Climbing roses - alive or dead?

Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)May 1, 2014

I planted Blaze Improved Climbing Rose last summer and it did very well, grew 5 feet in the first year, although no blooms but I figured that was normal for the first year.

I took these pictures today as it's not showing any signs of life. I trimmed some branches and they are brown on the inside. However, I trimmed a branch on my knock out rose bush that's green on the outside and it's still brown on the inside...

Does anyone have any insight on the state of my roses? I'd really appreciate some feedback. Not sure how long to wait before I just remove it and plant something else.

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Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)

For some reason it's turning my pictures sideways. Here's a larger photo of it.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:33PM
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Karolina11(6b Central PA)

Most of my roses are leafing out but I saw the first sign of life on my Blaze today, two weeks later than most. I don't think any of the canes on mine are any good but it's sending out new canes. Mine is own root unlike your grafted one. I would give it some more time since you're in a colder zone than I am but if it does come back I would definitely re-plant it lower in the ground. Typically in Zone 6 and below, I try to plant the graft under the ground in case the canes do all die. Most of the canes on yours don't look good but with my experience with Blaze, you need to give it more time than you think it needs.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:31PM
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Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)

Karolina - thanks for the response. I didn't know that about the graft - I will try that if it does return. Does Blaze usually lose all of it's canes for you every winter? That's so disappointing.

I wil have to do some deeper research and find some climbing roses that do better here in zone 5.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 8:59AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I can't think that it's been all that warm yet in zone 5. I'm in zone 6 and it's still chilly here with some nights in the 30s. I think you need to be patient and give the soil time to really warm up and then see if it grows before declaring it dead.

Blaze is pretty tough but there are a number of climbers for colder zones that are very nice too. Look for Zephirine Drouhin, John Davis, John Cabot and there are others that were bred for colder climates.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 9:06AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I can't think that it's been all that warm yet in zone 5. I'm in zone 6 and it's still chilly here with some nights in the 30s. I think you need to be patient and give the soil time to really warm up and then see if it grows before declaring it dead.

Blaze is pretty tough but there are a number of climbers for colder zones that are very nice too. Look for Zephirine Drouhin, John Davis, John Cabot and there are others that were bred for colder climates.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 9:07AM
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Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)

Seil - Good to know. This is only my second season of planting roses so I haven't winterized them before. I am hoping I just got ahead of myself. We've had a few warm days but it's still usually 30s to 40s every night. We've had a week of constant rain, and I thought maybe I'd see signs but still nothing. Do you think the fact that the insides of the canes are brown that they could still be alive? Everything I read online says if they're brown, they're dead. But a rose bush the previous owners had planted that is a HUGE 4 foot by probably 3 foot rose bush is brown on the inside too and I find it hard to believe that it's dead.

Thank you for the suggestions, I won a "Scent From Above" rose on Wayside garden's site, have you any experience with that one? Hoping it's not a lost cause before I even plant it for zone 5.

This post was edited by thegardenat902 on Fri, May 2, 14 at 21:38

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 9:34PM
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elks(US5 Can6)

It was a very hard winter on semi-hardy climbers, particularly grafted ones if the grafts weren't planted 2" below grade or more. Most of my roses are starting to leaf out slowly, but I have probably lost 3 grafted climbers completely. I'm still waiting though, with diminishing hope day by day. However, these same roses grew and over-wintered beautifully for 15 years.

Steve

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 7:00AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

It appears that all of the canes are dead, but that doesn't mean that the rose is dead. I had to cut all the canes off of several of my roses and they did put out new growth from the graft. Now you should have had the graft buried in your zone (I am now burying it in my zone after last winter!), but what I would do is cut down all the canes and expose as much of the graft as you can to direct sunlight. As soon as you start getting warmer and longer sunlight hours, that should spur new canes if the graft is still alive. If you also feel like it, once the new growth hardens off you could mound up soil around the graft so it is 'buried'. And add more winter protection next year.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 8:45AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Scent from Above is a lovely rose but it may not be cane hardy for you. That doesn't mean you can't grow it. It just means that most years you will lose a lot of cane length so it will be more of shrub rose than a climber. But only time will tell because every rose grows different in every yard!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 12:24PM
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Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)

Steve - Thanks for the info, glad to hear some of yours are coming back! I didn't know there was such a thing as semi-hardy. Guess I learned my lesson to do more research and not just take Zones 5-9 as an indicator that they are safe. :/

Buford - Thanks for the info! I really want a climber on my arbors that don't have to be cut down every year (or frequently) so I decided to dig it up today (don't know if that's a good idea or bad but I decided it was worth a shot) and potted it up temporarily while it recovers. I put it in a 3 gallon container and left the graft uncovered like you said, if I see new growth should I plant it this summer in a new location on a regular trellis (rather than an arbor) or wait until fall?

Seil - The ones you suggested up above, those are ones that would be cane hardy for zone 5? I am thinking of getting regular trellises for these two assuming the blaze comes back, and then getting something cane hardy for my two arbors. Just want to make sure I don't end up with 4 roses that won't make it up the trellis.

Thank you all so so much for your advice.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 3:58PM
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Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)

I am really in love with John Davis Rose but I want to make sure it's going to be safe before I click buy. ^_^

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 4:11PM
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