Help, something eating the tips of my rose buds

nickjoseph(5 Milwaukee, WI)June 21, 2014

Help. I don't have a camera, so I will try to describe this. I have 12 rose bushes, and something appears to be eating the tips of the rose buds. They almost look chewed on & rounded instead of like a normal rosebud shape--like a big tear drop. When the rose opens it looks kind of deformed and smaller. I looked really hard on the buds affected and didn't see diddly squat. I thought at one point I saw a red mite, but just ONE. I normally look closely at all the leaves & buds. Occasionally I will have aphids. I either squish them off cuz there usually are only a few on a couple bushes or I spray the bushes with the hose (water, not chemical sprays). Occasionally I have found the green worms. I just pull them off. So don't know what is going from bush to bush and randomly attacking the buds. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! & as always THANKS!!!!!

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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Under certain weather conditions, the plant itself will produce flower buds that have deformed or missing tips. There may also be a genetic component, as some roses do this more than others.

Are you sure something is actually eating the tips, or could it be the former?

If it is something actually eating, go out about an hour after dark with a flash light and see if you have katydids. That is one insect I know of that bites off the tips of rosebuds. I am not however familiar with your climate, so there may be other pests that might do this.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:23AM
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nickjoseph(5 Milwaukee, WI)

hoovb, thank you so much for getting back to me. It has been getting in the 50s at night pretty much of June--only in 60s and some 70s this month. Don't know if this is the cause. The buds don't actually have a "chunk" taken out of them. They are just somewhat deformed looking and have some ridging around the bud. You know how the normal rosebud looks like--more tear dro shaped, and as it opens the green that is covering the flower looks uniform shape. This green looks almost ridgey looking like there are small parts of the green missing. The buds look almost completed rounded, and when they open the flowers look a lot smaller and the petals look ridgey and almost like there are little indents along all the petals. Darn, it's times like this that I wish....oh how I wish....we had a smart phone that I could take a picture.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:25PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I know what you are describing--I get that here too in the winter and early spring on certain roses. Nothing to be done about it. Your next round of flowers should be better.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:14PM
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nickjoseph(5 Milwaukee, WI)

hoovb, thanks again. I hope you are correct. Maybe it all does have to do with the winter & cool spring. I looked over every bush "with a fine tooth comb" & only thought I saw possibly one fleeting red mite, but I would think if it was a mite problem I would've seen more than the one--& I really looked.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:19PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Hopefully we are talking about the same thing. I went out to the garden and found an example. Both of these are 'Peter Mayle', and from the same plant today. Normal bud on the left, abnormal on the right. I pulled off the sepals to show the abnormal shape of the flower--the sepals were normal and not stunted

Abnormal bud:

Is that what you are seeing?

Mites damage rose foliage; not usually flower buds.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:17PM
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nickjoseph(5 Milwaukee, WI)

Yup,that is pretty much what they look like. Some are tighter buds, but you see either a brown or the black like on yours on the edges & tip of the bud. Some even look more rounded than yours.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:03PM
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nickjoseph(5 Milwaukee, WI)

Like I mentioned, I have some of what looks like your picture happening on at least 3 other bushes--but the new one I planted around June 11th--Dick Clark has more buds like that.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:05PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I think it is what I can only call "near phyllody"--phyllody that doesn't quite make it all the way to a green leafy center. Read through this document (link), but first go to page three of the document and look at the photo of 'Singin in the Rain', in figure 5, on the top right side. I think that's what is going on. I think there are different levels, if you will, of phyllody, and what we are seeing on our buds is the lowest level. The stunted petals are there, but without the green leafy center.

Here is a link that might be useful: Phyllody in Roses

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 3:27PM
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