When to shovel prune????

Danvers, MA

I bought about 25 rose bushes this year...not a bad start.... :*) and I need some advice, if anyone can help.
Some I bought at Walmart, and they are leafing out and I have great expectations. 4 or 5 others I bought a week later at the same store when they were down to $2 and none of them are doing anything........my question is, when do I give up and shovel prune??? Some still have green canes, which I guess means they still have hope, but what about those that have only a splotch of green or are brown? I know black is bad..... and I have gotten rid of 2 :*( that were definately dead...crispy critters...but how long is too long???????? If there is just a hint of green should I wait????
I mean, is there a point of no return???
I have since bought more plants at grden centers that have leaves etc. and so that has placated me somewhat.....I even got a Therese Bugnot for $5 !!! I am very excited about her...Any one have one?????? What is your experience????
And I got "one" poulsen mini rose at target, and noticed after a week that there were 3 different flowers on it, so I investigated and there were 6 different plants in the pot!!!
I am SO-O-O-O-O-O glad to have found this forum...quite by accident, but the "other " forum all they do is fight........
There were 58 postings on one rose topic and I thought there would be blooshed!!!
Thanks in advance for any input.....

Scotia, CA(Zone 9b)

I do not shovel prune until they are so dead they have no green left and are brittle. I had one that stayed just barely green for a year and the next year it took off and is wonderful! If space is a problem try putting those in doubt into large pots for awhile so you can replant later if they make it and in the meantime you can go ahead and plug in other new buys where they were.

Danvers, MA

Thanks for the input...
Some of them are very green and I am thinking they'll be fine. My 2 granada "bushes" are stalks, but they are green and now they have some deep red in them....they look healthy......but is red "bad"?
I don't think I have ever seen it in a stalk before.....
Thanks ahead of time!
Happy gardening,

Scotia, CA(Zone 9b)

On many roses the new growth in the canes and leaves will be reddish and turn green as they produce clorophyll

Olive Branch, MS(Zone 7b)

Marian, you had the deck stacked against you by purchasing your roses at WalMart, so don't be discouraged if they don't make it. The mass market roses usually most commonly available at discount stores are the "irregulars" of the rose world, and they haven't been treated very nicely by either their growers or their sellers. Often, they come infected with Rose Mosaic Virus that causes them to be less vigorous, and probably die during winter. They always come with their roots chopped way to short to actually support the plant, no matter if you get the bagged or potted versions. That hot wax dip doens't help much either.

Any success you have with these roses is due entirely to your efforts, so be proud that you have done well with as many as you have! It means that you probably really have a "knack" for roses. Use these roses as a learning experience, and then get all of the rose catalogs that you can find for fall and winter perusal, and then order you some better quality roses from reputable suppliers like Edmunds, Arena, or Roses Unlimited. I guarantee that you'll be able to tell the difference in quality, and you'll have much better success.

As far as shovelpruning them, well, that's up to you, but I never shovelprune anything that still has green on it. It always gets the chance to try to make it. If they haven't leafed out by midsummer though, they're probably not gonna make it. It's your call. For me, if it's just sits there and doesn't do much it's first year, but it does grow some, then it had better do something next spring, or it's out of there. This applies mainly to modern roses, though, as many antique and shrub roses take a good while to establish themselves, so I'm consequently more tolerant of their non-performance in the garden.

Danvers, MA

Hi Sunflower, thanks for the encouragement.....I have really turned into a "rose geek" if there is such a thing...I just went today and got some jackson and perkins roses at a local garden center that seem very hardy...we'll see. I have fallen in love with "first kiss" and it is blooming it's little head off after one week in the ground!
A few of the roses that surprised me that are growing in spite of their lineage (walmart) are almost impossible to find info about on the net. A pink HT named "Catherine Marie" and another(yellow HT) named "Helen Hayes" that I have yet to find a picture of despite all my searches..also a (pink HT)Lady Diana .....Angel Face seems to be doing well....if I got her at Walmart is there a chance she will make it, and not have that virus??? She is my alltime favorite( at least today....) :*)
Thanks again for your help...

South of Boston, MA(Zone 5a)

I have not had very good luck with my roses this year, not even my long established Mr. Lincoln, who has produced only 2 blooms so far. I think the rainy, cool weather has had a negative effect on everything I have grown, especially since it followed that brief hot spell we had in early spring.
I too purchased roses from Walmart. I have one pink rose - forget the name - that has only produced one bloom, but it was so beautiful, it was worth the wait. It is not in the best condition, and isn't growing too much, but I hope a little TLC will bring it around by next spring.
'Rose Fever'seems to be spreading in our little corner of the world! I caught it too.

