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Keyword Search Results for:
roses

28 Found

Question: 920-1513
Grass hoppers get all over my Knock-Out Roses. What can I do to dissuade them from eating the leaves? Diane

Mort's Answer:
Sevin is a less toxic pesticide than most and lasts only 24 hours. If you want an organic remedy use tobacco juice. Add an old cigar or chewing tobacco to a bucket of warm water. Add some liquid detergent and water if the solution is too dark. Spray in the early evening before the critters become too abundant. A chemical, malathion, may be available in your area. It is one of the least toxic inorganic compounds but very effective against chewing and sucking insects. Follow directions on the label.

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Question: 126-5201
When can I prune Crape Mrytle, Japanese Maples and roses? Mary, Providence, RI

Mort's Answer:
Roses can be pruned in the fall. Larger hybrid teas can be cut back to 5 main2 ft. high main branches Clean off the sides. Less than three years old can be cut back to 3 main stems. Climbing roses can be cut back six foot canes. Red Maples can be pruned at this time or earlier in the summer. I like irregular shaped trees, so I only remove dead branches. Cut the branches back to the next joint. Do not cut maples in the early spring. Crape Myrtle can be cut down to the ground the first three years. Late summer or after the bloom is dead is the best time top rune Myrtle unless you are cutting them back to the ground. You can ground them in the late fall. Crepe Myrtle can be trained to be a one trunk tree or an upright shrub. They make excellent tall hedges. Usually Lagerstroemia indicais not hardy in zone 6, where you live. You should cover myrtle with a burlap tent the first 5 years.

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Question: 372-3410
What are the best roses to plant in Wakefield, RI? Matt

Mort's Answer:
Rosa rugosa by any other name is the hardiest sweetest scented disease resistant rose for the shoreline of Rhode Island. There are many hybrids that will do well. This rose has been naturalized along the east coast shoreline. Most other roses require a great deal of spraying and fertilizing but R. rugosa will do well in almost any soil. Just give it a sunny spot and it will improve your disposition.

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Question: 394-3410
I have a rose bush I would like to move to a different location in my yard. Which month in Connecticut is best for transplanting without causing stress to the bush?

Mort's Answer:
Roses have to be moved , when they are dormant. Either before the leaves come out in spring or after the plant loses its leaves in the fall.

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Question: 425-3410
My ten year old roses are not doing so well this year. I use a liquid fertilizer regularly. What should I do? Donna, Middletown, NY

Mort's Answer:
Rose growers do not use synthetic fertilizers ,especially solubles. The roses will respond to the instant fix of liquid fertilizers for only so long. Rose growers use natural amendments. Aged manure, peat grass clippings, humus and other organic compounds will supply the needed nitrogen. Bonemeal will replace the phosphorus, while ,muriate of potash will replace the potassium. A pinch of epsom salts will add sulfates to the soil. Roses also require a great deal of aeration. That is why, you will often see them in raised beds. Each plant should be at elast 4 feet apart. You may need to move them around this fall. It is too late to move them now. Work on restoring your soil to a highly organic well cultivated mix and your roses will return the fruits of your labor with a vigorous, healthy stock. Another benefit from a healthy environment is less insects and disease.

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Question: 339-5201
My hybrid T roses have been in plastic pots on the patio. Do I need to plant them or can I take them into the barn for the winter? Pat, Brunswich, GA

Mort's Answer:
Rose growers in New England put their roses in cold storage for the winter in barns for spring delivery. Just keep them moist enough to survive. Before bringing them indoors, cut them back to 3 or 4 main canes about 18-24. The cuts should be just above a bud. Planting them in the garden at this time of year may leave them too vulnerable to the winter wind and not allow sufficient time to root this fall. Next year, you can plant them in the garden in October, if you decide not to bring them indoors again.

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Question: 348-5201
I have black and brown spot all over my roses. What can I use to get rid of it? Mary, Providence, RI

Mort's Answer:
Black Spot or Black Tar fungus is difficult to get out of the garden. You have to cart away all the debris from the leaves. It is a good idea to pull off all the affected leaves as they appear. You can spray with Benlate fungicide . Follow directions on the label. If there are maples in the area with the same fungus,the debris from the maples will have to be carted away to the dump as well.The affected maples will have to be sprayed with a power sprayer.

