Some Tips...

Selecting a Planting Site

When selecting your planting site, remember these simple things: 

(from the ARS web page)

Life is a bed of roses.

Flower beds come in all shapes:  square, round, rectangular, flowing...  Whatever design you favor, make certain to choose a sunny, well-ventilated area and plant roses 2 to 3 feet apart.  planted en-masse, roses create a breathtaking effect.

Most roses do well when planted in beds.  Each variety creates a different look, from formal to free-flowing.  These include hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, miniatures and landscape roses (both groundcover and shrub).

(from the ARS web page)

A Brief History Lesson

The first fossil records of the rose date back 3.5 billion years.  In 3000 B.C., in what is now Iraq, the Sumerians created the first written record of the rose.  Sappho, in her 600 B.C. "Ode to the Rose," referred to this beauty as the queen of flowers, a reference still popular today.

Jumping ahead to the 16th century, colonists brought the rose to North America, making it the longest cultivated European plant in this country.  in 1798, Empress Josephine acquired her palace at Malmaison and created the most remarkable rose garden ever planted.  It included every variety known at the time (about 250 A.D.)

"Modern" rose hybrids date back to 1867, and by 1920 hybrid teas dominated the market.  they remain the most popular rose variety today.  All-America rose Selections formed in 1938 to test new rose varieties to determine which, if any, could be recommended to the public.  One of the most popular roses of all time, "Peace," was smuggled ot the United States from occupied France in 1945.

(from the ARS web page)

More than a Symbol of Love

Color is definitely a personal preference. and while the red rose may be the first to come to mind, a rainbow of colors exists.  The chart below matches some of the most popular rose colors with the sentiments they express.

Color Sentiment
Red Love, respect
Deep pink Gratitude, appreciation
Light pink Admiration, sympathy
White Reverance, humility
Yellow Joy, gladness
Orange Enthusiasm, desire
Red & yellow blend Gaiety, joviality
Pale blended tones Sociability, friendship










Japanese Beetles - Karl Bapst - July, 2003

There are a few ways to handle Japanese Beetles. One is to spray Sevin all over the bushes wiping out all the insects it comes in contact with including the lady bugs and other beneficial insects. It also kills the caterpillars of the butterflies we enjoy in the summer. Sadly, caterpillars eat foliage. Many donít like insect- damaged leaves.  Iím not a perfect leaf freak and can live with some partially eaten leaves and flowers.  Iíd rather enjoy the butterflies. Birds eat insects. Ever wonder what happened to all our colorful natural bird population?

 A slightly less toxic way to control the beetles is to just spritz the blooms every day with Sevin. This way you keep the insecticide where it will do the most good and not kill so many beneficial insects.  But you must do it each day as the buds open.  The spray will not penetrate a closed bud.

 Or, do as I do and let the beetles have the roses during July.  Usually by August they are all but gone, with a few stragglers. In August I get my roses back from the beetles, cut off all the damaged blooms, water well, and prepare for the September show of blooms. My September blooms are often more colorful and bigger than those of any other time of the year. Itís important to supply plenty of water to your roses during the summer because if you donít, youíll not have a very nice bloom in the fall. Remember, too, that water will leach nutrients from the soil so add small amounts of fertilizer to replace it. Small amounts! A little often is better than a lot all at once. Iíve solved that problem with a fertilizer injector in my sprinkling system. A little water-soluble fertilizer is applied each time the roses are watered. There are fertilizer injectors for as little as $49 from Rosemania. These hook up to your garden hose and are easy to install and use.

 Horse manure is the best stuff but sadly you cannot apply it in your watering system.  Manure also feeds the soil and supplies organic matter for the worms.  If you have lots of worms you have well amended soil with lots of organic matter. You wonít have worms if they have nothing to eat. Worms help keep the soil aerated and the organics help both the drainage and water-holding capacity of the soil.

 Donít forget to keep up your regular fungicide spray routine to minimize black spot and defoliated bushes in late summer.  Leaves make blooms so itís important to keep as many healthy ones on the bush that you can.  Watch too for sudden leaf drop from spider mites in hot dry weather. A strong spray of water from a water wand under the leaves, done often in the summer, will go a long way to keep the spider mites at bay. Your roses will like it too. Just make sure you do it early in the day to allow the foliage to dry before evening.

