rose bud damage

gargyMay 26, 2009

Hi all,

I tried searching for threads about this but all I got was an error message that the server was not connecting. So...

I'm new to rose gardening. We moved to Portland last year and bought a house with a large rose garden in the back yard. I'm not sure how old they are, but I'm thinking they have been here a very long time. They looked shaggy from neglect so I pruned them the best I could. I don't know their names or what kind they are.

A few of the bushes are producing buds that look like they've been chewed on or had the very top sliced off. Does anyone know what is causing this and what I might do to stop it from happening more?

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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

The petals don't look chewed to me. I think it is a developmental disorder called bullhead or bullnose that some roses develop owing to the vagaries of spring weather (maybe a month ago).

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 3:32PM
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everyrose(z7-8 pnw)

Wow! Those are the best pictures of bullheading I have seen. Looks like a textbook.
Symptoms of bullheading:
top of bud looks like it has been chewed or chopped off
short thickened petals
blackening of the petals
most common on red roses
vegetative centers
mainly happens in the spring
There is nothing you can do. Its probably caused by cool spring temperatures. Clip off the ugly buds. Your flowers later on in the season will probably be fine. This only happens in some roses, particularly those that have Baccara in their ancestry. I shovel pruned Rouge Royale because I lost all of its first flush every spring to bullheading. There are plenty of roses that don't do this.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 3:47PM
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michaelg and everyrose,

thank you so very much. your answers have helped ease my mind. I was afraid it was going to be some horrendous infectious disease that would require ripping out the entire 24 rose bushes.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 5:32PM
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Severe thrip damage also causes buds to look this way. Pull the petals open a little on a few of the damaged buds. If it is thrips, you should be able to see some crawling around on the petals and on your fingers. They are tiny, usually less then 1/16 of an inch long - about the size of the point end of a small needle. If you don't see any thrips, then it probably is bullheading.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 6:09PM
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johnh_or(Portland OR Z8)

Hey Gargy....don't feel bad. I have a rose doing the same thing. Figured it was the spring weather. Now I know!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:48PM
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