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Roses: can a rose that has lost 90% of its leaves be restored?

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dwendt
Byron Center, MI

July 17, 2012
9:30 AM

Post #9208752

This particular bush has never really thrived and predictably every year after the first flush of blooms looks like this. I apologize that it is very difficult to see the exact structure of the plant because of the mulch, for which I'm sorry.
What If I were to prune back all of the canes to say about 10 inches and then fertilize religiously and regularly? I know that (from what I have heard) hard pruning like that will most likely send the rose into shock. Bottom line, is there ANY thing that I can do for a second chance yet this summer? Or, is this simply and indication that this rosae will not work for me? Sorry, but I don't remember the name.
Thank you everyone for considering this one!!

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porkpal
Richmond, TX

July 17, 2012
1:42 PM

Post #9209121

I don't know whether you can get it to grow lush foliage or not but it will almost certainly survive and bloom. Many of my roses used to look like that most of the summer but they would rally in the fall and often they never quit blooming even though they were leafless. I now grow mainly old garden roses that are tougher and seldom look as bad as my Hybrid teas and Floribundas do. However I am sort of a Darwinist gardener and never try very hard to nurture a rose. Others here may have useful advice for you.
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 18, 2012
6:36 AM

Post #9209919

dwendt, I can't tell how tall they are, but the general rule of thumb for summer pruning is to take of 1/3. They look like young plants, so give them some time. Someone once told me the first year they rest, the second they grow roots, and the third they rise towards the sun.

I do fertilize once a month, I think that any more is just too expensive and if a rose really needs more than that, then that isn't the rose for me. Maybe a little extra fish emulsion might give them a boost.

What variety is this rose?

Don't give up, dwendt. There are roses out there for you!
onegoodman1955
Normal, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 18, 2012
11:27 PM

Post #9210925

90%? I never had a rose lose such a high percentage of leaves "except for the dead ones".

You might want to check on the zone appropriate for the rose. If appropriate, I'd move the rose.

terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 19, 2012
6:14 AM

Post #9211129

Did they have blackspot?
porkpal
Richmond, TX

July 19, 2012
6:28 AM

Post #9211146

Black spot easily takes at least 90% of the leaves on some of my Hybrid teas every summer. They survive but would do better if I sprayed them preventively.
dwendt
Byron Center, MI

July 19, 2012
8:18 PM

Post #9211996

[quote="terri_emory"]Did they have blackspot?[/quote]

They did have some but I got it under control (or so I thought) when they still had 60% of their leaves. Thanks!
dwendt
Byron Center, MI

July 19, 2012
8:21 PM

Post #9211997

[quote="porkpal"]Black spot easily takes at least 90% of the leaves on some of my Hybrid teas every summer. They survive but would do better if I sprayed them preventively.[/quote]

Well porkpal that is really encouraging as I have seen pictures of your beautiful roses!! Thanks
dwendt
Byron Center, MI

July 19, 2012
8:26 PM

Post #9212000

A special thanks to my friends porkpal, tex68, Terri_Emory and Donna Mack. You have been more helpful to me than you could know!! I hope I'm not forgetting anyone!!
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 20, 2012
6:23 AM

Post #9212216

Our pleasure! Hang in there.
HoosierGreen
Danville, IN

August 2, 2012
5:10 PM

Post #9227539

I have a red climbing rose, 'Rambling Red', which leafs out beautifully in the spring, blooms well with repeat bloom till frost, and doesn't have any black spot. However, after the big June bloom, 90% or more of the leaves simply fall off. They aren't even yellow, and definitely don't have any black spot. Each year I notice a few leaves on the ground, and when I shake the plant, it's a shower of falling (green) leaves! The new shoots, with bloom clusters on the ends, keep their leaves until the blooms fade, then they fall off too. I've been very faithful about deep watering, especially with this year's drought. What gives?
porkpal
Richmond, TX

August 3, 2012
6:02 AM

Post #9227961

Beats me! I hope someone has an answer; I have a Sea Foam that does the same thing.
Laenini
Minneapolis, MN