Fall Prep.  August, 2003 - Karl Bapst

As we get closer to fall , donít get fooled by all the rain in June and July.  A few dry weeks will stress your roses and you donít want them stressed going into winter.  Healthy, hydrated bushes will survive winter better.  Itís time to lay off the fertilizer and let the canes harden off.  New growth in September will surely freeze and die come winter. You can pluck the petals from spent blooms but donít deadhead as deadheading promotes new flowering and flowering uses a lot of food stores the plants need to survive the winter. 

         Karl suggested using Elmerís gel formula carpenterís glue for sealing the cut ends of canes to thwart those pesky borers.

Winter Prep. October, 2003 - Karl Bapst

Hey, itís October already.  Where did the year go?

 The days are getting shorter, average temperatures are dropping, and we had a light frost already so Mom Nature is telling us itís almost time to gat your winter protection ready.  Iíll use shredded oak leaves again as theyíre easiest for me to handle, and in plentiful supply out here.  Weíve advised against using maple leaves as they get wet, slimy, and pack down around the roses causing canker. But, if you use the Richardsí method of protecting, you can use them. Just make sure they are dry, place them in plastic bags, and stack the bags around your bushes. Three bags will surround a bush quite well and a fourth tossed over the center where the three come together will complete the job. Air and water can still get to the bushes and spring clean-up is a breeze.

 Donít forget to clean up diseased leaves so they donít over-winter and a lime-sulfur and oil spray after they go dormant or before they break dormancy in the spring should kill most over-wintering insects, eggs, and fungus diseases. DO continue to spray your regular fungicide until the first HARD frost.

Fragrance of Roses, February, 2004

by Norm Backus

 Over the years of growing roses I've noticed that whenever someone comes to look at my roses they will invariably stoop to smell them.  This brings to mind the words of Shakespeare when he wrote: "The rose looks fair, but fairer it we deem for that sweet odor which doth in it live.  I'm sure that most of you have noticed people stooping to smell the fragrance of your roses.  Most modern roses such as hybrid teas and floribundas and even modern shrub roses are not fragrant.  For that reason I'm going to suggest that you perhaps change the orientation of your bed so that roses that are fragrant be positioned in the front and on the corners of your beds.  This will help to show visitors that roses can indeed be fragrant. Of course there are exceptions to the fact that modern roses aren't fragrant but one of the main differences between the old roses from their modern counterparts is their fragrance.  Modern roses such as Fragrant Cloud, Double Delight, Chrysler Imperial, and Lemon Spice are some notable exceptions to the idea that new roses don't have fragrance.  Modern hybridists are trying very hard to breed that into their new varieties, but mating two very fragrant roses will not necessarily produce fragrant offspring.

 Fragrance in roses is rather an elusive property for even in roses that usually have a marked fragrance, it is even more noticeable at some times more than others.  I would suggest that you smell a rose early in the morning, then again about 2 PM, and again about 8 PM so you will notice the difference.  For me, fragrance is almost a forgotten property for my sense of smell has nearly disappeared in the last 20 years.  For that reason, among others, I have a number of old garden roses of which I'm especially fond.  Not only are they beautiful but they are very fragrant and even I can detect that.  For that reason I'm going to suggest a few varieties that you might include up front in your garden.  Another thing to be said for most old garden roses is that they do not need the heavy winter care of modern roses.  All of the ones I list are repeat blooming.

 Rose de Resch - A Damask -a fairly small, full bush with fuchsia-red blooms.  Very fragrant.  Excellent!

Mme. Isaac Pereire- fragrant, large deep pink blooms.  Has some long canes but can be kept in bounds by judicious pruning.  Could even be grown as a small climber.

Souveneir de la Malmaison - a Bourbon- small in my garden, blush white with pink shading.

Sombreuil - a climber with large blush white blooms and fragrant.

Baron Prevost - a hybrid perpetual with medium pink blooms, very fragrant but very susceptible to black spot in my garden.

