A Better Solution to Mildew and Blackspot on Roses

There are gardeners in bits of the country who find that the air is always so dry and the sun so bright that any rose they plant will thrive and not be touched by any fungal disease. But not all of us can live where the air is dry.  After three years of living in the mountains of Arizona, where the relative humidity hovers around 20 percent through most of the growing season, going up to about 60 percent in July and August, I know that even here it is important to be effective at battling fungal disease. Continue reading

Why Won’t My Rose Bloom?

It’s probably happened to everyone who has cultivated roses for a while.  You put the rose into the ground at the right time of year.  You follow the planting directions scrupulously. You keep the rose watered as it sets leaves and makes canes.  You fertilize it.  And the first year … nothing.  So the next year you prune it and fertilize it some more.  And still nothing.  The rose doesn’t bloom.

There are lots of places on-line where people complain of the problem, but few places undertake to list all the causes.  Here’s a pretty complete list to consider if your rose fails to bloom. Continue reading

Deer. Dear Me!

Every day of spring 2011 I went into the garden soon after the sun peeked over the south mountains.  I would water all the new roses, if they needed it.  And I would pull up weeds here and there.  The previous year had proven to be a measured success, and I had recently added a few dozen roses.  By mid May they had all leafed out.  They were growing long, tender new canes.  And they were very active in making rose buds.  The buds swelled and several opened.  I prepared myself for a generous spring display.

The third day in June there was a full moon.  I came out the next morning to find that every single rose bud in the garden had been nibbled away.  And that much of the new foliage on my newest roses was gone, too. I was crushed.  Not just for the loss of a spring’s worth of rose blossoms, but for the setback the youngest roses had suffered.  Continue reading