Why dont roses fully open

thahalibut(Z-9 CA, SSZ-9)May 12, 2008

We have some roses that just dont open. On about 5 plants they open half way(if that) & look all burnt & shriveled up. They have ALWAYS done this. They have NEVER had a nice bloom.

Is it just a bad rose or could it be something else?

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diane_nj 6b/7a

One of two reasons.
1. Thrips. A tiny insect that sucks the moisture from the petals and leaves. If you open the bloom and shake it over a sheet of paper, you can see them. Check out Witherspoon Ask the Expert (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

2. Botrytis. A fungal disease that causes the petals to stick together (also causes red spots on light colored blooms) so that they won't open properly. Usually weather related (early spring), but can happen at any time.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 4:24PM
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So what do you do if you have thrips? After reading that link you gave I think one of my roses has them.

thanks, gbebeh

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 7:12PM
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Yes, it could be a bad rose for your climate. I have roses that won't open no matter what. They are very good in much hotter climates. What are the names of your roses?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:23PM
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thahalibut(Z-9 CA, SSZ-9)

It doesnt look like Botrytis. But very well could be thripe. I will check them tomorrow for thripe, to see if I can see them... I dont know the names of the roses, I didnt plant them.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:44PM
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Some CA climates are notably foggy; is yours? IIRC fog can sometimes do funny things with an opening rosebud.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:50PM
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If it's a thrips problem, if you can take and post images of the struggling to open rosebuds I bet several people here could offer you their opinions on that. Thrips damage to a rosebud often looks a particular way that's not all that difficult to recognize, once you get the hang of it.

Thrips are very small insects, but once you know how to (& assuming your vision is 20/20 (corrected if needed), or you are nearsighted, you'll be able to see them on a pale background if they're there. Are the problem roses all pale ones or yellow ones?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:58PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

What I do is help force the blooms open. You can rub on the outer petals gently and they will open slightly. Then the sun usually does the rest.

If you confirm you have thrips (I have them right now on some roses) you can spray an insecticide inside the blooms to get rid of them and hopefully then the blooms will open.

I find that cool wet weather is more detrimental to keeping blooms closed and then the thrips simply have more time to do damage. Once the blooms open, the thrips usually leave.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:14PM
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My Yves Piaget is just as you described, after several years. Out of 100's of buds, I get a couple of beautiful blooms a year. I cut it all back this weekend and am gathering strength to dig it out and say good bye to it. It's a no-go here. With so many roses that are happy to show their stuff here, why bother with a prima donna?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:22PM
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jim_w_ny(Zone 5a)

There is something called "balling" where a flower doesn't open. Generally in a humid climate. Which doesn't sound like CA but then maybe in N.CA. So it is important to know what variety it is. And sometimes flowers with many petals do that.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:53PM
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bettyn_gardener(9 Sunset 14)

I'm so disappointed to hear Yves is balling in a Northern CA garden - I just planted it this spring. I have a Tipsy Imperial Concubine that doesn't open - except one or two blooms a season - not good enough. Now the Abe Darby right next to it is having the same problem for the first time ever, but not as severe.%#$@@!$$#!!! We have had a warm, dry spring so I am surprised... It doesn't look like the pictures I've seen of botrytis or thrips damage. So I'm mystified...


    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 10:38PM
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When you say it doesn't look like botrytis or thrips, what exactly does it look like? Does the bud look healthy but just doesn't open? I ask because my AD was fine until recently when buds and blooms stopped looking good. Buff Beauty right next to it, has thrips and/or botrytis. About 1/2 of buds and blooms are brownish.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 1:32AM
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thahalibut(Z-9 CA, SSZ-9)

We only have winter fog when the roses are dormant. I am near Sacramento & its very dry growing season here. I have some good pics but cant figure out how to put them here.. Working on it.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 12:18PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Tim, go to Photobucket.com. Create an account. Create an album. Follow the directions on uploading photos. Once you are finished, under each photo will be 4 boxes. Click in the box marked "HTML Code", the text will automatically be copied. Come back here and Paste that text into the Message: box. Do not change any of the text. Your photo will appear here. There is also a "Test Forum" where you can try out posting photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: Test Forum

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 1:09PM
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bettyn_gardener(9 Sunset 14)


For the most part, the buds begin to open and then the outer petals dry up, not allowing the bloom to unfold. There's no surface growth that I saw on pics of botrytis and there is no "edges only" browning or spotting that I saw on pics of thrips. Occasionally the whole bud dries up before it opens - but most of the time the bud partially opens and it's just the outer petals that dry up like brown tissue paper. I've tried massaging the bloom open - but with the dry outer petals, it really doesn't look that great. I had this happen with climbing SDLM years ago and finally SP'd it in frustration.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 1:18PM
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agility_mom(z9 AZ)

I sometimes have the same problem. After ruling out the two mentioned above, I tried watering my plants more often and either at night or early morning. The humidity has been very low here and also windy off and on. It has seemed to help as the buds are now opening.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 1:27PM
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thahalibut(Z-9 CA, SSZ-9)

It looks to be a thrip problem. These are thrip arent they?
Hope the pics make it....


    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 3:17PM
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