 I would suggest that you not rely very much on catalog descriptions of roses for these descriptions are written by advertising people to help sell roses.  For example here are the words used in a recent Jackson & Perkins catalog in describing the fragrance in some of their newer roses: "light musk fragrance, tea rose fragrance, light tea fragrance, sweet apple fragrance, light citrus fragrance, antique rose fragrance, spicy scented, fruity fragranceĒ.  It seems to me that some of these descriptions are rather fanciful.  I rely on what friends of mine say and not the words of some copywriter. 

From my Garden, March 2004

by Karl Bapst


I donít know about you but Iím ready for spring. I solve my craving to get out in the dirt by ordering roses for delivery at the end of February, then potting them in my greenhouse, where they sit, still dormant, until the weather warms. In the greenhouse, sun shining through the plastic warms up the inside quite a bit even on very cold days. Iíve experienced temperatures of 80į inside when itís below freezing outside. The colder temps now hold the potted roses in a dormant condition until mid March when they leaf out and I usually have hybrid tea roses blooming by the middle or end of April.

 I prune outside when the forthysia bloom which occurs here about the middle of April in a normal spring. I usually prune very severely. Severe pruning gives you a shorter fuller bushier rosebush with longer canes and larger flowers. I fertilize with an organic fertilizer such as Mills Magic when I prune. Mills takes some warm days and warm soil to begin breaking down into a form that the roses can use. Applying horse manure can also be done when pruning as it also needs warm soil to work properly. Except for Osmocote, do not apply chemical fertilizers when doing your spring pruning. Many tiny feeder roots are lost during the bitter cold of winter. As these begin to grow in the spring, chemical fertilizers can burn the newly formed roots and cause the bush to die. Iíve lost more bushes to spring feeding of chemical fertilizers, before I learned from experience, than I ever did from winter kill. Osmocote, like natural fertilizers does not release until the soil warms. If you use Osmocote, purchase the six month release so itís pretty well done by late August. Nine or twelve month release feeds too long into the fall.  You want the bushes to begin hardening off in fall, not continue to grow.

 I have 120 bare root roses coming the end of February and am picking up 50 own root Explorer roses from Great Lakes Roses in mid March. Twenty of the 120 Iím getting from Edmunds are hardy Parkland or Buck roses, Distant Drums and Morden Blush. They will be grafted so will need to have the graft planted deep to properly survive our winters. The graft is the weak point even on hardy roses. The graft point is the meeting of two slightly dissimilar tissues. Moisture when freezing can cause separation of these tissues. Separation stops the transference of water and nutrients from the roots to the canes, thus resulting in death of the grafted top. By planting the graft 4 to 6 inches deep itís protected from a bitter cold freeze. This also permits the canes growing from the graft to be in contact with the soil and promotes rooting. 

 When I moved my roses from Griffith to Wheatfield, many of the deep planted grafted roses had own rooted. In a few cases I was able to get up to 5 own root bushes from the original grafted plant. A bush that goes own root this way will form a pseudo bud union at the soil surface where the canes will grow from.

 Another trick Iíve learned over the years is that I can prune earlier than normal if I take a few precautions. Iíve pruned in mid-March in warmer than normal springs by pulling the winter soil cover or leaves back over the pruned bush to protect it from late cold snaps.

 Itís true that pruning promotes leafing out but Mother Nature will not allow that to happen until the soil warms up.  By recovering the bush you keep the soil around the newly pruned roses cool. They will usually not leaf out until itís safe from a hard freeze.

One more tip regarding spring leafing. There are lots of sugars in those newly formed leaves. Sugar acts as a natural antifreeze so a late frost may nip the edges of your new leaves but will not kill them.  I trust Mom Nature, she takes care of her own.  When my roses begin to leaf out in the spring I donít worry about cold snaps. 

Spring Prep. Adoph Ferber - March, 2004

Now is a great time to clean and sharpen your pruning shears, saws, shovels, etc.  Sharp tools work better and make cleaner cuts.  Steel wool pads, like SOS, dipped in kerosene or turpentine will remove rust on the tools. If you suspect any sign of disease, soaking your tools for a few minutes in a mixture of 1 part rubbing alcohol or chlorine bleach to 10 parts of water will do the trick. Also, this should be done frequently during the pruning season as well.  Be sure to thoroughly wipe them dry.  