Kunkletown, PA(Zone 6a)

I'm with Sunflower on this one, they are 'irregulars' but I'm a tad more brutal. Its really very important to know where your roses originated from, for instance, most of the roses sold sawdust packed bareroot in HD, Walmart and K Mart come from Tyler Texas. Wally World sells roses from 'Certified Roses', HD and KMart sells roses from 'Mea Nursery'. This is where it gets tricky. Roses from Certified are almost always virused, but Certified, which is an industry giant also grows roses for 'Star', and was selling Austins this year packaged under their name but with Star tags. Star does virus index. although not all of their stuff is clean. Mea (even bigger than Certified) grows for J&P, and its believed that J&P uses Mea to unload its lower grade roses.

J&P virus indexes everything, so there's always the chance that you might actually buy a Mea rose and get a virus-indexed J&P rose. I acquired a 'Pat Austin' that way. HD also sells 'Cottage Roses' which are grown in CA, and are also 'Star Roses', and I figure for the most part any Romanticas or newer stuff from Star appears to be clean, I do have virused plants from Star too. Why am I telling you this? So that you can make an educated decision. I too buy roses from the Mart stores, I just can't control myself, but I keep close tabs on where they came from, and it influences how much of a chance they get. If I see signs of RMV, they go back to the store, they refund your money for a year. If their doing poorly I figure I got a bad clone, or the graft is [deleted], or its damaged or was bought too late in the season, or is from Certified and probably virused, then out they go, unless I feel that I won't be able to replace it. If it won't thrive with me hovering over it wringing my hands babying it then its just not going to happen.

About this time is when I make my cut, on the chop list this week--Cottage Rose, Paul Neyron, Sally Holmes, Golden Wings, Double Delight, Paradise. I do have a Fair Bianca thats obviously virused, I'm going to let her go till fall, since its blooming well and then take her up and replace it next spring. Growing roses can be tough enough, your better off starting with the deck stacked in your favor, not against. Sadly, RMV is epidemic in this country, and I even have a virused plant from Arena. Virus-Free makes a big difference in your plants performance and survival. I would suggest Pickerings in Canada, great folks, great product, virus-free. If you do buy any mart roses try to get them as early in the season as possible, I was standing in the snow March 6th at HD digging thru the packaged roses the day they came in, the longer they sit the more your chances of success go down. It was mighty cold too, do you think I have a problem? LOL!! Cheers!!!!

Olive Branch, MS(Zone 7b)

Marlowe, are you shovelpruning Sally Holmes and Golden Wings for RMV or other reasons? If they're clean, I'll gladly pay postage for them!

Danvers, MA

Hi Marlowe,
Thanks for your very informative email!!!
I love learning about this stuff, can't seem to get enough. I really want to know enough to be reasonably successful at it....success being happy me and mostly happy roses. From reading some of the threads, that can be an illusive dream, but I am optimistic!!!
I got some Star roses recently, and they are doing well....I got Glowing Peace, Heritage, Mary Rose, Iceberg, and for minis I got Candy Sunblaze and Bridal Sunblaze.My daughter is dating a guy who works at a nursery.....talk about a match made in heaven!!!!!
I got some j&p's too--so far they are good also.....Cherish, First Kiss, Glamis Castle, Love, purple and white Simplicity, Therese Bugnet and Carefree wonder.
The walmart ones that have survived are Don Juan, Angel Face and angel face tree( the tree is of questionable health) an iceberg tree, a Catherine Marie (an HT medium pink )Lady Diana, and Helen Hayes. I got First Prize and
Peace , and Tiffany at HD and they are doing very well.
I ended up shovel pruning too many, but as I did the roots and all were dead, so I did the right thing. It was painful tho! I really wanted granada and China doll and Irish creme etc. etc....but there is always next year!!!!And if I EVER figure out how to post pics, I will send you all some !!!
Thanks so much for sharing my addiction....sort of a self non-help group, aren't we?????? :*)
Happy rosing!!!

Wigan, Landcashire, United Kingdom

We dont have this disease in the UK as our rootstock is grown from seed. Yes hope your rose companies can sort it all out. Even here in England i never buy the cheepies from these kind of shops anyhow but people do buy them for me and have had good luck with them, i think you have to buy them when they first arrive in the shops.

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