Yellowing Leaves

Dunc2(9a)September 25, 2013

I have a Julia Child Floribunda that has yellowing leaves. Same symptoms earlier in summer overtook whole plant resulting in full pruning.
Following full pruning rose vigorously regrew. Rose just finished second bloom out. Most recent growth phase had gnarled leaves from aphids/thrips. 3 days rain with cool front resulted in this extensive yellowing.

Is it just too much water?

This post was edited by Dunc2 on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 10:22

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    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 10:16AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Just wondering what growing zone you in and your general location? This could help people give you more accurate answers...

Type of potting mix or soil used?
How large is that container?
How long has rose been in that container?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 10:29AM
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I'm in Houston, TX Zone 9a. Potting soil gravel bottom in 12-14 inch clay pot up on feet. Planted rose in the pot 4 months ago. Fertilized a month ago.

New pic is from 2 weeks ago just prior to flower drop and yellowing.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 10:50AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

My container knowledge is very limited so hopefully someone else will stop by and help you out now that you provided more details...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 1:47PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

It looks to me like that is an awfully small pot for a rose of some size. Maybe I'd grow a smallish Mini in one? And those clay pots, though they are lovely with their beautiful glazes, aren't an ideal container for roses. I hate to say it, but they do better in those plastic "Terra Pots."

When leaves go yellow and drop, that does not signal a need for pruning. (Forgive me, but when you say "full pruning," it sounds like something I'd be reluctant to do at "pruning time.")

I can't say what caused the yellowing. It's not a symptom I'm familiar with.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 2:36PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

My guess is that it is a combination of too much water (which probably means poor drainage) and perhaps not enough sun.

Leaves can turn yellow also when plants get too thirsty, but I think drainage (thus, too wet) is usually the problem with potted plants.

Some experts on growing roses in pots will probably show up and confirm or correct my diagnosis : )

Some plants, at the end of each blooming cycle, also shed old leaves--in preparation for the growth of new leaves for the next cycle. Turning yellow is the rose's way of getting rid of what it doesn't want anymore.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Thanks for all replies thus far. I suspect over-watering but the knockouts beside it are happy. BTW, I believe they are 15 inch pots which should be enough(?).

Here is an overhead pic to show the extent of the yellowing. Any chance i this is a form of RMV?

This post was edited by Dunc2 on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 15:42

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 3:38PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

No. I would consider a 15-Inch pot minimal for most MINIATURE roses.

For a full-sized rose, the pot sizes I've used have varied from maybe 36-inch, up to 40+-inch.

Julia Child, in a warm climate such as yours, could easily grow to be 4-ft.-tall. I have heard from folks in FL, who have found that Knockout roses have become gigantic things. In a 15-In. pot, these roses will not long be healthy or attractive.

And, as I mentioned above, those ceramic pots (and I do love them) are not optimal for roses, to begin with. I DO use them for Plumerias.

If you must use pots that size, I recommend you look into some of the more-compact Miniatures. And I recommend that you switch to plastic "Terra Pots."


    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 5:12PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

No, doesn't look like any RMV I've ever seen--which usually had a kind of jagged lightening bolt look across the leaf.

Why don't you try taking the plant out of the pot--give the roots some air and plant it again in a new and larger pot. Water it in well, but then do not overdo the water after that, and get it out in the sun more. It won't hurt the plant, and it might help it. And it is very possible that different roses have different needs and requirements. For whatever reason, this rose feels waterlogged--and is reacting accordingly (is my diagnosis). Sorry--wish I had better news.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 5:15PM
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I seriously doubt any viral issue. I agree with Jeri about dumping the clay pots. They get hot, remain hot and cook the soil/root balls. Dump the gravel at the bottom of the pots, too. As long as there are enough drainage holes of sufficient diameter, and the potting soil is decent, you do NOT need anything in them to "provide drainage." That generally results in too little water holding capability.

I only have experience with Julia in the ground and what you're experiencing is nothing I've ever seen from her. I don't think a fifteen inch pot is sufficient for a mature bush of either rose you mentioned, particularly in a hotter climate. Both can quickly outgrow something of that size and may even eventually become stressed in fifteen gallon cans. For that pot size, I would suggest smaller types like some mini floras or even miniatures. Larger bushes need larger root runs in warmer climates where they have the climate to push them to achieve what their genes program them to achieve. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Julia in the ground

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 5:16PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Knockouts grow to (5ft - 6ft x 4ft - 5ft) here in our cooler climate...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 7:11PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

My Julia Child roses are 6'X6'. She can get big. Diane

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 3:27AM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

That kind of mottling indicates that the leaves are just dying without being killed by fungus or infected by virus. You can expect some old leaves to die like that normally, but not that many. I think it is probably overwatering. You should repot into a 16" pot, remove any sour soil and rotted roots, and LOSE THE GRAVEL LAYER. You will have to trust me on this, but it is established beyond doubt that "drainage layers" make drainage worse. They create a saturated layer in the potting soil just above.

Then water less often than you have been. The sign of underwatering would be that the plant stops growing and shoots go "blind" without flowering.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 9:55AM
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Great information. Thanks to all. I'll re-pot and attempt to stabilize. My thumb is pretty green but I'm new to roses so I appreciate the education.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 10:37AM
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