in desperate need of reviving my rose plant!!!

jardin_de_mariaJune 2, 2010

I am a complete amateur. We've had this rose bush for years, it has survived hanging by a thread thankfully, with hope for it growing to its full potential.

I have no idea how to prune. I used to trim the dead parts off it, but after a while I started to neglect it. I also used to feed it an asprin mixture (one asprin tablet, 1 tsp vinegar, one gallon of water) every three weeks and that made it relatively healthy, with very fragrant blooms. Now the roses are few and far between and not very healthy.

AND i am unsure as to what exactly is this rose. Can anyone ID it?

Quite a few pictures of its condition (if there are too many pictures, I'll take some down, just let me know):

And then there are some weird, alienish, white, creepy things growing on the bottom of some branches:

Closeups of the condition:

I know... it's horrible... but at least there was one nice bud (waiting unknowingly for its demise)


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The blooms and twiggy growth pattern makes me think it is some sort of "china" rose. Where approx to you live? Do you know your climate zone? Chinas love heat, hate cold. Will bloom continuously for months and months if they are happy.

Just my opinion, but if this were my rose here is what I would do:

1) Don't worry about pruning it - chinas don't need pruning, especially not at this point when it is under so much stress. If a cane is obviously completely dead, OK to take off but not necessary.

2) Weed ALL of the stuff that it not rose away from the bottom of the plant - out to at least 20".

3) WATER it well, for a couple of days.

4) Scrub off all of that white stuff (looks like some sort of scale planted and being attended by ants - yes, they do keep farm animals). Then, spray it with something that kills scale. In the middle of winter you can also spray it with a dormant spray, to keep them from coming back, but not now.

5) Put some sort of timed release rose food around the base of the rose - out to the same 20 inches - I use Osmacote. Follow the directions - water it in.

6) Put some sort of mulch around the base of the bush - 2-3 inches deep, also out to the same 20 inches. DO NOT let the mulch touch the base of the rose - keep it about 2" away.

7) Make sure you water it well at least once a week, unless you live somewhere where it rains a lot.

8) Stand back, and watch it - it should start doing better within a month. Keep checking it for scale and removing it.

Good Luck - this could be a really nice rose.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:52AM
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Thanks so much for all the tips!

I'm not exactly sure about my "zone". Guam isn't on climate zone maps (at least none that I've found) but I suspect it's the same as Hawaii. It's humid and very warm where I live, but sometimes very breezy at my particular area, with some dry seasons. So no winter, summer, spring, fall. Just wet and dry.

What exactly is scale? Ants keep farm animals?! That is truly amazing!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:31PM
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Good advice from Jacqueline. I also would encourage you to clear everything away from the rose that isn't part of the bush, even little grassy stuff around it. If that deadish looking branch isn't part of the rose, remove it too. In one picture it looks like some kind of lichen or parasitic plant (greyish, fernish). I don't know how to deal with that, maybe just pinch it off with your fingers.

Your bush is in pretty sad shape, but some TLC will really go a long way towards making it healthy again. But you must get the white stuff off as well as the lichen.

Let us know how it goes.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 12:21AM
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Scale is a bug that attaches itself to plants and sucks sustenance from their canes - that is why it is so important to take it off the rose. Scale makes a sugary stuff that ants like, so ants actually move scale bugs onto plants and then visit them.

China roses should do well in Guam - good luck with this one. If you do all of the work on it, weed, feed & water it, it should recuperate. Would love it if you posted some pictures of it along the way, and hopefully during its next bloom flush after it is feeling better!


    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 12:10PM
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Ok. Bought all the stuff, even the exact same plant food, lol.

Can't wait to work on it :D Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 8:29AM
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