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Problems with a newly planted New Dawn rose bush

Batesville, AR

I ordered 2 of these rose bushes and the directions said they should be planted as soon as possible. When I tried to dig the holes, the ground was full of rocks so I had to wait an extra week for my teenage stepson to come over to help me dig. They seemed to be fine sitting on my front porch in the shade. I've kept a close eye on them and the one that I haven't planted still looks fine. I planted the other rose bush 2 days ago, and when I checked on it this morning, half the leaves look sick.

We dug the hole 2ft x 2ft x 2ft and I added peat moss and bone meal to the dirt. The area gets maybe 6 hours of sun per day. I watered the bush in the evening right after I planted it. Any ideas what I did wrong? Thanks!

Thumbnail by mrsstacytaylor
Kenner, LA

It maybe just transplant shock. New Dawn is a strong lady, she should make it. If you have access to seaweed/kelp solution, water her with one tsp/gallon of water, every day for the next week or so. I have found this to be a great stress reliever for plants. If you want to go exotic, get Biocozyme ( or something similar. I have a bottle in my refrigerator, and use it as a stress reliever along with seaweed solution.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Dear Mrsstacytaylor,

I know this is distressing. I have some suggestions. I think you can save your roses if you act quickly. I personally never use peat moss. Here is an blurb found that explains why:

"Peat moss is the partially decomposed remains of formerly living sphagnum moss from bogs. Because it's nearly impossible to rewet once it's dried, it repels water and makes a terrible surface mulch. As a soil amendment, which is what the baled product is mostly sold for, peat moss is also a poor choice. It breaks down too fast, compressing and squeezing air out of the soil, creating an unhealthy condition for plant roots. Peat moss can be a useful growing medium for containers, however, when lightened with a drainage material like perlite. "

I notice that, despite daily watering, your plants are really dry. If you can, dig the plants up (put them in shade while you do this), get the peat moss out of the hole, and use aged compost. I would also mulch it. MajiA's suggestion of seaweed/kelp is right on the money. Do not fertilize it with anything stronger.

Good luck. You can indeed save your rose!


Au Gres, MI(Zone 5a)

I have another suggestion for you Stacy, before you plant that other rose, make sure you soak in a pail of water for at least 3 hours. I always transplant in early morning before the heat of the day, or at dusk after it has cooled down. Do not get discouraged if your New Dawn does not grow 10 feet the first year. Climbers take a couple of years to really blossom out. At least here where I live in Mid Michigan.


Thumbnail by deann
Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Deann, I absolutely agree with you. That's great advice. And climbers take a couple of years for me, as well.

Kenner, LA

My New Dawn bush planted this year is trying to take over. She is super aggressive and I am scared to feed her too much because of her propensity to take over. However, I am in Zone 9, and the heat and humidity here seems to be her favorite.

Anyway, a mix of half cup of fish emulsion (if you can stand the smell) and a half cup of kelp solution per gallon is one of the best stress relievers for plants, in my opinion. They add a little bit of food but a lot of other minerals that help the distressed plants.

Hope this helps.

Easton, PA(Zone 6b)

I have rocky soil also. Did you make sure that the hole drains well before planting your rose? While your plant is soaking in water, dig the hole and fill the hole with water. It should drain well - within about 5 minutes. If water stands in the hole for a long time, you need to remove the rock or whatever is stopping the water from draining. I have filled holes in the afternoon that were still over half full the next morning. Sometimes I have to give up on a location and plant the rose somewhere else. The spots with rocks too big to move are reserved for stepping stones or annuals. Sometimes I think that I should have gotten into water lilies instead of roses and bulbs.

Keep the plant well watered and mist the canes. If it is hot out, you may have to water it 2-3 a day. You can try putting a clear plastic bag over it with a couple of holes for ventilation. I just read about this. am trying it for the first time with a rose that I relocated. It is very important that the canes stay moist.

The leaves may fall off due to transplant shock. Sometimes the plant seems to sit there doing nothing for a few days to a week before it sends out new leaves.

If the canes start to turn black, it is dead or dying. I still don't give up on it. I have had a couple of roses "come back from the dead"

Which roses did you order? Are they own root or grafted? If they are grafted, you have to plan the hole so that the bud union is the proper depth for your zone. I have done well with own root roses here.

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