Why are my leaves turning brown and drying

scissorgui(WV z6)July 6, 2010

So I am new to gardening this year. After years of watching my pappy and granny grow roses, I decided to do a rose garden. Now I have always heard that roses require a lot of work, so I did my homework. I brought in new topsoil, made sure it drained properly, researched the different hybrids to find ones that are disease resistant, and tried to make sure that I spaced the bushes properly. We ended up deciding on the Sundance, Pope John Paul II, Disneyland, Sedona, Billy Graham, and Opening Night.

Now when we brought them home, the leaves had some dried brown spots on them, and I figured this was just from them being in the planters at the nursery, since it quickly disappeared on them, and did not reoccur on most of the new growth. However, on the Billy Graham it has persisted. Even the new growth turns brown after of couple of days. I make sure that I water in the morning, and only at the base. And I am using Miracle-gro for Roses once a week. I really love the blooms on the plant, and want it to do well. Please help!

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peachiekean(z10A CA)

Cut back on the fertilizer and water your roses thoroughly if not raining. Revisit the directions on the Miracle Gro and see if it says once a week or once a month. I would make shallow basins out to the drip line and see that the water is used well by the bush. Give it a couple of weeks to recover. And we want to see pics!
Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 7:51PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

How old is the rose? How long has it been in the ground?

I gave my step-dad & Mom a baby band rose a couple months ago & he applied Miracle-Gro full strength (which I told him not to do) and he killed it deader than a doorknob!
I would not fertilizer that rose for awhile, but, still water it & see what happens.
In the future you may want to switch to an organic fertilizer like rose tone/ plant tone, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tone Fertilizer

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:17PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Also, since you hauled in new top soil etc. a professional
soil test may of been something that should of been done before planting.
Cut out the fertilizer & see what happens. Keep it well watered and go from there.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:39PM
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I think you are over-fertilizing with MG. But I also think your soil may be too neutral. Roses are very happy in clay, but they also like amendments peat moss, compost manure etc. They're heavy feeders and drinkers, but with a good humus-type addition to the soil, there should be no need for MG.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soil Preparation for Healthy Roses

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:43PM
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scissorgui(WV z6)

the plants are all new. We planted them over memorial day weekend. I will cut back on the MG. I will post pics as soon as I figure out how to do it, I need to reread the directions on how to do it.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:18PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Were you able to transplant from the pot without disturbing the roots?
When you water, water deeply, letting the water get down to the lower part of the roots. A slow soaking gets that done.
They're still getting settled so be patient. as suggestedabove, lay off the fertilizer or apply an organic type like Rose Tone. and do as suggested and get a soil test. New topsoil doesn't necessarily mean good rich soil.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:39PM
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scissorgui(WV z6)

here is link to pics of the bush

Here is a link that might be useful: Pic of Billy Graham

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 11:03PM
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Hm, doesn't look that bad to me. I'd certainly remove those leaves and canes that appear dead. Almost looks like rust, but I can't say for sure. I'd be interested in reading what the others say.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 11:13PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Yea, completely stop the MG fertilizer, keep watered well & see if it improves.
Were you spraying the leaves with anything?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 11:20PM
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How much direct sunlight is that area getting? The reason I ask is that my roses along my fenceline that get strong, direct sun all day long are sunburning, and it looks similar to this. It is not happening to younger plants, but to established ones. Newly planted roses may need to be shaded until they settle in.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 7:56AM
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I agree with particentral's comment about newly planted roses. Your photos look like the rose is experiencing transplant shock. After it adjusts to conditions in its new environment, it will recover. In the meantime, keep it well hydrated, but make sure the water is draining well.

I'm wondering what county in WV you garden in . . . I went to grad school at WVU and spent my holiday breaks exploring the state. What beautiful country it is! I miss it a LOT.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 2:37PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Miracle Gro is a fast acting fertilizer that doesn't help your garden soil at all. It's a quick fix if needed.
Too much of it can burn tiny feeder roots, esp. on young plants.
Organic fertilizers will break down & release nutrients more slowly and will improve your soil.
It probably is transplant shock, some extra heat reflecting back off the fence, the fertilizer all combined. All to much for a younger plant.
You may want to shade it/them alittle as mentioned above also.
Best of luck!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 4:24PM
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scissorgui(WV z6)

Thanks for all the tips. I surely hope it is only transplant shock. I really want this garden to do well.

I live in eastern panhandle of WV, about 3 hours from WVU.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 4:42PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

The leaves are definitely sunburned from lack of water, because of transplanting disturbing the roots. Also, too much fertilizer in the soil makes it impossible for roots to take up water. I would give the plant partial shade for a week or two, using a lawn chair. Flood the soil with several gallons of water and let drain for a few days. Then give 2 gallons of water twice a week in summer. You should be seeing healthy new growth in 2-3 weeks.