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Question: 349-5201
We have run-off from our neighbors herbicide onto our roses . The hybrids are not doing well. The smaller roses do not seem to be affected. Is this a problem? Catherine, Wyoming, IL

Mort's Answer:
Hybrid tea roses are very sensitive to soil chemistry. The accumulated affect is yellowing of the leaves. You might consider moving the roses. I would let my neighbors know of the conflict. If you raise the beds to cause the run-off to by pass the roses, you could resolve the problem yourself. Do not use any synthetic fertilizers on your roses and keep them cultivated. Aged manure and bonemeal are your best nutrients for your roses.

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Question: 350-5201
When can I prune Crepe Mrytle, Japanese Maples and roses? Mary, Providence, RI

Mort's Answer:
Roses can be pruned in the fall. Larger hybrid teas can be cut back to 5 main2 ft. high main branches Clean off the sides. Less than three year olds can be cut back to 3 main stems. Climbing roses can be cut back six foot canes. Red Maples can be pruned at this time or earlier in the summer. I like irregular shaped trees, so I only remove dead branches. Cut the branches back to the next joint. Do not cut maples in the early spring. Crepe Mrytle can be cut down to the ground the first three years. Late summer or after the bloom is dead is the best time to prune Mrytle unless you are cutting them back to the ground. You can ground them in the late fall. Crepe Mrytle can be trained to be a one trunk tree or an upright shrub. They make excellent tall hedges. Usually Lagerstroemia indicais not hardy in zone 6, where you live. You should cover mrytle with a burlap tentthe first 5 years.

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Question: 452-3510
We have roses that are yellowing and getting black spots on the leaves. What can we use? There are also maples in the area with the same black spots. Ann, Morristown, TN

Mort's Answer:
You need to pick off all the affected leaves. You will also have to cart off the fallen leaves from the maple. Black spot or Black Tar fungus starts out as a gray mold under the leaf. It will eat through the leave to the top of the leaf and turn black. It is very difficult to eradicate. Benlate fungicide can be applied to the rose leaves. Bordeaux Mix is considered organic but it is not as effective at control as the Benlate or Benomyl. Do not put the fallen or picked leaves in your compost pile.

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Question: 577-2911
I have roses are also a very old type and there are balls or masses all over it with worms inside. I tried a spray that the grange said it would work and sprayed three years in a row but it actually has gotten worse. Alice, Southern OR

Mort's Answer:
I would cut them down to a foot from the ground with four or five main stems and start all over. Galls balls harbor insect eggs. Throw away all debris. You need a spray program for insects and fungi. I would use an all purpose rose spray or the Home Orchard sprays. Follow directions on the labels. Roses need airy locations and organic fertilizers to have optimum results.

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Question: 585-3011
I just got a new hybrid tea pink rose. It is beautiful. Should I be pruning it? Vicky, Westerly, RI

Mort's Answer:
You can remove the old flowers as they expire. It will bloom in waves throughout the season. In the fall you can prune it back to three main stems that are 18 inches above the ground. Your flower bearing branches will sprout off this scaffolding. Roses need organic fertilizer and aeration. Each fall use aged manure bad some bonemeal. Keep the soil cultivated throughout the summer to keep out weeds and insects. If attacked by beetles or other insects, use a home orchard spray or rose spray. Follow directions on the labels.

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Question: 691-512
What are some of the new rose introductions this year?

Mort's Answer:
Knock Out Roses have been a smash hit over the last decade because of their ease of maintenance and continual blooming characteristics. This year Julia Child is hardy in zone 4-9 and has a buttery gold color. Living Easy from Harkness in England is available for zone 5 south. Easy Living is orange with some pink blush. Both are quite fragrant. A Canadian bred Party Hardy as the name implies is hardy to zone 3 and a lightly fragrant pink. Outta The Blue is hardy to zone 4. Its flowers have magenta spiked with yellow, deep wine with cream, and warm lavender to blue all-in-one plant. A spicy clove scent is another attraction.

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Question: 706-912
When is a good time to transplant some hybrid older roses? Carol, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Because the ground has yet to freeze, you can move your roses this winter. You will need to cut back to five main stems. I would make ten about two to three feet tall. You can also cut the roots and dig them up bare root. I would also recommend that your new soil include a third aged manure, a third sand and your present soil. You can mound the soil to the edge so that the edge is two inches below the lawn .

