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Roses - New York Times

Posted by henry_kuska z5 OH (kuska@neo.rr.com) on
Fri, Jul 27, 12 at 10:17

"“People tell me that they can’t grow roses, and what I tell them is that it’s not your fault,” he said. “A lot of the roses out there are not meant to succeed.”

Hopefully, the above quote is sufficient to "bait" you to read the full article. :<)

Here is a link that might be useful: link for above


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Roses - New York Times

Very interesting article -- thanks for sharing.

Kay


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RE: Roses - New York Times

Thanks, a good article. Based on an earlier story about their garden and ratings I planted three Peach Drift roses. They are performing beautifully in the front of one bed.

Susan


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RE: Roses - New York Times

Actually, I started growing roses because people said it was difficult. Then I learned that "difficult" meant watering and fertilizing once a while and spending 15 minutes every two weeks spraying for blackspot. If that's "difficult", I wonder what "easy" gardening is. Just plant and walk away???


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RE: Roses - New York Times

nitric_acid, I suspect that in zone 5 (which is my zone also) "found difficult to grow" for many people meant that they purchased (from big box/ discount/ large grocery/ etc. type stores)virus infected, non hardy, non disease resistant hybrid teas that very seldom survived more than 3 to 5 years (or if they were not handled properly by the store did not survive the first three weeks or so).


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RE: Roses - New York Times

I usually follow the New York Botanical guidelines because I am only about 15 miles from them. However, I have found that my location is not exactly like theirs. Some roses that have performed well for them have failed for me. It only proves that all gardening is "local". I have had limited success with Julia Child which is a star according to the NY Botanical Garden.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

The drive toward mediocrity continues ... I suspect the NY Botanical Garden is paying a high price for this strategy, not the least of which is trashing a great deal of rose history and excellent blooms.

I agree with nitric_acid and Henry's following post, too. The trouble is, this guy's strategy and the NY Times article completely misses the point.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

"People tell me that they can't grow roses, and what I tell them is that it's not your fault. . .A lot of the roses out there are not meant to succeed."
What a telling quote! Could it be that it reveals a massive miscalculation about what gardening consumers are willing to buy?
Thinking that we would basically keep buying new roses to replace those that have not done well in the garden, what seems to have happened instead is that too many of us have either stopped buying roses altogether (helloooo, drought tolerant landscaping), or have opted to reject the prima donnas in favor of health and durability.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

I feel that David Zlesak's comments in this similar thread are worth reading:

http://www.rosebreeders.org/forum/read.php?2,46188,46285#msg-46285

Here is a link that might be useful: similar thread


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RE: Roses - New York Times

We should remember the basic truism--sellers wouldn't stock those roses if nobody bought them. For too many decades now (speaking only of modern rose history), buyers too often didn't care about anything except beautiful blooms and fragrance--and therefore that is what they got. It is only in recent times that a number of environmentally conscious rose growers have started grumbling about having to spray diseased roses--and nuseries are beginning to respond to the buyer demand for healthier roses. Just look at the difference in the health and catalog descriptions of the David Austin roses, to take one example. Many more disease-resistant roses being offered in the past few years and a bigger deal made out of how healthy they are--it is a selling point now, because the buyers have started insisting on that trait.

It is true that there are plenty of disease-magnets still selling out there, but there are also many more healthier roses being offered in recent years--when we, the buyers, decided that was a priority in our gardens.

Kate


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RE: Roses - New York Times

I'm sorry, but IMHO, today's disease-resistant roses are a pipe-dream. Does anyone believe that the classics were originally sold with the idea that they had to be sprayed? Crimson Glory, Peace, Tiffany, Queen Elizabeth? The chemicals we have today didn't even exist back then. No. The fungus mutated and/or became more prevalent.

Red-tip photinias once covered every street in Georgia and many parts of the Southeast. Now, they've almost disappeared completely. The difference between those bushes and roses is that with a bare minimum of chemical support, classic roses can thrive (except in environmentally hysterical New York and a few other places).

