Why Natorps

 

Rose Tips

Caring for Your Roses in the Spring


Controlling Rose Slugs - Stop Them from Eating My Rose Leaves


Knock Out Roses


Over-Wintering Tree Roses


Over-Wintering All Rose Types

 


 



How Should I Care for My Roses in the Spring? 


Although itis a very hard thing to do, try and be patient when it comes to uncovering and cutting back roses in the spring.  Many rosarians recommend waiting until April 15 before this process begins.  Yes, your roses may begin to slowly leaf out earlier, which is all weather pending, but that will not affect pruning later.  Remember, pruning roses quickly stimulates new growth.  Pruning too early in the spring may stimulate quicker early growth which will not be hardy against late freezes (just like spring 2007!).  So be patient with your roses in the spring.  Here is what we suggest (again, based on the input from our local rosarians):

1.) The week of April 15, or as the dogwoods begin to show flowers, uncover roses completely, rake and clean away debris, and prune to get rid of all dead wood and dead canes.  Hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas will be pruned leaving the healthiest 5-7 canes, remaining at around 15 - 18 inches in height.  Shrub and mini roses are cleared of deadwood and pruned to the desired size and shape. Climbers will receive structural pruning as needed, and removal of winter damaged canes.  For you Knockout rose owners, you do have the option of simply removing deadwood and lightly reshaping the plant, leaving it taller and giving it the opportunity to get taller (they can reach 4-5 feet easily), or simply cutting the entire plant back to 8 - 12 inches above the ground, keeping it a bit more compact for the upcoming growing season. 

2.) Go ahead and spray your roses with lime sulfur spray, or dust with dusting sulfur.  This will help to kill any disease spores that may have over-wintered on the rose plants.

3.) An initial feeding (1/2 normal rate) of rose food can be applied over the next couple weeks.  As we get more into the growing season (May and further), go ahead and begin feeding at normal rates.

4.) Re-mulch the soil around the roses with Pinebark mulch, and your roses are good to go!

5.) If you have had problems with insects and diseases in the past, keep in mind using 'Bayers 3 in 1 Rose Care' for systemic action, and Bonide's '3 in 1 Rose Care' for Foliar applications, as the season progresses.  You can add backup control using Insecticidal soaps, Horticultural oils, Earth-tone Insect Control, Fungonil, Infuse, etc. for foliar sprays.  Note:  If you had problems with roseslug, rose sawfly, or bristly roseslugs last year, mid April is the time to use the Bayer's 3 in 1 as a soil drench. 

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What is Eating My Rose Leaves? 


"What is eating all the holes in the leaves of my roses?"  Great question when you see rose leaves having either window pane type holes or complete holes in the leaves, but no bugs to be seen.  Well, the reason the bugs are nott being seen, is 1.) They are very small and the same color of the leaf, and 2.) They are feeding on the undersides of the leaves!

Rose Slugs -
The critter is called a rose slug, yet rose slugs are not slugs at all.  They are actually in the sawfly family, and there have been different types seen, ranging from 1 to multiple generations each year.  They look like very small caterpillars (at the early stages are very hard to see), and typically feed on the underside of the leaves, causing the window pane effect from the younger rose slug larvae, to large leaf holes to total leaf skeletonization as the larva mature.

Control for the Rose Slugs -
 1.) Hand smashing the rose slugs as you can find them on the undersides of the leaves (look early morning).
 2.) Repeated foliar sprays as needed, using Insecticidal Soaps or Horticultural Oils, but making sure to spray the undersides of the leaves where the rose slugs are feeding, not the tops of the leaves.
3.) Apply a systemic insecticide such as Bayer's 3 in 1 Rose Care, where the insecticide is taken up inside the plant and the sawfly larvae are killed as they feed on the leaves.  Note:) The foliar sprays are usually the most effective and most immediate control, but a combination of systemic and foliar sprays works quite nicely.

Remember, there may be several generations of the rose slug, so be persistent with the methods of control as you see the damages occur.  And although the damages certainly make the rose plant's leaves look bad, it rarely affects the overall health of the plant. 

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What Are Knock Out Roses?