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Question: 857-4812
I have a dozen Knock-Out roses. Can I cut them back now and how far down? I want to protect them for the winter. Ken, Little Wake, NJ

Mort's Answer:
Definitely, as soon as they stop blooming. Cutting back will save them from breaking under snow and ice in the winter. I would add two inches of aged manure and peat mixed as a mulch for the winter. Roses love organic fertilizer. You can cut them back to 18 inches from the ground. Repeat both the mulch and pruning each late fall. You may get some black die-back in the spring. Just cut off the black ends if this occurs.

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Question: 913-1413
I have four roses planted three feet apart. They bloomed very well. The bed is downhill from the neighbors leach field. I put some other roses in between but they did not do well. The neighbors are hooking up to the sewer system. Will I need to replace the fertilizer? John, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Roses love organic fertilizer, especially manure. You should add some aged manure every year to keep your soil fertile. Roses also love to be well ventilated. Remove the newest arrivals this spring and give them the room to grow as well. Four feet apart would be much better. Mulching with the manures will bring big dividends.

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Question: 953-2413
Where can I get pink, long stemmed roses with a strong fragrance? I'm in Iowa now but we had a fragrant rose bush in Los Angeles at our 1929 building. The bush was probably old? The roses smelled like perfume! Susan

Mort's Answer:
New Dawn is a hardy everblooming hybrid tea that is also a climber. Large sweet scented roses are giving way due to the popularity of bush and landscape roses. My favorite all time rose is called Curly Pink. It was introduced in the fifties by Herbert Brownell in Little Compton, RI. His son-in law continued to propagate the sub-zero roses at his Brightridge Nursery in East Providence, RI. Roses of this vintage are hard to find. You should search catalogue companies for new distributors. I was able to find a Catherine Brownell sub-zero rose recently at a local super market. Gruss an Aachen is one of the original floribunda pinks. It may be even harder to find.

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Question: 982-3013
My rose bushes are turning yellow with black spots at the bottom and are beginning to drop leaves. I have old mulch underneath them. What is the problem? Melba, Findley, IL

Mort's Answer:
Roses are attractive to insects and diseases that they carry. The excess rain this June has meant that there are a lot of fungi. In your case the mulch became a carrier for a wind blown fungus. Remove all the mulch and put it in a compost pile for a year. Purchase a good fungicide for roses sand follow directions on the label. Do not use any chemical fertilizers any more. Cultivate the bed every 10 days. This will provide a dust mulch to keep the weeds out.

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Question: 994-3313
I have a 20 year old old heritage rose in a three foot cement urn. The last few years it has not produced many flowers. I have added some new soil from time to time but it has not helped. It does not appear to have insects or disease. Any thoughts? Amy, Roswell, NM

Mort's Answer:
While roses can have slightly alkaline soil, they can suffer with excess. Concrete leaches lime and makes the ph too high. Come fall when the poplar starts to shed the leaves, you should prune the bush back to five main stems and take it out of that soil. Replace all the soil with a heavy sense of humus. Aged manure, peat and other organic matter will fill the bill. You can add a cup of bonemeal mixed well into the mix. Your soil mix should include 25% sand or your natural soil for drainage.

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Question: 1055-4913
I am having trouble getting my roses to survive. I have been using a cage filled with straw on my bush and hybrid teas. Any suggestions? George, New Brunswick, Canada

Mort's Answer:
Wind can be very harmful to vulnerable plants in the winter by drying them. Using hardy roses is key. A Rhode Island breeder Brownell created sub zero roses that are guaranteed to 16 below zero. They are hard to find but can be found in some catalogues. Cut back your landscape or bush roses to two feet and the hybrid teas to three to five main stems about 18 inches from the ground. Beds should be mulched with 50 % peat and 50% aged manures. Mulching should be done to above the crown and thoroughly watered. Straw is not enough to keep out the wind. The outside of the caged can be wrapped with burlap and then plastic. You could also substitute a burlap tent of three laths for the cages. In the spring pull away the mulch from the crown.