On the other hand, some recent reports posted here and elsewhere seem to indicate that disease resistant roses (Knockouts, etc.) may help to spread incurable RRD. The primary reason is massive neglect, because so far ... they're allowed to live without focused care. Sorry, but roses are meant to be checked on a constant basis, fussed over, and babied. Don't do that and expect unintended consequences ...

Seems to me that many of these people are trading all of our rose legacies for tomorrow's newly diseased rose.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

The chemicals we have today didn't exist in prior decades, BUT, they DID have fungicides and insecticides and they were advertised in the ARS and RNRS publications as well as their use promoted by the same organizations and publications.

Many OGRs were originally thought of as "healthy", yet just a few decades after their introductions, were complained about because they had "played out", "lost their disease resistance". What wasn't understood was the early sources of coal and oil were high sulfur, resulting in daily rains of sulfur showering down on them. Sulfur is a rather effective and simple fungicide. As newer, lower sulfur sources of fuels were discovered and pressed into use, the fungicidal properties of the surrounding air decreased until they were no more. The roses were left to show their true natures, and clay feet.

The earlier "modern classics" were sprayed while being tested for introduction. Virtually no attention was paid to their inherent disease resistance (at least in this country), just as no attention was paid to any rose's ability to root and grow own root for those introduced much past the early decade or two of the last century. Budding was the standard, so it was irrelevant whether they could be produced that way, until budding became too expensive. Just as unassisted disease resistance was not paid attention to, because spraying WAS the norm, an accepted necessity if you wanted to grow "beautiful roses". It wasn't until spraying became less acceptable to more and more people, as well as became illegal in many instances, that natural disease resistance began to be sought in earnest.

Knock Out may be susceptible to RRD, but I'm sure the multiflora which exists unchecked in so many places contributes far more to the spread of that insidious disease. Get used to the idea of not being able to spray. Many places in Europe, as well as Canada, are already there. It's creeping into a number of US cities now. You're going to see a major change in the types of roses you CAN grow, as well as the selection you have from which to choose. It's coming....


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RE: Roses - New York Times

I just wanted to clarify that when I referred to today's more disease-resistant roses, I was not thinking of the Knock Outs at all--although they are an obvious example. What I had in mind was many of our favorite places where we have been buying roses for years and still buy some of our most prized roses. That was why I cited the example of David Austin roses. He now has a paragraph at the beginning of his catalog bragging about how much better a number of his roses are on that score. It wasn't that many years ago when the Austin catalog didn't even mention the subject of disease/health or it was mentioned just in passing in an inconspicuous spot. I remember just a decade ago that it was often difficult figuring out if a modern rose had any disease-resistance at all--because the nurseries didn't even bother to report it. It just wasn't on most people's radar!

Just in the past few years, catalogs make a big deal out of any roses that exhibit disease-resistance, so the consumer can actually find the info. That has been a change that we can thank the Knock Outs for (although I personally dislike Knock Outs a lot)--the public response in favor of Knock Out finally got a message across to the nurseries that rose growers are also interested in disease-resistance.

But like I said before, there are still plenty of disease-magnets out there also. And I should add that I wasn't talking at all about RRD--just about those commonplace problems too many gardeners have to contend with year after year--like blackspot and powdery mildew.

Another thing I was NOT doing was comparing modern roses to Old Roses--mainly because I don't know enough about old roses to make such a comparison. I was talking about modern roses--and about gardeners who buy modern roses.

Kate


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RE: Roses - New York Times

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is no spray and I'm sorry, it looks like hell most of the time.

I don't think knockouts are more susceptible to RRD, but because of their 'care free' nature, and the way they are planted in masses at unsupervised road sides, they are acting as a vector for the spread of the disease.

I didn't find anything 'wow' in the article. Roses with no fertilizer? Even organic fertilizer? I guess if you don't care if they bloom, that's ok.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

rosetom - I don't think the roses you mention were introduced because people thought they had to be or didn't have to be sprayed. They were, like almost all roses, introduced because someone thought the bloom would attract buyers.

It's always about the bloom and it always has been. Today some people are willing to forgo the bloom if they can get something healthy and therefore they're planting hydrangeas.