 Some time ago, I accidentally dropped a pair of pruning shears and it landed blade first on my foot. It penetrated my shoe, causing some bruising and bleeding.  Boy, did it ever smart!!!  Later on I read an article to the effect that slitting an old garden hose on one side and sliding it over the blade is an excellent safeguard for this kind of accident.  As usual, a day late and dollar short.

 I recently toured my garden looking for areas to transplant some bushes. The dormant season is an ideal time for moving roses from one location to another. If you are also contemplating such, here are some simple rules to follow:

         If transplanting to an existing bed, remove old soil and refresh with a new mixture adding any amendments you see fit.

         Prune only dead or dying canes and then dig up the bush you want to transplant with a pitchfork. (Regular pruning will be done at the same time you prune the rest of your garden.)

         Shake or wash dirt off roots, cut off any broken ones and plant bush like any other bare-rooted rose.

         Donít fertilize until the transplanted bush has a complete bloom cycle. It is important that a good root system be established first before encouraging new blooms. However one can use a root stimulator at time of planting.

         Water after planting and keep moist.

 I close with these thoughts Ė be nimble afoot and play it safe by unmounding roses when the forsythia bloom as Karl would say. Since I donít grow forsythias, my timetable begins April 15, when taxes are due.


Buying New Roses

by Norm Backus

Here are a few thoughts on buying new roses from someone who has been very disappointed on more than one occasion.  For that reason let me tell you about some of the cases that led me almost to the brink of despair.  I used to believe everything that catalogs told about the color, size, fragrance, etc.  On one occasion I bought from the Michigan Bulb Co.  No, it wasn't roses, but never again, for not only were the plants small but the were mislabeled and only about one half grew. 

Regarding packaged roses Ė Iíll confess that I bought several packaged roses that come in plastic bags, but when I frequently lost some, I decided to put an end to that too.  People sometimes tell me that they've gotten good roses that way, but all I can say is that they were lucky.  If you do insist on buying packaged roses either in plastic bags or in boxes of some sort, be sure you buy them as soon as the big-box stores or other suppliers have them on display.  That way they will probably not be all dried out.  As soon as you get them home, cut the bottom off the package and put it in a pail of water for at least a day

before planting.  That way the roots will begin to absorb some water.  Notice too the length of the roots Ė changes are they are going to be very short Ė about 5Ē or 6" in length.  This type of packaging will also often be mislabeled.

 I like to buy bare root roses, but have, on occasion, bought potted roses that worked out well.  I like to buy from a reputable dealer like Edmunds in Oregon (though he now has Weeks growing for him), and sometimes I've gotten good roses from Jackson & Perkins.  I've also gotten good roses from Hortico in Canada , but we were taking a trip along the St. Lawrence River and I personally saw the owner dig up the roses that I wanted.  I took a chance bringing them back into the states (the inspectors were on strike), but the crossing was uneventful.  I've gotten some good roses from Cathy Fox and at a good price.  I hope she'll have some again.  I've recently gotten a catalog from The Uncommon Rose.  They sell only roses on their own roots.  These will never have suckers and will normally be more winter-hardy.. Other growers are also starting to sell own root plants too.

 Just a word about the cost of roses Ė you  will have to pay more for roses from growers like Edmunds and other reputable growers, but this reminds me of a story.  A farmer was talking about why he charged so much for oats. In reply he said: "You get nice, clean, fresh oats if you're willing to pay a fair price, but if all you seek is the lowest price, you can find someone selling oats that have already been through the horse."


 From my Garden, March, 2004

by Karl Bapst a.k.a. Rosenut


 Iím writing this on Saint Patrickís Day and itís snowing here in my neck of the woods. Iíve been potting bare root roses in my greenhouse.  There may not be much activity going on outside but the weeds sure are growing in the greenhouse and last yearís carryover potted roses are beginning to leaf out. Temperatures forecast for this weekend call for 50s so start looking for buds swelling on your bushes outdoors. Tender roses will not show any signs of life but hardy shrubs and old garden roses will begin to green up. A multiflora bush I grow for rootstock is beginning to look really healthy. Spring-blooming bulbs are popping out of the soil and I should have crocus (or is it croci?) blooming soon. The fall before my stroke I was able to get 1000 bulbs planted along one side of the driveway. This will be the third year theyíve bloomed and as they continue to mature they put on quite a show. Iíve an area containing 7 oak trees on the south side of my house that is quite shady.  Initial plans were to create a shade garden in this area but those plans have been put on hold the last two years.