The world of landscape roses will never be the same.  Knock Out roses have revolutionized the concept of what a great garden rose should be: drought tolerant and winter hardy (Zones 4-9), disease-free and floriferous.  They bloom from early spring to late fall, and require no special care to grow.  Used individually, in mixed borders, mass plantings, hedge plantings, foundation planting, in perennial gardens or even containers, this trouble free shrub rose suits any lifestyle.

'The Knock Out Rose' - ('Radrazz') The 2000 AARS winner features a season long display of self cleaning clusters of raspberry red flowers.  Extremely drought tolerant, winter hardy, has the potential to reach 4-5 feet high and wide, but easily kept at a more compact 3 foot range.  Research has also shown this to be one of the best performers of all roses in a partially shaded area.

'The Blushing Knock Out Rose' - ('Rosa Radyod') Season long display of self cleaning beautiful light pink color flowers, fading into a shell pink as it matures.  Again a tough hardy shrub rose with all the other attributes The 'Knock Out Roses' are known for - grows 3-4' x 3-4' wide.

'The Pink Knock Out Rose' - ('Rosa Radcon') Season long display of self cleaning powerful deeper pink colored flowers - sharing all the great attributes of 'The Knock Out Roses'- grows 3-4' x 4-5' wide.

'The Rainbow Knock Out Rose' - ('Radcor') 2007 award winner featuring season long self cleaning displays of coral pink blooms painted with a rich yellow center.  All the same Knock Out attributes, but this one stays a bit more compact, growing 2-3' x 2'-3' wide.  New for 2007!

'The Double Knock Out Rose' - ('Radtko') This 'Knock Out Rose' is actually double the original rose!  Season long flowering, the petal counts of the raspberry red flowers (slightly fragrant) are twice that of the original.  It actually offers enhancements on the original's easy to care for qualities like disease resistance, insect tolerance, drought resistance, and season long flowering, as well as showing more winter hardiness!   A more compact upright grower / 3-4' x 2-3' wide. 

'The Double Pink Knock Out Rose' - ('Radtkopink') This 'Knock Out Rose' is a bright bubble gum mutation of 'Double Knockout'.  Season long self cleaning flowers with all the same attributes of the 'Knock Outs'.   Grows 3-4' x 2-3' wide / available 2007 - 2008.

'The Sunny Knock Out Rose' - ('Radsunny') This new 'Knock Out Rose' continues on with all the great attributes of the Knock Out series, showing season long shades of yellow flowers.  Grows a bit more upright / 4-5' x 2-3' wide.  Available in 2008.

Care:  Very Little!  Prune as needed during season to maintain shape. 
Leave them alone at the end of the growing season, and prune as
needed for spring cleanup and removal of deadwood and reshaping
if needed.  Cut back hard (8-10-12" high) to keep compact, or prune tips as
needed to allow to grow larger. Deadhead spent flowers if you would like,
but they are self cleaning.  Feed monthly with an all purpose rose
food.  If your roses do have insects, try blowing them off with a
strong stream of water.  If sprays are needed, use Insecticidal
Soaps or Horticultural oils.  Systemic Insecticides may help as well.

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How Do I Over-Winter Tree Roses?


Hopefully your tree rose is growing in a container which will make this tip a breeze.  Leave the tree rose outside until it has totally gone dormant and the temperatures are consistently cold (mid December or later).  Then, move the potted tree rose into an unheated garage, water, and water about once each month.  You can also spray with Wilt Stop just before taking it into the garage.  Next March, move it back outside (still dormant) to begin re-growing as roses normally would.  If light pruning is needed (too large) do so, but save the heavy pruning until spring.

If the tree rose is growing in the ground, you have 2 options for winter care. Either way, spray it with Wilt Stop first.  1.) Take a sharp spade (10-12 inches away from the trunk) and dig about 1/2 way around the plant, cutting the roots.  Gently pry up on the cut root side and lay the rose on to its side (parallel with the ground).   Cover the entire plant and root ball with mulch, finely ground leaves / compost, etc.  2.) Leaving the tree rose upright, circle the entire plant with a cage of chicken wire.  Drive one stake in the ground to hold the cage upright and in place.  Fill the cage with mulch, finely ground leaves / compost, even straw will work. 

