Fall is definitely in the air but as long as the weather stays mild, the roses will keep on blooming. I cleaned up the garden this weekend, pulling out all the bedraggled annuals and planted the rest of my spring bulbs. I saw some roses are still blooming but they are smaller than the spring blooms and the color is more intense. I saw this beautiful rose blooming next to my back door. It’s named Dr. Jane Goodall, to honor the legendary ethologist and conservationist, Dr. Jane Goodall.
Here is a lovely poem written by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) that carries my sentiment for the season.
Warm, sunny days and cool nights make our roses bloom larger and more brilliantly colored. However, we still have to do our part to make it happen.
The summer heat typically continues into the month of September in the Charleston area. Up north where I came from, the temperature usually cools off after Labor Day weekend. Regardless of where you are, to prepare your roses for the coming winter, if rain does not come, you have to supplement the rain. Your roses will need daily watering in order to avoid stress. Water deeply, often and well. If you plan to exhibit or showcase your roses in any of the fall rose shows, you have to water daily as this will increase the substance of your blooms. Deep watering is needed, or the little feeder roots on the plant will grow toward the surface seeking moisture. Well-hydrated roses fare better during the winter months.
To get your roses growing for the fall flush, a variety of fertilizers can be used. Granular fertilizers, if used, should be discontinued after early Sept. A balanced water-soluble fertilizer should be applied every two weeks through the end of September. Fish emulsion can be used along with the water-soluble fertilizer. After the initial growth spurt, the roses will benefit from the reduction of nitrogen with the use of a bloom booster formulation, one with the high middle number to get larger blooms of intense color. Discontinue fertilizers from October through mid-March.
The fall “pruning” is better described as a cutback because the bushes are not taken down as far as the spring pruning. The growth should be reduced by ¼ to 1/3 depending on whether it is a very large established bush or a new bush planted in the previous spring. Do remove any spindly stems, blind eye clusters and dead stems or canes. The cutback should be done in late Aug. or early Sept. for gorgeous fall blooms. It will take about 6 weeks for the large roses to recycle and between four to five weeks for minis and minifloras.
Continue the spray program through the entire fall to keep leaves free of disease. Choices of spray material should include a systemic and a contact material used together. The systemic should be alternated. In order to treat blackspot, spray every other day for three or four times and then go back to your regular spray program. If insects become a problem, a spray program will need to be initiated for control. Premixed Bayer Advanced Garden Rose and Insect Killer is an excellent choice for control of aphids, leafhoppers, scale and thrip.
Continue to cut roses for bouquets through the end of October. Some growers prefer to let rose hips form by removing only the petals of spent roses. This signal the plants that the dormant season is coming. The plants sense this as the days become cooler and shorter.
Fall is a good time to test your soil in order to be sure that your soil pH has not been changed in a negative way before winter and its challenges to your roses begins. Directions for testing: Take samples from several spots in the garden using clean plastic shovel and bucket. Combine the samples, mixing well. Send a sandwich bag of the composite sample to your extension agent’s office. Be sure to tell them that the test is for roses and request recommendations with your test.
Start thinking about new roses for the coming year. Check the rose catalogs and order your roses now to get the best selection.
Prepare your Christmas wish list. For the special person on your Christmas wish list who loves roses, give that special person “Stop and Smell the Roses”, a beautiful book full of roses in full color, over 80 photos with 101 motivational tips for a happy and healthy lifestyle. You can order the hard copy at Barnes and Noble. Paperback and Kindle are available at Amazon. Order “Stop and Smell the Roses” today.
A weed is a plant that you don’t want. There’s an old saying that if a weed can’t grow in a garden, no other plant will grow there either. When my roses look very healthy, my weeds are just as healthy.
At this time of the year, weeds are one of the biggest problems in the rose bed. The best way to control it is to pull it out and then mulch the bed right away so it has no time to resprout. Weed is an abhorrence in the rose garden. A garden free of weeds is a sight to behold. Roses will tolerate some of them but the most invasive ones will choke your roses. They take out the nutrients that you feed your roses. Have you noticed that weeds grow luxuriantly in your rose bed? That’s because they are sharing the meal with your roses.
