Got a Question?

Submit it to one of our Consulting Rosarians listed on

 the front page and those of general interest will be

 printed here.

Q.       Bayer Advanced Garden All-in-One Rose & Flower Care is advertised in the American Rose magazine and is simply diluted with water and poured around the base of the plant.  It works as a systemic and contains a fungicide, insecticide and a fertilizer Ė what could be easier?  However, I try to avoid insecticides, preferring to treat only the blooms and only when absolutely necessary.  Iíve diligently avoided any systemics containing insecticides because they indiscriminately kill all insects, including beneficials.  What is your opinion of this product?

Submitted by Yvonne Peterson

A.         The product you mention has been around for a few years.  Itís somewhat effective according to reports from the Rose Forum but, like you, I donít like to use insecticides indiscriminately.  I get better results for far less money using my old fungicides and fertilizers.

Karl Bapst


Q.       How much and how often do you use alfalfa meal?  Does it smell as bad as alfalfa tea?

Submitted by Albina, on the Rose Forum

A.        I use it when I prune in the spring, after the first bloom and again mid-July.  It smells like dried hay unless steeped as a tea, then it smells like fresh manure and can make you gag.

Karl Bapst


Q.    I planted two new floribunda bushes about a week ago and now the blooms and foliage are drooping on both bushes.  What causes this?

Submitted by Heather C. Seaton

A.    Lack of water or damaged roots when planting most likely. If these were potted bushes that you transplanted into the ground, the soil fell away from the roots and all the tiny feeder roots that take up moisture fell away with the soil. Your bush has to make new feeder roots and until it does, you'll need to water it a lot every day.  Newly planted rose bushes should be watered daily and deeply until they begin to grow well.  Remove any flower buds and blooms as they take a lot of moisture from the bush and if drooping now, will probably not bloom anyway.   

Q.       I have a heavy infestation of cane borers.  Other than cutting the infected canes and sealing them, what else can I do?  Will dormant oil help next season?

 A.        Dormant oil will not get to the cane borers.  I'm afraid I know of no cure for them.  I just seal cut canes and pray. Because they don't eat the canes, a systemic would be no good and a contact insecticide doesn't come into contact with them to kill them.  I've been growing roses for over 20 years and have been dealing with them the whole time.

Karl Bapst


Q.       I heard cayenne pepper is effective for pesky rabbits. How should it be applied? Simply sprinkle the pepper or in a liquid solution? Also, apply on ground of rose bush or all over the plant? If my sprinklers spray all over, will the cayenne pepper have to be applied AGAIN?!!! Any other better ideas?  Hate those rabbits!! 

 A.        Occasionally I'll find rabbit damage on a young tender rose. They seldom bother those that have matured a little and have tough thorns.  My solution, which has worked well for me, is to cut the bottom off of a five gallon plastic bucket and place the bucket over the bush. After the bush has grown above the top of the bucket it's usually safe and the bucket can be removed.






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