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Question: 1067-2616
Something is eating my rose leaves. They start at the outside and go toward the middle of the leaves. The plants are not quite 18 inches. There are no signs of insects. What are they and how do I stop this? Justin, Warwick, RI

Mort's Answer:
Rabbits will appear at sunrise and chew on new growth. A more likely culprit would be a woodchuck They will come at any time. Your best bet is to capture them for relocation. Some municipalities require professional capture. Use a peanut butter and graham cracker bait in a Havahart trap. Be sure that the woodchuck is going to be miles away. They have been known to return to their comfort zone.

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Question: 1083-514
I am having trouble getting my roses to survive. I have been using a cage filled with straw on my bush and hybrid teas. Any suggestions? George, New Brunswick, Canada

Mort's Answer:
Wind can be very harmful to vulnerable plants in the winter by drying them. Using hardy roses is key. A Rhode Island breeder, Brownell, created sub zero roses that are guaranteed to 16 below zero. They are hard to find but can be found in some catalogues. Cut back your landscape or bush roses to two feet and the hybrid teas to three to five main stems about 18 inches from the ground. Beds should be mulched with 50 % peat and 50% aged manures. Mulching should be done to above the crown and thoroughly watered. Straw is not enough to keep out the wind. The outside of the caged can be wrapped with burlap and then plastic. You could also substitute a burlap tent of three laths for the cages. In the spring pull away the mulch from the crown.

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Question: 1138-2614
I have recently acquired five pounds of coffee grounds from a restaurant. Can I use them on my three roses and other plants? Roy, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
One pound would be enough for this year. Rake in the grounds in the ground around the roses. I would put the rest in a compost pile with shredded leaves, grass clippings and vegetable scraps. This would make an excellent green manure for nearly all outdoor plants.

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Question: 1192-4514
I have four roses that are growing profusely. One white one with large clustered flowers is about three feet from the others. The others are about eight feet tall. How far back should I cut them. They all get some shade from the house. If I move the white one, will it be harmed? We get 100 degree days in the summer. Kathy, Rosewell, NM

Mort's Answer:
Wait until the first frost to transplant the white floribunda. Air circulation is more important than temperature for roses. You can prune back the roses at that time. It will be easier then to move the rose, as well. Shrub roses can be cut back to two or three feet. The hybrid white rose should be cut back to four or five main canes that are 18-24 inches. If there is any dieback on the canes, remove it in the spring before the leaves reappear. One way to discourage dieback is to sterilize your loppers or pruning shears with bleach before you use them.

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Question: 1290-3515
Something has been eating both sides off my roses this year. It is usually at the bottom. What is it and what can I do? Bill, Mansfield, CT

Mort's Answer:
I would purchase a Hav A Hart trap. Bait it with graham cracker and peanut butter. It could be wood chuck, a raccoon or possum. All are nocturnal. Bunnies can be spotted in the early morning. It is unlikely that is a deer, which are popular in your area. They would start at the top. Check with municipal authorities about disposal.

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Question: 1296-3615
How do you prepare roses for the winter? Pat North Stonington, CT

Mort's Answer:
Hybrid Teas are special. These large flowered mostly sweet scented beauties need special pruning. You need to cut them back to 18 inches on three to five main stems in late fall. Clean out all side branches. The older plants can have five stems. Landscape roses can be cut back a third on all branches. Climbing roses can be cut back to six feet. Do not use any synthetic fertilizer. Roses love aged manure worked into the soil. do not use any wood chips or other mulch. Roses need aeration to do well. If there is a dieback of black at the end of the stems in the spring, cut it off.

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Question: 1310-4015
How far back can I cut my Knock Out roses and is fall best? Janice, Niantic, CT

Mort's Answer:
I prefer to cut back all roses in the fall. This will help the plants from breakage that occurs under the weight of snow and ice. You can take a third off. Landscape roses bloom on new wood and heavy pruning encourages better branching and more flowers. If you have some black edges on the tips in the spring, remove the tips immediately. Sterilizing your pruning shears now will eliminate the die back in the spring. Do not cut them down to the ground.

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Question: 1380-3816
My roses did not do well this year. They appear to have a fungus. Leaves have dropped and many are brown. I have given the standard care. In past years these hybrids have been fine. Pat, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
This year has been bad in the northeast. Dry weather has created a situation of unusual applications of water. Fungi are spread by wind and water. I suspect the fungus is now in your soil. Use powdered micronized sulphur or gypsum and rake it into the soil. You can cut back heavily now. Do not fertilize until late next spring. Do not use a synthetic fertilizer at that time.

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