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Diagnose me!

Posted by edenh Central Florida (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 13, 13 at 14:20

Please help me!this is Eden,she was planted in April and was healthy until two weeks ago. The soil was heavy clay and I amended with potting soil, mushroom compost, with milorganite, bloodmeal and rose fertilizer. two weeks ago i added some iron granules and more milorganite because it starts having light green leaves with darker veins and then I went away for a week. I added half a cup of plant-tone two days ago. what should I do? I will post pictures of other roses as they are exhibiting similar problem though not as bad as this one.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Diagnose me!

2nd pic


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RE: Diagnose me!

Other rose


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More sick rose


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more sick rose


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RE: Diagnose me!

I can't see anything wrong with Eden--am I missing the problem? To me, it looks like a healthy young rose.

However, quit feeding that new rose or you will end up killing it! Most posters here don't feed a new rose until its second season on the garden--or maybe some posters give the rose a very light feeding two or three months after it has settled in the garden and put out some strong new growth and blooms.

I suspect that in your concern for the rose, you are trying to do too much to help it. Leave it alone to do its own thing. It might surprise you how well it can take care of itself.

I'm serious--take two or three deep breaths. let them out slowly-- and RELAX. OK? : )

Kate


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more sick rose


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RE: Diagnose me!

Light green leaves with green veins on new growth is probably iron deficiency caused by high pH or water logging. Since there is no shortage of iron in the soil, adding iron doesn't necessarily help unless the iron is chelated (and often not even then).

Mushroom compost is often full of lime, so adding it to rose soil is risky. That could be the cause. You should get a soil test or at least check the pH with a meter or test slips. The cure for high pH is sulfur, 1/2 cup per square yard, but it is very slow to work.

If you have had a crazy amount of rain, that could be the cause, in which case it will clear up eventually.

Forgive me for saying this, but you have put an alarming amount of stuff in the soil. Depending on the amounts, there is danger of fertilizer burn and salt buildup in the clay soil.

Would you post a sharp photo of a single leaf laid flat? I can't make out what those red patches look like. Thanks.


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RE: Diagnose me!

Eden lost all the green leaves at the bottom and the smaller branches are either dying or dead. Only two long branches remain green and their leaves on the top of the branch are kind of brownish/orangeish color, small and distorted. the same problem with other perennials such as pentas, plumbago etc


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RE: Diagnose me!

Yes we have a looooot of rain last month and this month. Sometimes the water sits for hours. I cannot remedy that as the soil is heavy clay. We have iron deficiency in the soil because our grass is always turning lime green. I have one rose from lowes which I plopped down in the soil without adding anything to the soil and it has the same problem as well. it looks like the soil is sandy for about 1 foot deep and then heavy clay which i cannot dig using the shovel. I have to use something sharp to chip it first.


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RE: Diagnose me!

  • Posted by jim1961 5/6 Central Pa. (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 13, 13 at 15:11

Have you had a lot of rain?
If so push that mulch back away from the roses for awhile so soil can dry out a bit...

Sometimes we can kill our plants with kindness by giving them too much fertilizer etc...Too compare: Just like a person whom takes too much medicine and overdoses...

Best of luck!


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RE: Diagnose me!

Looking at the better image, the leaflets appear to show symptoms of manganese deficiency rather than iron. However, given that the beds have been flooded and overfertilized, I wouldn't make too much of that.

If water stands in your yard during the rainy season, you will need to import soil and raise the beds in order to grow roses and many other plants. You don't need to build a curb, but just heap it up 8-10" above grade. Make a shallow ditch around the margin where you will edge the grass and scoop up mulch as it slides off the raised bed. A well-draining 8-10" is enough depth for rose feeder roots, which are shallow, as they must have oxygen. Then you don't need to worry about the clay layer 18" down--just ignore it. You can use sandy soil. If you do, mix in 10%-15% clay in the form of plain cat litter to retain moisture during the dry season and retain nutrients year around. Also add some organic matter, but not mushroom compost. Don't fertilize the soil mix; be concerned with texture and pH, but not with nutrients, which can be effectively added from above.


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Take a straight stick like a thin bamboo stake. Poke it into the ground as deep as the bottom of the rose root ball several places around and close to the rose. Smell it each time you stick it in the ground. If it smells like moist soil, that's OK. If it stinks like something died or like an old, dirty diaper, your rose is in trouble.

You stated you have "heavy clay". You then added a lot of organic material to that hole in the clay and lots of fertilizer. If the clay is that heavy, that hole is a bucket which fills with water and doesn't drain out quickly enough. If the stick smells bad, you have a land fill where that rose is planted and it is generating methane and hydrogen sulfide, both of which kill plants. If it smells bad, your only hope is to dig up and pot the rose in hopes the root ball will dry out enough for the anaerobic (lack of oxygen) bacteria to be replaced with aerobic (in the presence of oxygen) bacteria. Hopefully, if that is the case, the plant and its roots aren't too far gone to be saved.

Check the smell of that soil with a stick poked as deep as the soil ball of the plant goes before you do anything else. Don't even water it until you check the smell. If it stinks like something is rotten, it's because it IS and more water and more salty fertilizer will only make it worse. Kim


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RE: Diagnose me!

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 13, 13 at 19:04

I know you're excited about your new roses and want to give them all the best. But seriously, you've over done it! Do the stick test and pay attention to what everyone here is telling you. If there is a drainage problem address that immediately. Then stop giving those roses any more fertilizer, even organic ones, and let those poor dears rest a while. New roses need time to just settle in and grow roots before they can even begin to absorb all those nutrients you've given them.


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Thanks everyone!
Poked the soil and no bad smell coming from the stick. I am having gutter installed so hopefully that will help since the roses are around the porch. I will swear off fertilizer until they are 1 year old. I cannot dig a trench around the bed but I think I might be able to make a raised bed for them with bricks. So,for the new roses I will be getting, what kind of soil mix should I use?
Thanks


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According to your description, you don't actually have clay soil. You have 12" of sandy topsoil over clay subsoil. I gather your yard is in what used to be pine flatwoods. This type of low, flat land routinely floods mildly during the Florida rainy season because there is no place for the rain to go. If that is the case, your problem is not the soil per se but the lay of the land. The only solution is to raise the beds. I gave you my suggestion about soil in a post above.

When I mentioned a ditch, I just meant a transition zone between the slope of a raised area and the turf. You can see what I mean by looking at trees planted on slight mounds by competent professional landscapers. If you use hardscape, don't mortar it so water can leak out.

This post was edited by michaelg on Sun, Jul 14, 13 at 13:14


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One more suggestion

Since we are engaged in long-range guesswork here, there is something you should do to determine whether there is an extreme drainage problem. Just dig a hole between the roses and see if you have a high water table. The water table is the point where water begins seeping into the bottom of the hole. It will be at nearly the same level all over a flat yard. In Florida the water table will rise during the rainy season and drop during winter and spring. If it is within, I'd say, a foot of the surface in July, then the beds should be raised. But maybe someone with more direct experience can comment. Where I lived in Florida, we had good drainage.

This post was edited by michaelg on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 10:55


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