August 27, 2012
4:04 AM

Post #9255035

I moved this summer from one house to another 35 miles away. While I knew I couldn't take my whole collection of roses with, I did chose half a dozen of my favorites to make the move with us. I dug them up over the course of an hour, drove right to the new house with them, and then planted them immediately. None of the bushes were out of the ground more than 2.5 hours at worst. They still looked rather upset that they had been moved and were immediately droopy. I watered them well, pruned them back about 1/3, mulched them well, and was confident they would turn around quickly. Then tragedy struck 2 days later when the big heat wave/summer drought hit. For the next six weeks those roses who already had a bit of transplant shock baked in 100 degree heat day after day. All of them lost ALL of their leaves!. I kept up watering them as much as I could, but it was like I couldn't water them enough. When the heat finally broke a few weeks ago, I took a good look at what I was left with. I had 6 bushes (mostly parkland or explorer series shrub roses) with no leaves, and maybe only 1/3 of the canes still green and the other 2/3 of the canes were dark brown and dry as a twig. Well, I figured I had nothing to lose, and so I pruned out all the dead stuff, renewed their mulch, and then fertilized them with a dilute, liquid starter fertilizer. You know, the kind that has the root growth hormones in it. Well, no one was more surprised than me when about a week later I started seeing little baby leaves budding! As things stand now, 5 of those 6 roses are full of new fresh baby leaves! The 6th shrub still has green canes, so I'm not giving up hope yet on it.
So, I do have 5 rose bushes that seem to have made it back from losing all of their leaves. So where there is life, there is hope! In regards to your troublesome rose, I wonder if it drops its leaves after its finished its bloom cycle due to some sort of nutritional deficiency brought on by the stress of blooming? Roses are "heavy feeders" meaning they need lots of soil enhancements and fertilizers to look their best. Think about your fertilizing routine, do you think another feeding timed to coordinate with the bloom cycle would make sense? I doubt you could hurt things by trying another feeding next year just to see? Good luck! I hope you find a way to perk up your rose bush, and if you do please share with us what seemed to work?
Attached are a few pics of my "back from the dead" rose bushes. The one that is doing the best is a Morden Blush, one of my most favorite roses. :)
Leanne

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HoosierGreen
Danville, IN

August 27, 2012
5:39 PM

Post #9256245

Laenini: So, if I understand you correctly, the leafless green canes sprouted new leaves along the canes? That's very encouraging. Come to think of it, we've had three summers in a row of varying degrees of drought, but also high temperatures. Pretty bad in 2010, shorter drought in 2011, and the worst this summer. I planted the rose in 2010. Perhaps it just the high heat (in the triple digits) that made this rose drop its leaves, even with plenty of water. Now that it's cooler, with some good rains, too, I'm going to fertilize and add Super Thrive! to it, too. I hope it helps. Can't hurt. Thanks for the advice. (Just getting dark, so am going out right now to "rescue" the rose!)
Laenini
Minneapolis, MN

August 28, 2012
1:03 AM

Post #9256531

[quote="HoosierGreen"]Laenini: So, if I understand you correctly, the leafless green canes sprouted new leaves along the canes? [/quote]

Yes, that is exactly what happened. I was so excited when I saw those first little leaves! If you notice, each rose bush has a tuft of grass growing up amidst the canes. That tutf is where I had poured the starter/rooter fertilizer with the hormones in it. I love those hormones (I know, not everyone agrees on that-But that is another talk for another day!) :)
HoosierGreen
Danville, IN

September 3, 2012
5:51 PM

Post #9263848

I fertilized mine with an organic blend, and some Superthrive. We just received over 4" of rain courtesy of Tropical Storm Isaac, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this rose. Thanks.
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 4, 2012
10:58 AM

Post #9264644

dwendt, by the end of July my Buttercup was almost completely denuded by a sudden onset of grasshoppers. The grasshoppers have been so bad for the past six weeks that I could not even open my mouth while walking down my lane for fear of a grasshopper flying in. Ugh! On the plus side my chickens have been most happy with the situation. Anyway, this morning not only has Buttercup regrown her leaves, but she has a few blooms for me!

Are your's doing any better?
dwendt
Byron Center, MI

October 16, 2012
9:26 AM

Post #9307037

Hi Terri,
They all bllomed "somewhat." The ones in question have not significantly grown in the 4 years I have had them. I think they simply don't want to thrive here. It's probably time to pull them out and try something new. Thanks for remembering!!
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 16, 2012
9:27 AM

Post #9307038

I have to do that sometimes, too. Some roses just don't want to live in Texas =8~O!

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