Years ago, I never put mulch in the garden. I like to see the soil around the rose bushes. However, as time goes by, I found out that I never stopped weeding. You became a slave in your own garden. There was no time to sit and enjoy the garden. By the time I finished the last bed, the first bed was full of weeds again. That’s when I decided to put down mulch. I use cedar mulch and the rose beds look much better with it. Mulch also retains moisture.
How about Roundup? Roundup is an herbicide. From what I read, it does more damage to your roses than at first believed. It does not show right away but comes up later on. If you are using it in other parts of your garden, take extra precaution to avoid contact with your roses. There are cases among rosarians who use Roundup where all their roses died or began their slow death. Just a mist of the Roundup will leave a death sentence to your precious roses. So be extra careful! I also heard that it kills some plants nearby not just roses.
Hoeing is another method to control weed. For those gardeners who are environmentally conscious, this is the best method of weed control. The only problem here is that you can be too close to the rose bushes and may damage their roots. Another disadvantage is loosened soil, if too close to the rose bush, it will encourage suckers. Suckers are growth coming from the rootstock (below the graft). Also hoeing the rose bed can sometimes wake up the weed seeds that are buried under the undisturbed soil and lets them germinate.
Whatever method you use, as soon as you clean up the bed, you should mulch immediately and make it at least 3″ thick to discourage the weed from sprouting again.
A bed of Knock Out Roses at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
As long as you can develop tolerance and not demand total perfection, you can enjoy growing roses without knowing all the solutions to every rose diseases. As we get older, we just don’t have the energy to maintain a perfect disease free rose garden. As you will see in this article, I don’t recommend chemicals. Sanitation in the garden to me is the most important part of my rose gardening practice.
Blackspot is a fungal disease found most often on Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandfloras. Circular blackspots with feathery edge appear on leaves and stems, often surrounded by yellow patches.
Photo Credit – Missouri Botanic Garden
Control: Mulch right up to the canes to prevent spores from splashing on the rose leaves during heavy rain. Water the roots, but don’t wet the leaves of plants. Pick off infected leaves, remove any fallen leaves, and cut off infected stems. Prevent by spraying weekly and after rains with baking-soda solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda plus a tablespoon of light horticultural oil to 1 gallon of water.
Canker is a less troublesome fungal disease. Pruning cuts or wounds on stems provide an opening for germinating spores causing dark, swollen areas that can kill off a cane.
Photo Credit – extension.umn.edu
Control: The simplest treatment is not leaving stubs during normal pruning of susceptible roses and by ensuring that their canes are not chafing against each other or against any other objects like trellis or training ties. Also prune away and trash any infected canes.
Crown Gall is a very serious bacterial disease of roses. It is a hard, tumor-type growths that can occur at the crown, bud union or on the roots. It is caused by bacteria in the soil, and are more likely to occur on grafted than own-root roses by entering at the bud union.
Photo Credit – Missouri Botanic Garden
Control: Prevent by covering the soil around rose canes with a thick layer of soft mulch, like shredded bark, which prevents raindrops from splashing soil on canes, and be careful not to damage canes when planting. Once established, crown gall is incurable; remove and destroy the plant.
Powdery mildew first appears on young leaves where the leaves appear blistered or curled, with a haze of powdery white fungus and can spread to older leaves. Buds are also affected and many not open properly.
Photo Credit – gardeners’world.com
Control: Space and prune plants for good air circulation. Treatment is the same as with blackspot and can also be controlled by water washes at weekly intervals. Prune away and destroy all infected parts.
Rose Mosaic is the most commonly found virus in roses. The leaves appear to be wavy and have yellow lightening patterns, oak leaf patterns or simply gold to yellow veins. Plants infected with virus usually produce fewer good quality blooms. During the warm summer, typical symptoms can disappear only to come back as fall and cooler temperatures arrive.