Those roses will get blackspot disease in WV. Many posts below discuss what to do to prevent it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 6:28PM
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scissorgui(WV z6)

Thanx for the BS warning. I am actually aware of it's prevalence here, and am doing everything in my power to prevent it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 10:48PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

In the future when transplanting potted roses follow these directions to avoid transplant shock.

Planting a potted rose

When planting a potted rose bush, care must be taken so soil doesnÂt fall from the roots or tiny feeder roots will be lost causing the plant to be stressed.

I overcome this problem by doing the following.
First prepare the planting hole. Dig it twice as wide and deep as the pot. In the bottom portion of the hole mix horse manure or an organic fertilizer with the soil.
With a sharp razor knife cut the bottom from the pot. Then cut down the two opposite sides of the pot about two inches. Using masking tape, rubber bands, or string secure the two cuts then continue cutting the sides to a point halfway down. Secure these the same as the top cuts were secured. Then cut the pot the rest of the way. The tape will hold the pot together.
Holding the bottom, place the pot into the hole. If the bush is a grafted plant, position it so the bud union (swollen knob/graft point from where the canes grow) will be 4-6 inches below the soil surface in cold winter growing zones. If the bush is on itÂs own roots, position it so itÂs no more than an inch deeper than in the pot.
Slide the bottom from the pot. Pull soil into the hole until it come to the lower tape/rubber band/string. Cut the tape/rubber band/string on both sides of the pot and continue filling the hole to just under the top tape/rubber band/string. Cut the top tape/rubber band/string and fill the hole so just the tops of the two pot sides are above the soil. Pull them straight up and complete filling the hole.
Do not tamp the soil. Settle it with a hose set to just a trickle so all the water stays on the soil around the bush. There should be a depression around the bush. Add more soil until most of the depression is filled. Until the bush is growing well, water daily soaking the area well.
Planted this way, the bush will not know itÂs been transplanted and should show no signs of stress.
When watering, make sure you apply enough so it gets to the roots. A light sprinkling only wets the surface. This can cause the feeder roots to grow towards the surface. In dry spells the bush will wilt. Watering deep eliminates this problem and causes the roots to grow deep enabling them to better withstand periods of no or little rainfall.
A five gallon bucket with a 16D nail hole in the bottom side and filled with water, then placed next to the bush will supply the needed water with no runoff. All the water will soak into the soil at the base of the bush.
In sandy soil do this daily until the bush is growing well. In clay soil, do this when the leaves show signs of slight water distress but at least every other day until itÂs growing well.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 12:38AM
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I purchased a little rose bush tree from Home Depo a few weeks ago. It was doing very good for a few days, now that leaves are turning yellow and the roses are drying and falling off. I keep it well watered and also out in the sun. I live in South Florida, so it's very warm and humid. I did fertilize the plant when I first purchased it. I also tested the soil with a small tester. It's showed all levels about average, maybe a little low. Not sure what's going on. Any suggestions? I really thank you!!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 12:56PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.


You need to create your own thread with your questions.
You will get better results.

Did you leave your Home Depo tree rose in the same small container (pot)that you purchased it in?
If so, transplant it to a larger container.
You may want provide shade for it doing the hottest parts of your days, until it recovers.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 3:16PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Yes, looks like transplant shock. Even if you water a lot, the roots aren't established enough to bring the water to the leaves and they dry up. And they can't resist the sun, so they burn. I would simply remove the burned leaves.

You could shade them a bit or even mist them to cool them off and prevent them from losing internal moisture. And lay off the MG. MG is great for annuals and tomatoes, but for roses, organic slow release fertilizers are better. Once the roses are established, you can give them MG once in awhile for a boost, as long as they have other food available.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 8:08AM
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A man keeps saying he overcame planting a rose a sure way of not breaking the root ball.he is using my post from way back.I would think he could say I was told how to plant a rose att. MRcarl babst

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 6:18PM
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My six new climbing roses are on a east facing wall so they receive no direct afternoon sun. The root ball was not good but I handled with TLC. I have lost one and have two more showing stress. The soil may drain too well so I am concerned with that but following your watering recommendations. Is there a compost tea anyone would recommend to nourish the remaining feeder roots?.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 12:35PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Regular watering and patience is usually what they need.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 6:28PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I agree with Kate. Until they are growing strongly I wouldn't try to fertilize them. You could burn what roots they have and end up doing more damage. Keep them watered and be patient.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 8:23PM
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Knock Outs.... They looked beautiful during the Spring, but I have noticed this week that the leaves are looking brown dried out in sections. It's getting worse. HELP!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 5:08PM
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