time as you mention, that's probably not your problem, but just something to be aware of.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Mar 26, 2017 1:20 PM CST
LasVegan said:Hi Tisha, thank you for your reply.

The plant has been in the same large container for the past 2-3 years. I don't use any fertilizer, because I lost a bunch of plants to it a few years back. This plant was actually the only survivor of that disaster. I estimate it is at least a decade old.


Your rose probably needs to be re-potted to have the soil replaced and certainly needs to be pruned. Old wood is less efficient than new wood.

Not fertilizing container roses is starving the plant. The only source of nutrients available to container plants are those the gardener gives the plants. You may have lost a lot of plants due to a fertilizing mishap, but if you fertilize correctly, provide proper moisture and drainage, you should not have a problem in the future.

I can't really tell from your photos, but there is a very good possibility that your container is much too small for the rose. When you pull the rose to re-pot it, you will be able to tell if it is severely root bound. If it is very root bound. the roots cannot function and cannot support top growth.

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Las Vegan
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
Image
LasVegan
Mar 29, 2017 11:32 PM CST
Well, would you believe it, it could be that the poor thing was underwatered. I had been watering it in small sips and so I decided to give it a lot of water the other day in order to flush it (I suspected maybe someone had dropped something in the soil - I live in a large apartment complex). To my great joy, some of the new growth that hadn't dried out is growing again (although it's not much). The plant definitely seems on the road to recovery, so I think it was the watering.

Regarding re-potting, it's been in that pot 2 years, so I'm wondering if it might be due for a re-potting? It also does need to be pruned, but I have no idea how to go about it. The thing with Las Vegas is that it's going to get VERY hot VERY soon. By May the temps are usually in the 90s, and well into the 100s by June. So fertilizing is very risky this time of year. This is exactly how I lost three roses a couple of years ago. This one is the lone survivor. It's also a memory plant as it belonged to by dearly departed fiancee, and thus all the more precious.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Mar 30, 2017 8:58 AM CST
LV ... I wrote you a private t-mail that gave you specific info about how to fertilize your rose. Did you get it ?

I live in the mountains of northern California and our temps can go from days temps in the 70s to the triple digits within a week. The instructions I sent along can accommodate those kinds of temperature changes.

If you saturate the soil in the pot the day before you feed your rose so that the plant, especially the roots, is fully saturated and use half strength fertilizer, feeding your rose is less risky than not feeding the rose ... Smiling

Losing all of your plants due to a fertilizer mishap must have been very hard, but really is a common mistake. The key is to make sure that the plant is not water stressed and you use a light fertilizer.

The only addition I can think of is to fertilize in the evening as the temps cool off. I know they don't cool off much, but every little bit helps.

If the plant is root bound, and I think it is, or the pot is too small, your plant will always be water stressed and will never be as happy as you would like it to be. Yes, I think you should repot the rose into a larger container. You could use a moisture retentive potting soil with perlite to keep the pot from being too heavy. Once you see the roots, you may decide to do a root prune, too. You do not need to be careful.

When they harvest roses in the field, roses are jerked out of the ground by machines, thrown on a truck, thrown onto a conveyor belt to be processed for storage. The dirt is washed off and the roots are hacked off so that they will fit into the storage area easily. Roses can handle some pretty rough treatment.

As for pruning. I also recommended that you cut it back hard. You only have old wood at the base of the plant. There are bud eyes under all of that bark. I would take the plant down as far as I felt comfortable. All of that wood is old. Old wood is less efficient than new wood in moving both moisture and nutrients through the plant.

Good luck with your rose.

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Mich (Zone 5b)
Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Roses Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tisha
Mar 30, 2017 11:58 AM CST
Please fallow the advice from RoseBlush1 Thumbs up Her experience will give your memory rose the best chance. Could you come back with an up date in a month or so? Till then best wishes.







Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Mar 30, 2017 12:12 PM CST
Sorry, LV, I forgot to add that you should not fertilize your rose after you have re-potted the rose until you see new growth. That tells you that the rose has grown back the feeder roots it needs to absorb water and nutrients to support the top growth.

When you chose a container for a very hot climate, I have found that the foam type of container is the best, then plastic. Clay pots are heavy and can wick moisture away from the soil unless they are sealed inside.

As you probably already know, drainage is always critical with container gardening.

Altho' this rose ('Green Ice') is classified as a miniature rose, it is a big plant sited in full sun. It also gets reflected heat from the wall behind the plant. The temps in my garden are in the high 90s to low 100s for three to four months. I use the largest pot I could purchase because the extra soil also helps to insulate the roots from the heat so that they don't cook in the pot.

The first photo was taken before the first flush ... that's why you don't see any blooms.



The second photo gives you a sense of the size of the container I used.



Again, I am wishing you the best of luck with your rose.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Las Vegan
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
Image
LasVegan
Mar 31, 2017 12:04 AM CST

Excellent advice, thank you. The plant is in a 20*20 plastic pot (the biggest I could find at Lowe's), with eight large drain holes i drilled myself. I am also relieved to hear that roses are so tough. I am used to indoor plants which are much more delicate. I am always nervous about pruning though. But now that I remember, my fiancees brothers cut down all the roses in the yard to the ground when they repainted the house before putting it on the market. I was devastated, but when I stopped by a year later, they had all come back. I was amazed.

I am a little confused about what order to do things in (pruning, re-potting, fertilizing).