Photo Credit – Missouri Botanic Garden
Control: Since there is no cure for the virus disease, it is important to purchase only quality roses which has no symptoms of the disease. Just an added note, I had ‘Elina’ with rose mosaic. I was new to rose gardening at that time and was wondering while the leaves had a wavy pattern. Even then, I kept the plant for several years. I got some nice blooms and the disease never spread to the neighboring roses. I kept the plant and still in the garden when I sold my house.
Rose Rosette is a very serious rose disease and there is no cure so far. The foliage on the affected plant looks like witch’s broom, the leaflets looking distorted and wrinkled. It is believed to be caused by a virus carried from plant to plant by mites, or the reaction of the plant to substances injected by blister mites. It is rampant with Knock Out roses.
Photo Credit – Missouri Botanic Garden
Control: There is no known cure for the disease and once it is established in a plant, it could spread to other roses in your yard. You can lose your entire rose garden. Dig out the affected plant and discard it in the trash. Do not put it on the compost heap. I also don’t have any Knock Out roses. I dug them all up when I bought our townhouse.
Rust is easily identifiable rose disease. Raised dots of light orange or yellow can appear anywhere on the plant, but usually first show on the underside of leaves then spread on the upper sides of leaves. The spores are wind borne and germinate to infect the leaves. Spore germination requires cool summer temperatures and continuous moisture for at least two hours so the germ tubes can enter the leaf stomata.
Photo Credit – Flickr.com
Control: Infected leaves should be pruned in spring to prevent early season infections. Sanitation in the garden will reduce the spread of disease. Good air circulation by pruning dense growth will reduce the moisture level and prevent infection.
Syns: R. banksiana, Banksian rose, Banks’ Rose, Lady Banks’
Cultivated since 1796
Rosa banksiae is one of the best shrubs for a wall and in a few years will reach the top of most houses. It produces an abundance of pretty small roses with the sweetest fragrance you can imagine. The flowers are borne on last year’s wood and so it is well-advised not to prune in the spring. Only dead or useless branches have to be trimmed. The date of introduction is not known but the double white form was first described in the Botanical Magazine for 1818 as Lady Banks’ Rose and one of the sweetest of roses. It has also been known as a native of China and had been introduced in 1807 by William Kerr. The double yellow was introduced in 1824.
Definitely not for the small property, this vigorous species rose offers a spectacular spring show in warm-climate gardens that can accommodate its rampant growth habit. There are four different forms of R. banksiae, varying by flower color and flower form.
· R. banksiae normalis is considered to be the “wild” form, with single white flowers.
· R. banksiae banksiae (also known as ‘Banksiae Alba’, R. banksiae alba, R.banksiae alba-plena, White Banksia, or White Lady Banks’ Rose) offers exceptionally fragrant, double white flowers.
· R. banksiae lutea (R. banksiae lutea-plena, Yellow Lady Banks’ Rose) is the most well-known form of Rosa banksiae in cultivation with small, fully double, bright yellow flowers that come in clusters. They are only slightly fragrant.
· R. Banksiae lutescenshas single light yellow blooms.
All four have small, oval buds that open to clustered, 1-inch wide, rosette-form flowers, usually blooming in early or midspring to late spring. Slender, thornless canes carry semi-evergreen to evergreen, shiny, dark green leaves with narrow leaflets. They are rarely bothered by diseases.
All four forms of this specie rose have a vigorous, rambling habit and can grow up to 30 ft, so they’re usually used as 20 to 30-foot climbers. They need a sturdy support, such as a well-built pergola or arbor; they also like to scramble into trees. It is a great rose for zone 8 to 10.
