Rose novice - what's eating my plant?

dovianJune 5, 2008

Hi all. We just bought a house with two rosebushes. In the backyard, there is a bush with yellow roses that is blooming profusely and looks perfectly healthy. In the front, there is the other bush. It has produced one lovely burgundy rose, and that's it so far - I don't see any other buds on the bush, and to add to that the leaves are full of holes. The ends of the branches look dead, but I don't know whether it's dead new growth or dead old growth. The leaves that aren't eaten look like they have some kind of eggs on them - little tiny clusters that cover the whole leaf. I do not see any bugs.

Possibly related, but maybe not, something is eating little round holes in the leaves of my petunias in the same bed.

So, can anybody help me 1. figure out what's eating my roses? and 2. figure out how to get rid of it and keep it from spreading to the backyard? I have asked my father, who used to have a small rose garden, but his opinion is that roses are too much trouble and I should just chop them down (!)

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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

In the front, there is the other bush. It has produced one lovely burgundy rose, and that's it so far - I don't see any other buds on the bush

That one is probably the rootstock, Dr. Huey. It is a once blooming (spring flush only) climbing rose. What was there originally was a grafted plant--the top or desirable rose was killed off one winter, and the rootstock survives. Some people like this rose very much and don't mind that it does not rebloom over the growing season. Other people don't like that so they dig it up and discard it. The link below has many photos of Dr. Huey, so you can see if that is yours.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dr Huey at Help Me Find Roses

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 5:11PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Leaves full of holes are often caused by sawfly larva.

The tips of the stems "burnt" off could be Rose midge.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 5:15PM
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dovian

Hmm. It doesn't look like the Dr. Huey - it's got more petals than those pictures and was less pink, more deep red. (Now it's mostly dead). The bush is about 7 feet tall and really thorny.

Upon closer inspection I don't see any sawfly larvae; I do see little tiny winged things and some things that look like spiders (poss. spider mites?) The holes are not the same as in that picture, they are closer to the center of the leaf and are in a line along the leaf. Wish I had a digital cam to show you. If it is spider mites what will make it go away?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 5:58PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Spider mite control consists of washing the foliage off, top and bottom, daily for about a week. They hate wet foliage. It is best to do it in the morning so the foliage has time to dry during the day.

Spider mite damage does not create holes, they are more like spreckles and the leaves look kind of dotted and burnt. There will be very fine, tiny webs that are hard to see. Lots of pictures at this site:

Here is a link that might be useful: pests and diseases of roses with pics

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 6:15PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

dovian -- Suggestion . . .

Since you can't get pix of the problem bugs, how about going where there are lots of pix of various bugs that trouble roses?

See the link below for the work of Baldo Villegas, an entomologist, rosarian, and rose judge.
If it's a bug, Baldo knows about it.

Jeri

Here is a link that might be useful: Baldo's Bugs and Roses Website

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 7:06PM
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dovian

Ok, checked again today and looks like: on the leaves, I have rose slugs, and on the new growth I have rose midges. Is there an organic way to get rid of these or am I destined to spend my weekend in the heavy chemical section of Home Depot?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 5:56PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Rose slugs are easy to take care of. First thing you need to know is that in a couple weeks, some predators of the rose slugs will come along and get rid of them for you. In the meantime, you need to go out every morning and check carefully all the leaves around the damaged area. Look underneath them, along the edged of the leaves, sometimes along the "neck" leading up to the rose bud. You should be able to find some small green mini-caterpillar/wormlike critters. If you have a strong stomach (or hate them enough), just go squish. Otherwise, carefully pull them off and toss them into the middle of your yard. They won't find their way back. You will have to repeat this process every morning for awhile--until you don't find anymore.

Can't help you on the midges, but I'm sure someone will come along and advise you.

Good luck,

Kate

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 6:32PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

It is very satisfying to squish rose slugs.

Jeri

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 7:00PM
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