I have to agree with Dublinbay - roses like Knockout are have been a real boon. There is absolutely no reason someone should have to go out and spray their flowers. That just seems like idiocy to me. I plant basil next to the roses and even sometimes use the rose blossoms in my cooking. I don't want to spray them if I'm going to eat them. All I want to do is prune, not spray for bugs and disease. Roses aren't worth it and I love them.

So I applaud Peter at the Peggy Rockerfeller garden. In my home garden, if a rose loses too many leaves w/out spraying, I dig it up and throw it away. Over the years I've come up with some that do well and I just keep those. To encourage other growers, I've rooted cuttings of those plants for neighbors and friends.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

Let's see ... a few decades ago the coal pollution was so bad that there was enough sulfur in the rain to act as a protective fungicide and allowed classic roses to thrive, in contrast to today.

I'm sorry roseseek - I'm a career engineer with 35+ years experience in mechanical and energy systems. A true sense of politeness and comaradirie as a rose grower prevents me from stating my true opinion on your supposition ...

I guess I look at this stuff from a different perspective. No offense, but it takes some care, knowledge, and a little bit of talent to grow roses. If they could be planted and left alone to thrive, would they be as unique? I don't think so. No one seems to complain that Orchids are difficult and require some skill. The only difference is that some rose suppliers make the attempt to do otherwise. That means roses are in a somewhat special niche. Easy to grow, carefree? No. Specialized care, greenhouse recommended, total obsessive supervision required? Not that, either.

In the end, growers and sellers will choose whether to expand the boundaries on either sides - total neglect versus constant care. As roseninny and buford suggest (in so many words) the reward for more work and care is greater than that for neglect.

The New York Botanical Garden has made their decision on which side of those boundaries they will pursue. I lament that decision, especially because it's been "colored" by current hysteria over care with chemical tools.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

"SUMMARY
Germination of conidia of Diplocarpon rosae Wolf is inhibited in a solution made by dissolving 35 p.p.m. sulphur dioxide in water. Inhibition is permanent after exposure for 3 hr. Gaseous SO2 in air under controlled conditions at 100�g./m3 markedly reduces infection of rose leaves after exposure for 2 days. Blackspot of roses is checked or eliminated in areas where SO2 pollution of air exceeds 100/�./m.3."

Here is a link that might be useful: The toxicity of sulphur dioxide to Diplocarpon rosae Wolf causing blackspot of roses


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RE:Sulfur dioxide (SO2) Roses - New York Times

" From 1970 to 1998 the amount of sulphur dioxide being released into the atmosphere annually has been reduced by 75%. This reduction was largely a result of the decreasing use of coal for power generation and its replacement by natural gas."

" Paradoxically, beneficial effects may also be seen on some plants where sulphur dioxide can reduce the incidence of some fungal diseases-for example- the incidence of 'black spot' on roses is low in areas of high sulphur dioxide."

Here is a link that might be useful: Sulfur dioxide (SO2)


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RE: Roses - New York Times

Well, isn't the article a statement of the obvious - are we not all trying out new plants and monitoring performance? Also, a little spraying for spider mite and rose midges (I think) is not exactly 'non-spray' is it. Spidermite especially usually requires a fairly lethal acaricide.
Nothing to get excited about and the chemical'non chemical debate rumbles tediously onwards - with amazingly flexible category distinctions and general misunderstanding all round.

However, because rose growers and breeders may prioritise health as a marketing tool, I have not really found it much use since they are invariably optimistic (delusional) and it probably wouldn't apply to my garden either. Austins could praise their disease resistance ratings to the stratosphere but they are, as a group, the worst performers in my garden.
For the record, I do spray fungicides on my veggies (as I am not going to get to eat them because they will DIE and if a fruit tree was in a terminal state, I would use a pesticide too) but really, on a flower....which might just be a bit spotty - if I really couldn't bear it, there are plenty which don't cause grief - there are zillions to choose from. That's my line in the sand. A very wavery one.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

I think a massive difference that some of the posts miss is not the change in rose or chemicals but the change in expectations by different generations.

I see it every day, the shock and horror that the apartment they are looking in might have been lived in before, the carpets walked on, the counters not granite or touched by human hands other than their own.