I saw Rosa banksiae in Charleston, SC on my first visit there in 1989. We went on a House and Garden Tour and at one of the gardens we visited, ‘Yellow Lady Banks’ was growing almost to the roof of the house against the wall. We wandered along some tiny street and I saw ‘Yellow Lady Banks’ rose by the gate and I took the above photo. Fast forward to 2011 – when I joined the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society, I discovered the owner of that rose is one of our members.
Tip of the Day – Learn to be cheerful even if you don’t feel like it.
We prune our roses for several reasons – to keep our roses healthy, to control its excessive growth and to shape the bush for a better display.
Before we rush out there in the garden, make sure you have all the right equipments. A good pair of bypass pruner preferably Felco. No 2 is recommended. Keep your pruner very sharp. A sharp pruner is less taxing to your hand and creates less bruising on your roses. For cutting larger canes, a lopper is a better choice. Their longer handles make it easier to cut through thicker canes. You should also have a pruning saw for those extra thick canes.
Also, of utmost importance is to wear gloves. A good leather glove is a must to protect yourself from too many scratches. Long sleeved shirts or jackets will protect your arms and wrists. Hat is also important to protect your face from the sun and to protect your head if you are balding. Make sure your tetanus booster shot is up to date.
Your first agenda is to cut the dead, diseased and damaged canes. Cut until you see the white or cream-colored pith. If necessary, you can go down to almost near the bud union. Roses will bloom on a dark-colored pith but once the weather warms, the canes die back or become unproductive. Don’t go crazy looking for white pith on “Peace” rose. It does not have white pith. After getting rid of the dead and diseased canes, begin cutting the longer canes first and get them out of your way. Pay close attention to what you are doing. Work from the outside in. Remember that you are surrounded with thorns so be very careful.
Cut above the leaf with five leaflets to about ¼ inch from the bud. If longer, the cane can die back and if shorter, new growth might break off in the wind. Cut to an outward facing bud so a new growth will face outward too. With few exception, like roses that tend to grow sideways, cut in the direction you want the branch to grow. Roses like The McCartney Rose, First Prize and Just Joey tend to sprawl so prune them to an inside acing bud. Always remember to aim at an open space in the bush. Make the cut on a slant so water drain off. I used to seal the cut with Elmer’s glue to prevent the cane borer from burrowing into the newly cut canes. Someone told me it is not necessary.
You also want to open the center of the bush for good air circulation to ward off diseases. Cut long and straggly canes and canes that are crossing or touching each other leaving the stronger canes. I usually cut to about a foot high except for the shrub types which can go from 18 inches to 24 inches tall. Leave three or four good healthy canes. If only one cane is available, cut it lower to encourage new growth from the bud union.
On Hybrid Teas, Grandiflora, and some Floribundas, remove stems smaller than a pencil because they will not produce good blooms for cutting. For exhibitors, cutting back to 6 to 12 inches length will produce stronger canes and good quality blooms. Miniature roses are pruned the same way as Hybrid Teas. If you find this too tedious, you can go drastic and use a hedge pruner and prune to 5” high. Mother Nature is very forgiving and usually corrects our mistakes so don’t worry too much. Climbers and ramblers bloom from the 2-year old canes so cut the dead wood only and trim to desired shape. Old Garden Roses also bloom from the second-year wood so cut only the dead wood in spring and prune drastically after flowering to promote growth and improve its shape.
Remove all blind shoots. These are branches that taper down to almost nothing. Remove spurs. These are short growths only a few inches long that have hardened off and taper down to a point. They will not flower.
Prune to desired height you want for your rose. Some rosarians want their roses tall. I want my roses short and compact looking. I can also look down at them instead of stretching my neck to appreciate their beauty. After you are done pruning, remove every leaf. These old leaves are the reservoir for black spot and mildew. You might also want to start your spraying program with dormant oil to take care of the overwintering insects. Also, spread a handful of Epsom salt around each bush for better growth. Then you can relax a little bit while waiting for the new growth to arrive.
Today is National Red Rose Day. A red rose conjures of romantic love, passion, respect and courage. In celebration of the National Red Rose Day, I’m listing the red roses in my garden. I have 21 red roses, 17 varieties.
