All you ever wanted to know about the rose bush

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Your rosebush does not have the shape , it blooms in a random way? I almost want to say that it’s normal !
You think it’s probably your fault because you do not know how to prune it or it does not have the fertilizer it needs? Not at all !
Rose bushes are known to be particularly fragile, so unless you turn into a super gardener who treats, fertilizes and pruning, the result is often not there.

Say, Groww, why are roses so easily sick?

A large family, it facilitates the development of parasites.

The rose tree belongs to a sprawling family of plants, which is that of Rosaceae . This family brings together a hundred botanical genera and over 3000 species. It has both the brambles that plum , the apple trees , the cherry trees , the pyracanthas . All kinds and species that are enormously represented in our gardens .

Why is this a problem for the rosebush from a health point of view? Because most diseases are “species-specific”, genus-specific, or multi-generational within a family. The probability that by natural mutation a disease adapts and is transmitted to a genetically close species is strong.

The result of the races, the rose is likely to be attacked by no less than three specific fungal diseases : rust , powdery mildew , black spots , but also pests such as aphids – which facilitate the formation of sooty mold that spoils the leaves – caterpillars of sawflies, defoliating hibernacula larvae, megachids, mealybugs, midge, etc.
When we know that some species of plants have no known pest, the case of the rose is reminiscent of fierce …

The vulnerability of roses is linked to multiple causes.

There are two aspects that affect the fragility or overall resistance of a rose bush: its genetic origin and its horticultural propagation pattern.

Many rose varieties were invented just to produce flowers.

All varieties are not equal to disease , far from it. Although roses have been cultivated since ancient times in Europe, the invention of a large number of new varieties began at the end of the eighteenth century, and intensified in the nineteenth century. It is from this period that date most of the so-called “old” roses – before 1867 . At that time we were looking for fragrant roses, larger, and with new colors. And the selections continued at an increasing pace to feed the “roso-mania” until today.
In the twentieth century, growing roses has traditionally become a crop of assisted plants at all stagesto produce flower. Pesticides, fertilizers, and watering have become intimately linked to this crop, and many new varieties have been created to be grown in this way. So we have developed fragile cultivars that need to be treated to survive.
It must be understood that the breeder’s specifications depend on the demand of a clientele, on what he will be able to market. Botanical species from all over the world have therefore developed “climbing” rosebushes, dwarves, creepers, climbers, plovers, rosebushes with flat, double, triple, sectioned, rounded, pompom-shaped flowers. rosettes, heart turbines, etc.
But the fact that the leaves are not sick without treatment and that they resist rough sizes has become a selling point only recently – with the Meilland décor (TM) or Décorosiers (TM) collections . These newly developed collections of rose bushes are not necessarily aimed at the collectors’ market, but at the developers of public spaces who now want to be able to grow more resistant roses, while saving money on maintenance. They are therefore much less fragile, the flowers are many but simpler or less original.

To graft is to clone.

As many varieties of roses are fragile and weak, seed growers prefer to graft on rootstock of botanical species highly adapted to regional conditions – Rosier dogs in the lead, but also Eclantier leathery leaves , or Rosehip color rust . The choice of this rootstock and the quality of the transplant depends on the vigor of the rose bush and its adaptation to local conditions. A rootstock that has been produced in a nursery near you will give better results.
By the graft – which involves taking a branch or bud on a mother-plant and grafting it onto the root or trunk of the rootstock – this is in factcloning . We do not go back through the seed stage, which allows to renew the gene pool, but we prolong the life of the mother-stock. Fortunately, roses are mostly polyploid – they have between 2 × 7 to 8 × 7 chromosomes – if genetics is not your forte, it means that it has rab ‘of chromosomes, redundant genes, what .

The cultivated rose and the fertilizer, it is inseparable?

The rosebush, which is often used as a rootstock, grows by itself in ordinary clay-limestone soils, not too humid, not very humid and moderately rich in nutrients, in the light. It is frankly uncomplicated, and combines with soil fungi to survive in inhospitable terrain.
The transplant that has been added to her is more delicate – she needs magnesium to fight diseases, and nitrogen , phosphorus, and potash. In short, it’s binding! A “good plant”, once planted in a soil that suits it, should not need fertilizer to produce flowers, it should tap into the soil at a rate where it decomposes organic matterand regenerates nutrients.
We can manage with measured inputs of manure and coffee grounds to the foot … which will promote the germination of a procession of nitrophilous plants.

Frequent errors

  • In 4 cases out of 5, if you have diseases fungal and pests in your rose is that it is a physiological cause underlying. The most common are: poorly adapted soil or poor health, lack of light and nutrients.
  • To avoid the galleys, choose old rosebushes with flowers not too hackneyed! No flowers too huge, or multicolored, what …
  • Do not trim “to cut” : you have to know what you want to get. The traditional “three-eyed” technique favors the production of some big flowers for the epate. But if you just want a not-so-bushy, reasonably-flowered rose tree you do not have to prune so severely. Shorten each year by half , cut the branches that get tangled, and it will be very good. After, removing faded flowers from time to time does not hurt either.
  • Systematic treatments with Bordeaux mixture to get rid of the damage on the foliage of your rose bush also kill the mycorrhizae of the soil. These mycorrhizae are symbiotic fungi that greatly increase the effectiveness of root work, so in the long run it is very detrimental, and will force you to fertilize more and more . Infernal circle …
  • Contrary to popular beliefs, clay soils are fertile . And roses love that, by the way, provided you have some sand, and limestone.
  • Your rose bush is not a machine to make flowers . It is a living organism, it sets itself its priorities according to the conditions of its development. So if a year he is not fit and does not fill his “quota” of flowers, it is not necessarily the end of the world.
  • It’s not because when you bought it your rose bush already had a flower – surely skillfully obtained by a calculated intake of fertilizer and light – that it will inevitably be able to bloom again after planting. Give it time to settle down, associate with soil microorganisms, and develop its roots well.
  • The rosebush is like antibiotics, it’s not automatic! Unfortunate roses are often seen in a shady or dry courtyard. Chosen because they are “the queen flower”, and their owner thinks that if you only have one plant in the garden, it must be a rosebush. If you do not have a bright location , it may not be worth thinking about …
  • How do I know if my rose bush does not have enough light? Roses never have too much light – at worst they do not have enough water. If the light is insufficient, they will form stems looooongues, little branched , with a lot of space between the leaves. And they will just make a few scattered flowers.

The list of problems and solutions could stretch to infinity, but the key points were addressed, now you have some clues to understand what’s going on with your rose bush. Overall, if you get a well-adapted rose, do not brutalize the plantation and do not ask too much … all will be well.

Dr. Kimberly Seltzer

Postdoctoral Scholar, UC Berkeley Research Assistant, MIT

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