The generation I am dealing with now expect a magazine photo shoot ready apartment to rent. That they need to do nothing, but hire a cheap cleaning lady and magically all will stay perfect.

In the past we expected to spend some time in the garden for results, now they want to walk thru the aisles of home depot, have the tv show designer pop by and put everything, hire the cheap gardener and instant magazine back yard that cares for itself.

Are roses harder or easier to care for than in the past? Does it make as much difference as if the new generations of gardeners are willing to put in some time or if they are too busy and want instant success.

Oh, and yes orchids are fussy and I think most people buy now as a temporary decoration and not as a reblooming plant (just one opinion by a person who enjoys the local orchard houses and international orchid show)


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RE: Roses - New York Times

Look, you want 'carefree roses', get knockouts, or whatever knocks you out. I like different varieties, different colors, different bloom forms. If I just wanted 'summer azaleas' I'd get knockouts. I don't.

So I spray. I like roses, not garden adornments. I would think that a botanical garden would as well.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

On the no need to fertize part: some of posts seems to question whether no-ferterlizing is the way to "properly" grow roses. In defense of the NYBG, I actually saw in person how they planted their bareroots in spring. The soil in the garden is loaded with organic materials and they use TONS of manure. The Time article might be little misleading in that regard. To say not to fertilize is not to say not to provide sufficient nutrients.

Newbie here, but I did find that my roses get healthier overall once I stop using chemical fertilizer. (I don't spray, and I tolerate blackspot). Yes, they did bloom less. (DW says that feeding roses with chemicals is akin to giving models drugs, which helps to keep them waif-like and "edgy" :), but I do agree to certain degree.). I suspect that making sure your soil has organics galore is one way to promote the health of the roses.

It might just be psychological: I actually think that I enjoyed their garden a lot more when I know there is little chemical in the soil or on the plants.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

Newbie here, but I did find that my roses get healthier overall once I stop using chemical fertilizer. (I don't spray, and I tolerate blackspot). Yes, they did bloom less. (DW says that feeding roses with chemicals is akin to giving models drugs, which helps to keep them waif-like and "edgy" :), but I do agree to certain degree.). I suspect that making sure your soil has organics galore is one way to promote the health of the roses.

You can dump tons of organic matter in the garden and wait for it to decompose into forms the plants can use, or you can use "chemical" fertilizer, which is already in a form the plants can use. Same food, it's just one sounds better to certain people than the other. Either way, the plant gets the same nutrients if you know what you are doing.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

'You can dump tons of organic matter in the garden and wait for it to decompose into forms the plants can use, or you can use "chemical" fertilizer, which is already in a form the plants can use. Same food, it's just one sounds better to certain people than the other. Either way, the plant gets the same nutrients if you know what you are doing.'

well, yes.....and no. We could, presumably, apply the same formula to ourselves, (and some people do) simply adding a few vitamin pills to make up for dietary deficiencies. However, soil is not some inert substance which just needs a boost now and then - it is a living, breathing, changing substrate. Organic matter affects the very structure of the soil - there is NO quick fix to supply a good humus filled environment. So, on one hand, I can state that I do not fertilise (as such) but I do leave a good layer of pulled up weeds underneath the plants and add copious quantities of compost mulch. Apart from a little extra nitrogen, the soil fertility is not really bumped up by doing this but, it allows for a free passage of fungal and bacterial help, mycchorhizal hyphae attach easily to the roots of plants, worms and beetles provide aeration....and so on. The question is either incredibly complicated, or blindingly simple and obvious, depending on your philosophy or belief in a natural equilibrium.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

The article didn't specify chemical fertilizer. I don't use chemical fertilizer. But again, saying 'hey, they don't need fertilizer' without adding that you must have the proper soil PH and add lots of organic material to most soils every year, is just another attempt to make roses seem carefree when they are not. Then you get a bunch of people saying 'why don't my roses look like the ones in (fill in the blank)' and we are at the same place we were before.

Perhaps it's just a badly written article. Par for the course in the Times these days.


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RE: Roses - New York Times

Perhaps it's just a badly written article. Par for the course in the Times these days.

Yep, my thoughts exactly - lots of words either stating the obvious or generally waffling.


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