Is there a pot of gold for us lovers of roses?For all the Irish in all of us, we can say we have a green rose, not St. Patrick rose which only has a tint of green, but a real green rose.It is Viridiflora ‘Rosa Monstrosa’ otherwise known as The Green Rose.The buds are small, oval, of soft bluish green color and quite beautiful.The petals of the bloom reverted back to leaves (petals are modified leaves) and it does not have reproductive organs.The “blooms” are usually formed in clusters throughout the year, and a spray of this rose is wonderful.As you would expect from an Old Garden Rose, this one is fragrant too.It has a spicy fragrance.But unless you know what you’re looking for, it is hard to find the bud since the bush is totally green.But is it really a rose?The Green Rose is just that, a green rose.It blooms continually through the season.The small plant grows to 3’ tall and has few thorns.It can be grown in a pot, and is rarely out of “blooms”.
It is an oddity and a conversation piece to say the least.Just as when you present your friend with a perfect rose and they ask “Is that real?”, I bet you this same person will tell you this one is not a rose.However, records say The Green Rose has been in cultivation as early as 1743 and is a sport from Rosa Indica (The China Rose of England and the Daily Rose of America).So take pride, we have our own green to celebrate.
“May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rains fall softly upon your rose beds.”
Try it.You might like it.People either love or hate this rose It is a wonderful rose to use as a filler material in arrangements or as a landscape rose. But you will have some visitors in your garden who will say “That is the ugliest flower I’ve ever seen.Why do you give it space?” Because it is unique and fragrant. It is also a rose and it belongs to my rose collection.
Parentage: (‘George Dickson’ x ‘Souvenir de Claudius Pernet’) x (‘Joanna Hill’ x ‘Chas. P. Kilham’) x ‘Margaret McGredy”.
Hybridized by the French hybridizer Francis Meilland in the late 1930s, and introduced by Conard-Pyle Co., West Grove, PA in 1945.
The rose that is called ‘Peace’ in the United States and Great Britain is called ‘Mme Antoine Meilland’ in France, ‘Gioia’ (Joy) in Italy and ‘Gloria Dei” (The Glory of God) in Germany. ‘Peace’ is one of the most famous roses of the century if not of all times. It is one of the few modern roses surrounded by legend and myth. It was bred by Francis Meilland under the code name 3-35-40 and named it Madame A. Meilland, after his mother. Francis Meilland hybridized another lemon yellow rose with ‘Peace’ as the parent and named her ‘Grand’mere Jenny’, after his paternal grandmother.
One story goes that it was hybridized in France in the last years before World War II, and escaped as unnamed cuttings in the last American diplomatic bag to leave Paris as World War II began. Recognized as a winner, the rose was propagated by Conard-Pyle Co., a leading American rose nursery and released in 1945. Because it returned in peacetime to a liberated France, ‘Peace’ was the name the rose was given. Later, the ‘Peace’ rose took the world by storm after being the centerpiece on all the tables at the organizational meeting of the United Nations at San Francisco in 1945.
Another version of the story of ‘Peace’ is that it began in France when the Nazi invasion forced young Francis Meilland to smuggle three one-pound packages of an experimental rose into other countries. Two of the packages were confiscated, but the third made it to Robert Pyle of Conard-Pyle Co. in the United States. Ten years later, after this rose of outstanding character and quality had been tested throughout the United States, the ARS planned a special name-giving ceremony. At the Pacific Rose Society Exhibition in Pasadena, CA, Robert Pyle declared “We are persuaded that this greatest new rose of our time should be named for the world’s greatest desire – Peace.” Francis Meilland’s rose was given its American and English name ‘Peace’ on April 29, 1945, the day Berlin fell to the allies. Nine years after introduction, an American authority estimated that some thirty million ‘Peace’ were growing in gardens around the world. Nowadays, nobody seems to have kept count. With all the royalties coming from the sale of ‘Peace’, the Meillands were able to build a rose hybridizing empire on the Cap d’Antibes on the Mediterranean shores.
