My Plan Worked Perfectly

roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)May 24, 2012

Three years ago I started disbudding my whole garden as soon as I saw curculio damage to the buds. Prior to the first year of disbudding, my garden was so infested that not even one bloom of the first flush opened undamaged.

When Baldo visited my garden when it was young, he told me that I would never have a decent flush of roses due to the combination of the curculios and the summer heat. There are no known predators for curculios. Hand picking or contact sprays don't work because the bugs work from first light to last light and I don't.

This year I had a magnificent first flush ! Unfortunately, my camera died and I can't post photos. Most of the roses gave me a full flush and were simply glorious. The roses that would have opened later were full of buds that were just about to pop, but the curculios arrived before they had a chance to put on their show.

By removing all of the buds and blooms throughout the curculio season, I found that the dang bugs migrated out of the garden because they had no food and no place to lay their eggs. They do migrate back into the garden if I don't disbud through their active period above ground.

I'll disbud for about 6 weeks and the curculios will not breed in the garden. (Their season usually ends around the end of June.) I know this sounds drastic, but it's actually good for both the garden and the roses.

Roses have a mandate to bloom and the disbudded roses start pushing buds and growth beyond what we normally expect from our plants and when I do let them bloom, the second flush is actually fuller and more prolific than the first flush of roses.

Also, the plants are healthier in that they put a lot of their energy into plant growth and increased foliage to support all of the buds they are pushing. I have found this also makes them more heat tolerant, so that second flush is totally awesome.

I can and do have a real rose garden in spite of the bugs and the heat !

My plan is working.



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Congratulations, Lyn! Good job! I'm so happy you've been able to interrupt their cycle without having to resort to toxins. Very earth friendly and wonderfully CHEAP! MY kind of solution! Bravo! Kim

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 11:10PM
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dove_song(WA State Z6b)

Yay!!! So happy to hear about your earth friendly plan working out so well, Lyn. Kudos to you!!! :^D


    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 1:22AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

That's great. You did good! Now we need to see photos of your beautiful roses. :)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 10:29AM
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kentucky_rose zone 6

Sounds like a win-win for you! Eventually, you got blooms, nice blooms, and created a more vigorous bush!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 1:12PM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

Thanks to all ... I just had to share the news because I was heartbroken when Baldo told me that I would never have a decent rose garden. Now, that the garden is not a place where the curculios breed, it takes about two weeks before they migrate into the garden, so I get to have two beautiful flushes of roses !

Sometimes, we find solutions to problems that are not in books, or where there are no studies to view online, but work. That's the other reason I wanted to share my discovery. I am hoping others can benefit if they have these bugs in their gardens.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 2:55PM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)


When I get a new camera, there will be photos. I want Baldo to update his site. He won't believe me until he sees the photos because he hasn't seen anyone try this approach.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 3:09PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Congratulations, Lyn -- I have just an inkling of what this must mean to you, and I'm really happy for you.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 7:07PM
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We don't have curculios on this side of the country, but we do have Japanese Beetles ... which also have few or no predator controls. In the past, I have been known to do the same thing you did in years of profuse beetles. Disbudding, especially the fragrant, light colored roses, really does reduce the number of beetles in the garden.

Eagerly awaiting your replacement camera so we can see the beautiful results of your efforts.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 7:20AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

Jeri......... I am actually kind of giddy about finding a solution to the curculio problem. This is the first spring I've had a beautiful first flush of roses !

Hartwood ... I think JBs are worse than the curculio in that curculios only drill the buds of a rose and nothing else. I could have left some blooms on my roses but I think that would cause more curculios to investigate the garden.

I think it took two years of disbudding to completely eliminate the breeding of the dang bugs in the garden. In a way it seems like a miracle because in the first year, after three days of disbudding, all of the curculios that had bred in the garden in the prior season migrated out of the garden because there were no buds.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 12:14AM
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I know your excitement and love that you've achieved it. We have the Hoplia Beetles here, relatives of Japanese Beetles. Hateful things, fortunately, they are never huge infestations, but I do find them periodically. We also have cucumber beetles and katydids which eat the stamen from the center of the flowers. Very irritating when you're after the pollen for breeding! Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Hoplia Beetles

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 12:57AM
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