Thanks again.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Mar 31, 2017 2:11 AM CST
From the size of the rose in your photo, I think you need to find a larger pot, if possible. I would probably go to a nursery and get a 20 gal nursery pot that they use to grow small trees in for this rose. Rose friends of mine that live in LV paint them white because they have told me the white reflects heat and keeps the roots cooler. I haven't done that myself, but I thought I would just pass that information along.

In a sense, roses are like trees. The root mass under ground is as large as the top growth above ground. This why you want to have as much room for the roots as possible when you are planting a larger rose.

Also, you want to place something like pieces of tile under the edges of the pot so that it doesn't sit flush with the hardscape. This will help with drainage. You don't need to spend the extra bucks for "pot feet".

I hate to say this, but from the photos, your rose is terribly stressed. Roses will abandon the top growth in order to survive. Your rose has not really put on any significant top growth. It's in survival mode.

As to the order to do things ... chop the top growth back before you pull it out of the old pot. It will be easier to handle the plant when you do the root prune and re-pot the rose. The next step would be to do the root prune. I am guessing that when you pull the plant from the old pot you are going to see all roots and no soil. The goal is to open up the root mass so that when you plant the rose you can get new soil all around the roots. If you have seen a bare root rose, you will see that they have removed almost all of the roots. The roses do come back.

When you plant your rose, it's going to look like it is just sitting there doing nothing and you are going to think you have killed your rose. Actually, the rose is doing what roses do ... it's growing it's roots first. You just can't see the rose doing what it needs to do to get ready to support top growth. This is where you will have to be patient. Just water it the plant. You want to keep it moist and don't let it dry out. You don't want it to be too wet ... except when you do a deep watering and then allow it to dry out to moist. If you keep it too wet, you will end up with root rot.

If you grow house plants, I am certain you have a feel for this. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Las Vegan
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
Image
LasVegan
Apr 2, 2017 12:14 AM CST
So today I got the plant out of the pot to have a look at the situation. The rootball came out really easily. To my surprise it was much smaller than I expected. The earth was packed very tightly around the rootball, so I didn't remove most of it. I saw many very thin hairlike roots and hardly any old, thick, wiry roots. It was also BONE DRY (even though I watered it thoroughly a week ago), so I put it back into the pot and gave it a very thorough soaking (emptied two water cans on it, saw water flowing out from the holes at the bottom). I also saw new top growth emerging. What I'm thinking is that the earth is packed so tightly around the rootball that it wasn't getting enough water even though I was watering it. I'm mulling going back in there tomorrow and loosening all the earth from around the rootball.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Apr 2, 2017 10:12 AM CST
Rather than pouring water on it, you might want to put the whole pot in a bucket of water and let it soak for an hour or so. That water could still be just flowing through without soaking into the soil.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Apr 2, 2017 12:28 PM CST
You said the root ball was packed hard.
Water takes the point of less resistance, it does not penetrate hard dirt unless it has nowhere else to go and then still may not.
When I asked my boss why he watered before a rain storm, he said a wet sponge soaks up water better than a dry one.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Apr 2, 2017 3:28 PM CST
LV ... it's good news that my guess that the pot would be filled with just roots when you pulled the plant from the pot was wrong.

Aren't roses amazing ? Your rose has gone without food and probably hasn't had sufficient water for a long time, but it went into survival mode and lived. WOW ! That's one of the reasons I love growing roses. Your rose many not have thrived, but it lived !

I agree with Woofie about soaking the rose and you can re-pot the rose in the current container with new soil. After that is done, you still need to prune the rose with the hard prune that I previously recommended. You want to see new growth from the base of the plant, not the top.

You are also at a decision point. Pruning the rose will stimulate the plant to grow new roots and it will have room in the current pot. However, I do think it will outgrow that pot. You have to decide if you are going to replace the soil in the current pot every couple of years, which is what is needed for a container grown rose to thrive, or help the rose return to health and re-pot it into a larger container next December or January which is the time when roses are most dormant in Las Vegas.

Transplanting a healthy rose is much less risky than transplanting a stressed rose.

You now know how to feed your rose in a low humidity, high-heat climate, so if the plant is properly watered, and placed in the right sized container, you should have a thriving rose for years to come .... Smiling

btw ... to avoid the problem of the soil being washed away from the root mass that you only found after you pulled the plant from the pot, there is a really easy test you can do for container plants.

When I first plant a rose in a container, before I water it in, I lift one side of the pot to see how heavy the pot is when the soil is dry. Then I water the plant until it won't take up any more water. I wait about an hour and water it again. It always takes up more water. Then I lift the side of the pot again. It is much, much heavier. Now, I know how the pot feels when the soil is fully saturated. Down the road, if I have done a deep watering and the pot feels light, I know I have a problem. I don't have to pull the plant from the pot to know that there is a problem.

That was one of those lessons I had to learn the hard way when I was first learning how to grow roses in containers .... Smiling
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Apr 2, 2017 11:56 PM CST
I wonder if the soil is bad? Hard soil is never good.
Name: Las Vegan
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
Image
LasVegan
Apr 4, 2017 12:56 PM CST
So it does look like my rose is putting out new top growth again. I'm going to hold off on moving to a bigger pot, but I did add a whole bunch of new soil when I took it out. Would it be safe to do a hard prune this time of year? I'd hate for it to lose all its new top growth yet again.


Thumb of 2017-04-04/LasVegan/926ce9

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by sunnyvalley and is called "Grape Hyacinth"