Another melodramatic story, so often told, is that the budwood of ‘Peace’ was smuggled out of the south of France by a heroic U.S. embassy official in November 1942, just hours before the German invasion. It’s a very good story, but the truth of the matter according to Francis Meilland, is that the budwood was sent to Germany, Italy and the United States via ordinary postal channels in the summer of 1939. Southern France at that time was not yet invaded. It was perfect timing. By receiving a few cuttings in 1939, Conard-Pyle was able to introduce this rose at the San Francisco conference to found the United Nations, the day Berlin fell in 1945. If these cuttings were received in November 1942 they could not have started budding until 1943, and they could not have built up enough stock of this rose in time for nationwide distribution three years later.
The day the war with Japan ended, ‘Peace’ was given the All American Rose Selection Award. A month later, the day the peace treaty was signed with Japan, ‘Peace’ received the American Rose Society’s supreme Award, the Gold Medal. ‘Peace’ has won most of the world’s top rose awards: Gold Medal, Portland 1944; All-American Rose Selection 1946; Gold Medal Certificate, American Rose Society 1947; Golden Rose, The Hague 1965; Hall of Fame, World Federation of Rose Societies 1976; and Award of Garden Merit, Royal Horticultural Society 1993. Today, ‘Peace’ is still the world’s favorite rose.
‘Peace’ is a vigorous, bushy, upright plant, 4-5 ft. tall with stiff canes covered with large, leathery, beautiful, dark green, glossy foliage with good disease-resistant quality. New growth appears light red. ‘Peace’ resents heavy pruning.
Buds are high-centered and cupped at opening. Blooms are double (40 to 45 petals), 5 to 6 inches across, near perfect in form and more or less continuous flowering throughout the season. Colors vary from day to day but are essentially creamy yellow edged in rose pink. It has a slight fragrance. It is a good exhibition rose and an excellent cut flower. It’s rated 8.0 on the 2017 Handbook for Selecting Roses.
Flowers were huge in 1940s. Somehow ‘Peace’ planted in the 1940s and still thriving today at well-maintained public gardens, war memorials, or at the homes of veteran gardeners are larger compared to the blooms on the ‘Peace’ plant you will receive from any nursery today. Even if genetic science tells you otherwise, still the ‘Peace’ sold today is just a pale imitation of the old ‘Peace’. Vita Sackville-West hated it and thought it horribly coarse.
Hybrid teas bred since the 1950s often have at least a little ‘Peace’ blood in them. Of the many mutations of ‘Peace’ introduced over the years, the most popular is ‘Chicago Peace’. Other sports of ‘Peace’ are ‘Berlin’, ‘Garden Party’, ‘Gold Crown’, ‘Glowing Peace’, ‘Love and Peace’ (2002 AARS Selection), ‘Perfume Delight’, ‘Pink Rose’, ‘Princesse de Monaco’, ‘Royal Highness’, ‘Speaker Sun’, ‘Sterling Silver’, and ‘Tropicana’. A Climbing form was introduced in 1950. ‘Climbing Peace’ is a climbing sport of ‘Peace’. It has shiny, deep green, almost-leathery foliage, and it has a very pleasing color, peachy pink suffused with apricot yellow. Its buds are exquisitely pointed, and they open into large, long-lasting flowers. It is so robust and healthy that you never have to spray it with pesticides. Its one real flaw is a complete lack of fragrance.
‘Peace’ is showcased at the following Display Gardens: Sturgeon Memorial Rose Garden, Largo, FL; Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, GA; Julia Davis Rose Garden, Boise, ID; George L. Luthy Memorial Rose Garden, Peoria, IL; Richmond Rose Garden, Richmond, IN; City of Portland Rose Circle, Portland, ME; The Jim Buck Ross Rose Garden, Jackson, MS; and Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, VA.