Sick Rose Bush

I have been growing Knockout roses with good success. The are hybrids, developed for hardiness so that even a bumbling gardener like me can’t harm them.

Last year someone gave me a fancy rose bush — I think it is called a Tiffany. It produced beautiful roses, but only about 2 of them. This year, the leaves are turning yellow, and the plant looks sick.

In the beginning of the season, I pruned it, and mixed organic rose food into the soil. I think the pruning was fine, I just don’t know what the problem is and have no clue what to do about it.

Any suggestions?



Comments | 6

  • roses

    I had roses a number of years ago but stopped growing them because of the nasty chemicals you have to use to keep them healthy. Hybrids like the knockouts are good because of their resistance to disease and pests. Rosa rugosa is another good choice.

    It would be nice to post a photo so we know what the issue looks like. It could be as simple as chlorosis, or it might to a fungal issue or an aphid issue. If I were you, I would call the VT Master Gardeners hotline for help. To help them, have photos ready. If you have to use chemical, the MG usually will not recommend chemicals so you are on your own and should take a piece of the plant to a local garden center and ask them what spray they sell that would help. If you are anti-chemical, organic or just don’t want to spend the $ on it, pull it and replace with another knockout.

    Personally, I would pull it and replace. I like roses but depending on the variety, require a lot of care and attention.Remember the old saying for gardening “right place, right plant.”

    • Hybrids?

      I have a question. What exactly are Hybrids? Are they GMO’s as well, or just cross bred plants?

      • GMO's

        Thats a great question Mr Mike and I asked the same question to my Plant and Soil Science teacher and he couldn’t answer it.
        Knockputs are a hybrids developed with the same propagating techniques that have been used for centuries.
        GMO’s, thats another ball of wax. Some are good, some are well, questionable.

  • what mom told me

    My mother kept roses in her backyard forever. Over the decades the bushes had good years and bad, but always came back fine the year after a bad year. She pruned them in the fall and put tea and tea leaves around them until the snow came and somehow they were still going strong when we sold the house. She never used chemicals or any rose treatments, she let them be and gave them tea, as she said.

  • Antique Roses

    I have a beautiful antique just barely off white rose bush that I do absolutely nothing to, and it blooms year after year. It’s just finishing up for the year — blooms don’t last long. I can date it back to over 100 years ago. It grows on a wet ledge in my yard, and a woman who was in her 80’s when she stopped by almost 50 years ago told us that she remembered the bush when she was a child and was so glad to see it still there. I live on top of Ames Hill, so the weather is obviously rough in the winter, and I do not cover the bush or anything. I am currently working to let it spread, and if I am successful, would be willing to share a few of the new shoots as they get bigger. Obviously I don’t want to give away the whole bush! But I would be happy to have other people help perpetuate this wonderful rose’s existence. If you are interested, let me know. And if anyone knows the proper time to transplant, that would be helpful info!

  • What a lovely offer!

    I am currently encouraging a white rugosa & an old fashioned semi-double deep pink rose to spread. They are descendants of roses I gave a friend when I went off to grad school. Passed along plants always feel special to me. Passed back & forth can be extra fun. Spring is the best time for transplanting roses, as it’s easier for them, but I have had success as late as mid-summer. It just takes more care & water. Still, why not go for the least stressful conditions if one can?

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