Why can't I grow roses?

Discussion in 'Rosa (roses)' started by MannieBoo, May 8, 2009.

  1. MannieBoo

    MannieBoo Active Member

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    Hi there;
    I'm having a hard time getting roses to grow in my yard, everyone I've planted dies the second year, all except the native wild pasture roses that are abundant around my property. I just want to be able to grow a rose plant without it dying. I've followed the planting instructions given with the plant and asked questions at the garden centers. My neighbours don't seem to have a problem growing theirs. I'm really stumped, I'm beginning to think the wild roses on my property are secretly sabotaging the ones I plant. Any suggestions or should I just give up.
    We do have a lot of clay soil, but where ever I have tried growing a rose I have always prepared the ground with compost and quality soil.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Maybe you are planting grafted roses with the union above the ground and they are freezing out in your cold climate. Or you are getting virused stock or stock that is grafted on incompatible rootstock. I have had a problem myself with grafted roses petering prematurely, but not so quickly.

    Regarding the amending of planting areas for trees and shrubs if you cannot prepare a big bed - big enough to accomodate their root growth for years - it is better to plant them in the existing soil without modification (except for loosening the soil in the planting hole). Or plant in mounds or berms of better soil dumped on top, without blending with the existing soil.

    Planting in small amended planting holes tends to place these types of plants at a disadvantage, due to how the movement of water into and out of the amended backfill is affected. So, it is also possible that your amending of the soil for your roses has been having an adverse result. Is your existing soil heavy enough for their to be problems with puddling during wet periods?
     
  3. MannieBoo

    MannieBoo Active Member

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    Ron B
    The area where I have tried planting gets somewhat soggy, like a sponge, with the spring and fall rains but rather dry during the summer to the point that I have to water, not soggy enough though for moss to grow.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Typical scenario with liberally amended planting holes dug out of damp, heavy soil. During wet conditions water flows into the planting hole and collects in the bottom, in the manner of a sump. During dry conditions the unmodified, finer-textured soil around the amended planting holes has a greater attraction for water, causing recurring dryness around the new plants.

    You always want the same soil texture throughout the entire potential rooting area of the plants, so that problems like this do not occur.
     
  5. MannieBoo

    MannieBoo Active Member

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    Thanks for the input, I haven't decided yet if I'm willing to give another rose bush a try, but I will certainly look at spots around my yard that might be more suitable for future planting.
     
  6. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Another thing you might do is figure out exactly which roses your neighbors are growing. There are roses and roses, you know, and some are going to be happier in Nova Scotia than others.

    Personally, in Maine, I steer clear of hybrid teas -- which unfortunately comprise many or most of the roses on offer at local vendors. You'll do better with old shrub roses, with moss roses, albas, rugosas -- it is hard to kill a rugosa, but Ron's warning about water filling the hold applies here too -- many species roses like Rosa glauca or rubrifolia, and the newer everblooming "landscape" roses. Some David Austin "English" roses are pretty tough, having been bred from old shrub varieties.

    You're in a difficult climate, like me. It's easy to kill a rose by giving it too much tender loving care during the growing season -- which results in lots of soft, tender growth that will not survive the winter, or will rot in a long wet spring.
     
  7. MannieBoo

    MannieBoo Active Member

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    Thank you for the imput, I will be chattng with my neighbour and checking her variety, I know she's been growing them for what seem an eternity. Maybe she'll agree to plant one in my garden for me.
     

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