Newbie to roses - some basic questions!

RaistlynJune 3, 2012

HI, i am a COMPLETE newbie to roses. I bought a few pots last season and after they developed serious mildew and black spots, abandoned them for growing other things.

Yesterday, I saw 3 pretty pots on sale and bought them to give them another go. They obviously just came out of the nursery as they were perfect - not a spot on their leaves, little buds waiting to bloom.

Ive repotted them now and put in some osmocote as feed, put them in a semi sunny spot. Now, i anticipate the same problems ahead. Should I start spraying them with insecticidal soap/neem to prevent the mildew and spots now already as a prevention, or should I wait till the problems hit?

I know these are very basic questions compared to the ones that are usually posted here! but hopefully someone can help get me started. THANKS!

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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Soap doesn't help with fungus diseases. Oil spray (your neem product is basically just oil) helps some. Any fungicide that is needful should be applied routinely and preventatively according to the label during the seasons that diseases may occur, that is in mild to warm weather, not extremely hot and dry.

The most effective fungicide on the market is Bayer Advanced
Disease Control for Roses (Etc.) containing only tebuconazole. If conditions are not too bad for blackspot, you might get by with an organic remedy like neem (or other) oil or Safer's RTU sulfur spray. Do not mix or overlap these, as oil makes sulfur toxic to plants. Apply organic remedies once a week, or Bayer every 14 days.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 11:58AM
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I'm not the most experienced rose gardener (though I am an experienced _gardener_) but I'll go ahead and take a shot.

First, I'm not so sure about fertilizing with Osmocote right away--I use organic fertilizers myself, specifically Roses Alive! from Gardens Alive!, and I admit that with that I do mix it right into the soil, but I've heard others say that some chemical fertilizers are not a good idea with new plants, though that may be more for bareroot plants.

Next, unless the roses in question are hybrid musks or some other variety that can tolerate semi-shade like the Buck rose Country Dancer, I would definately put roses in the full sun and not a semi-sunny spot. Actually, since they are potted, it might be best to leave them there just a few days until they adjust to being repotted, but then I would find a place in as full sun as possible. The roses will be happier and happier roses are better resistant to diseases.

I also confine myself to the allegedly organic methods of disease control, and in the last couple of years I've tried them all. I haven't had much luck controlling blackspot with Neem, though I know others have reported success. I'll go ahead and add the bacterial control sometimes sold under the brand name Serenade as another I've had poor luck with. What has worked better for me is the Copper soaps and the Sulpher-based solutions. But you do need to go ahead any apply it now, and continue doing so on a very regular basis, to avoid the worst cases of blackspot--if you wait until it show symptoms the rose will have a harder and longer recovery. To be honest, even then you are likely to have some blackspot, though hopefully not enough to kill your enjoyment of the roses or weaken the roses themselves too much. Again, the variety of rose is important--some roses are much more resistant to fungal diseases than others.

Two other comments on rose care--once roses start growing and hopefully blooming, they do appreciate rather more water and fertilizer than other plants of a similar size might. Are you planning on keeping them in pots? I am forced to do all my gardening in pots due to my current living arrangements, but some varieties of roses are better than others in containers. I keep bugging my friends, coworkers, and casual aquantances to take the roses that have outgrown my pots as gifts, but I've had only limited success with this as they all seem to most want the roses I actually want to keep :). By the way, what size are the pots you have them in? I use 16" pots myself, the kind that are deep as possible, though I have several roses that are in their second year that will soon need to be placed in 20" pots if I can't give them away. If you have yours in anything smaller than 16", I've found that the rose will outgrow it very quickly unless it is a miniature or something very slow growing. If the rose is underpotted, it will again become stressed and be unhappy/unhealthy.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Thanks both!

I guess I have done most things wrongly then! They are hybrids (that's what it says on the plastic cover they came in) and really small. I doubt they will grow very big. The pots they came in were about 15 cm in diameter. I have trasnplanted them into an old wine crate that is about, well the length of a bottle of wine. I admit they are space constrained but I am really not trying to grow roses on a large scale. Just want some that will remain small and manageable.

The osmocote worked wonderful for my marigolds so I thought i'd do the same for the roses... hope they will be fine.

Currently, the location they are placed at receives direct sunlight from about 7.30 (or whenever the sun rises) to about noon. I dont have sunnier spot i can put them im afraid. The best spots are taken up by the tomatoes and other veggies.

Well noted about the fungicides. I will get one the next time I go to the garden centre and use it immediately even if nothing shows up yet.

Any other advice very welcome! Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 2:02PM
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I'm not a purest, so I use Bayers Advanced and Ortho's Rose Pride, rotating every 2 weeks so the fungus cells don't build up any resistance to anything. I grow about 32 Hybrid Teas' and my foliage is clean as can be. Don't wait for the black spot or mildew to show up. It will be to late then. Water real good the day before you spray. Your roses should be fine. Just a little TLC. Just like your maters and other veggies.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 2:22PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Raistlyn -- "Hybrids" doesn't mean a lot -- ALL roses, other than species roses (wild roses) are "Hybrids" of one sort or another. So, your roses could be Hybrid Tea Roses, or Hybrid Perpetual Roses, or Hybrid Musk Roses or or or ... If you could give us the full class name, and maybe the names of the roses, perhaps folks here could give you an idea of their eventual size.

It would also be very helpful to know where you are located, as roses will perform differently, in different conditions.

Among the first roses I bought were half a dozen MINIATURE roses. I planted them three-each in a pair of those wooden "window boxes" nurseries sell.

After a year or so, when they'd mostly died, I came to find out that the dang thangs needed either to be in the ground, or one-each in very large pots. Who knew that "Minature" roses could grow 6 ft. tall? So, that was one of my FIRST lessons learned, about roses. Almost 30 years later, we're still learning.

Jeri in Coastal Southern California

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 3:26PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

Roses do not like pots. That said, be careful with your watering. Roses do not like to sit in water. The soil should be moist but not wet. Since most potting soils now come with fertilizer, you don't need to add more anytime soon. It is possible to over fertilize. Unless you have miniature roses, and even then, as Jeri pointed out, you can count on having to pot the roses up next year. And the year after. A 10 or 15 gallon pot should keep a full-grow rose fairly happy.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 8:33AM
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