Stems not strong enough

ruthzNovember 13, 2013

The stems on a lot of my roses are not strong enough to hold the roses up, so I have big beautiful roses drooping down.
What do I need to do to correct this?

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What kind of roses are they? Hybrid teas were bred to hold their blooms up, but lots of OGRs like tea roses droop on purpose. What you need to do if they are old roses is give them a structure to climb up on, and then you can see the blooms from below.

I have a hybrid gigantica (Belle Portugaise) which is 15 feet high, and if the blooms didn't gracefully bend over I would never be able to see them.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 10:44AM
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Yeah it really depends on the rose type. I have a Grand Dame that has beautiful blooms, but it always droops.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 11:00AM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Please give the names of the roses and how old they are.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 11:45AM
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Both OGR and Hybrid Tea's. Right now all the ones with big roses are drooping.
Belinda's Dream (2 or 3 years)
Black Magic - slightly (new this year for me)
Double Delight - slightly (maybe 3 years)
SDLM (maybe a year)
Memorial Day ( had this one a long time)
Pope John Paul ll - (had this one a long time)
September Morn - slightly (about 1 1/2 years)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 4:11PM
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Grand Dame droops when it gets wet but not otherwise. It leans slightly but does not droop. If it rains even for just a little bit, however, buds ready to open and open blooms keel over and don't recover when dried out. This is true for many HT's but many don't droop and many recover if they are not water logged.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 4:33PM
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My Black Magic and PJPll don't droop. Is this the way they have always been or just now? If it is just now, maybe it's the weather or insects. Are the stems strong enough, but have weak necks? A few years ago, my Veteran's Honor had weak necks that was due to the hot, dry weather. It self corrected as the weather changed. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 6:05PM
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No, they aren't always this way. The stems seem to be smaller and weaker and the roses bigger.
I thought maybe I needed to add something to the soil to have stronger stems.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 9:17PM
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It also depends on how you deadhead. In general, the bigger the cane, the bigger and stronger the new cane for the new rose will be.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 1:07AM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

People may say more potassium, but there is no evidence that it makes any difference.

Rose flowers get bigger in fall, and plants may be overgrown. Maybe you should be taking more stem when you deadhead in summer, as Henry suggests. But not for SdlM, or immature roses in general. The latter can be expected to have weak stems.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 8:58AM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

I had a similar problem and I decided that the problem lay in the way I was growing the bushes....pushing for blooms.

So, I decided to start at the beginning and grow stronger roots. I ignored the local advise of how to fertilize for more and bigger blooms and instead used organic fertilizer to make stronger roots and stems. I went with a lot of Cottonseed Meal and minor blood meal and bone meal (really minor blood and bone.) I also watered religiously.

That was in early spring. What happened was a lot of good stems and by fall super roses on strong stems. But it convinced me that the roots have to be right for the soils, and then the roots have to be well fed.

When I say roots right for the soil, I mean rootstock. Much of North America has soils where Dr. Huey rootstock is OK. My acidic clays loathe Dr. Huey and Dr. Huey loathes them. So when I switched to roses grafted on R. multiflora, I got better rose growth and much better plants.

Not all rootstocks are good for all conditions.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 9:50AM
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If my queses not wrong, most likely your roses are been planted under insufficient sunlight location or they are planted too close among each bush. Or it been applied too much fertilizer high in Nitrogen.
The solution are:
1. Give the plant more light. Move plant to where has at least 6 hours direct sunlight, the longer sunlight is better.
2. Use rose N-P-K balanced fertilizer or high in Phosphate flower enhancing fertilizer.
3. Thin (prune) your rose canes to as few as (3~5 main stems) you can tolerate.
4. When you cut the flower, cut the flower stem just above second set of 5 leaflet from the top, not just deadheaded, let the new flower stem grow big and strong. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:48PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

I sometimes take 1-2' of stem when deadheading established plants that are getting too tall or floppy. But if I want the plant to grow faster, I just remove the flower.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 11:16AM
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You can actually poke a stiff wire through the rose and the top stem to keep it stiff and straight. It's a secret known to rose exhibiters.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 2:13AM
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I don't have any full sun area's in my yard, but I have my roses in as much sun as I have. Each bush gets several hours a day except for Country Dancer.
I bought Country Dancer because it was was supposed to do well in shade, but so far mine hasn't bloomed a lot.
This is probably the problem since they aren't too close together and are definitely not over fertilized.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 10:21AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Roses are sun-lovers--usually need at least 6 hours of sun a day. If you don't really have much sun, I'd recommend you switch over to hydrangeas--they are gorgeous and usually like part sun/part shade to nearly full shade.

Definitely, deprived of sun, most roses will be weaker and more spindly and bloom less and probably get more bs disease. The roses that "tolerate" shade usually still need at least 4 hours of direct sun--but "tolerate" does not mean they will thrive in that area--just that they will survive.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 11:34AM
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