You can even take it one further step and wrap the filled wire column with burlap and secure it with twine; I have even seen folks use bubblewrap.  Uncover your tree rose in the spring as you would your regularly mulched roses.

In our area, trees roses are probably best grown in containers!

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How Do I Over-Winter All Roses Types?

As the gardening season comes to an end, it is time to tuck away those climbing, hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses for the winter.  Why wait so long to do this?  1.) We want the temperatures to be consistently colder so the roses are definitely shutting down for the winter.  2.) We prefer the ground to be close to freezing or less than 40 degrees if possible.  So, it may be late December before the time is 'right' for putting those roses to bed! By the way, if it is been a dry fall, make sure you water your roses. 

Here are some general steps to follow for putting roses to bed for the winter:
1.)  It is okay to cut your hybrid tea, floribunda, and grandiflora roses back a bit if needed (anywhere from 18-36 inches or so in height), only to make them easier to work with or to prevent long branches from whipping in the winter winds.  We will do the major pruning next spring, usually around early to mid April.  Climbing roses will not be pruned at this time, unless some of the canes have become excessively long and may be damaged in winter winds.  You may also consider tying the canes together to prevent whipping.  Again, any regular pruning needed will be done next spring. 
2.)Rake out all debris and fallen leaves from around the base of the plant.  Spray the rose canes and surrounding soil surface with a lime sulfur spray.  If too cold for a liquid spray, use a dustible fungicide.  As added protection for the rose canes, especially the climbers, feel free to spray the canes with an anti-transpirant such as Bonide's Wilt Stop or WiltPruf to help seal moisture into the canes during the winter.
3.)Put the roses to bed by mound mulching each plant about 12 inches of so, up from the ground, with the center of the rose in the center of the mound.  Rose collars are very helpful in making this process a bit easier.  Several mulches can be used, including finely ground leaves, compost, pine needles, or one of the many bark mulches.  Pinebark (pinefines) is highly recommended.  Mounding mulch helps to protect the rose graft and the lower 8-12 inches of the rose canes from possible winter damage.  If you have a rose bed containing multiple roses, it may be easier to consider using a fencing material around the bed, and then fill the entire fenced in area with your mulch.  [We do not recommend using rose cones.]  For added protection, climbing roses may be mound mulched, sprayed with Wilt Stop, as well as wrapped with burlap.  In some cases, the entire canes can be laid on the ground and mulched over for the winter.
4.)For landscape or shrub roses, Knockout roses included, follow the above mentioned clean up around each rose (no pruning unless there are long whipping branches), and then treat with the fungicide.  With our 'normal' winters, they shouldn’t require the mound mulching, but if you would like to add the winter 'mound mulching' protection, they will not complain (especially if your roses are in a very exposed or harsh winter climate).  But, again, not necessary.  A good soil surface mulching will be just fine, again, after the soil has reached or dropped below 40 degrees.  Note: Occasionally, there will times where this is not possible or feasible, so we simply suggest you wait as long as you can (to let them shut down) before giving your roses their final cleanup and winter mulching.     
5.)  Over wintering 'Tree Roses' - Hopefully your tree rose is growing in a container which will make this tip a breeze.  Leave the tree rose outside until it has totally gone dormant and the temperatures are consistently cold (mid December or later).  Move the potted tree rose into an unheated garage, water, and water about once each month.  You can also spray with Wilt  Stop just before taking it into the garage.  Next March, move it back outside (still dormant) to begin re-growing as roses normally would.   If the tree rose is growing in the ground, you have 2 options for winter care. Either way, spray it with Wilt Stop first.  1.) Take a sharp spade (10-12 inches away from the trunk) and dig about 1/2 way around the plant, cutting the roots.  Gently pry up on the cut root side and lay the rose on to its side (parallel with the ground).   Cover the entire plant and root ball with mulch, finely ground leaves / compost, etc.  2.) Leaving the tree rose upright, circle the entire plant with a cage of chicken wire.  Drive one stake in the ground to hold the cage upright and in place.  Fill the cage with mulch, finely ground leaves / compost, even straw will work.  You can even take it one step further and wrap the filled wire column with burlap and secure it with twine.  Be sure to uncover your tree rose in the spring as you would your regularly mulched roses.

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