 Last year I was able to put in a small pond with hostas, astilbe, water lilies, ferns, and reeds planted in and around the pond thanks in large part to the help of a group of Master Gardeners who spent a day moving rocks and planting potted shade plants brought from my home in Griffith.  I have some filtered sun and open areas where I hope to plant Zephirine Drouhin and Cecile Brunner, both of which will bloom in partial shade, although not as well as they will in full sun. Many roses will reward you with blooms in filtered sun if you are willing to settle for fewer flowers and smaller bushes with somewhat spindly canes. They also tend to be less healthy, often dying after a few years.  In our area, many roses only last a few years anyway so enjoy some in areas you would not normally grow roses.  Roses planted in large pots, grown in a sunny location, and placed in a shady area while blooming will add color to an otherwise drab area. Just donít forget to move it back into the sun after itís served itís purpose so it can recuperate.

 Donít get into a big hurry to prune after a few warm days. Pruning too early can result in loss of early leaves and push back your first bloom. I try to wait until the forthysia bloom, around the middle of April in our area.

 n the past, due to conventions at normal pruning time, Iíve pruned as early as the end of March and pulled leaves back over the pruned bush to keep it cool and protect against late freezes.  Pruning and placing your rose cone back over the bush will also work if youíve cut the top from the cone so temps donít build up under it.

 Itís best though to wait until the proper time to avoid unnecessary work and possible plant damage. Attempting to prune early will not hasten your first bloom but pruning late will set it back.

 If you can work the soil you can plant a dormant bare root rose.  It will remain dormant in the ground until the soil warms up and the roots begin to grow. Make sure you hill soil over the newly planted bush. The cool soil will help keep the canes from leafing out too early.

 Early growth from newly planted dormant roses comes from food and moisture stored in the canes. Overnight soaking of your dormant rose prior to planting is a must to re-hydrate it as the new feeder roots do not supply moisture or nutrients to the bush for a week or so.

 Make sure you dig a big hole to plant your new bush, at least 18 inches wide by 18 inches deep Ė bigger if you have the energy.  In heavy soil the roots often will not grow outside of the hole the bush was planted in.  This can hold true in loose sandy soil also. The size of the top growth will not be larger than the size of the root system. The better home you build for your bush the bigger the bush and the more flowers you will have.

Donít use a chemical fertilizer when you prune or plant. In my early rose growing years I lost many bushes that survived the winter, due to using chemical fertilizers at planting or pruning.  Chemical fertilizers release their nutrients too fast and too strong.  These strong fertilizers can burn newly forming feeder roots. This will stop moisture and nutrient uptake and kill the bush. Iíve had no problems applying fresh horse manure, organic fertilizers (such as Millís Magic Rose Mix) and 4 or 6 month release Osmocote at planting and pruning.

 Itís important that you follow up with lots of water, water, water. When you think youíve watered enough, water some more. I water my rose beds one  hour daily in the spring in my sandy soil.

 Heavy clay will hold moisture longer so a careful check to see if the plants have enough or too much moisture is required in clay soil.  Over watering in clay can lead to root rot unless youíve provided proper drainage.  A large hole in clay soil without proper drainage can lead to the ďbathtub syndrome,Ē where water will collect in the planting hole with no place to drain.

 Raised beds often work best in clay soil.  A raised bed can be nothing more than an 8-10 inch high pile of soil on top of the clay. Care must be taken so that the soil stays in the bed.   

 Proper planning in the spring will reward you with strong healthy bushes and lots of big blooms.

The Presidentís Corner, April, 2004

by Adolph Ferber

By the time this message is read, you no doubt will be starting to unmound and prune last yearís roses.  Moreover you probably have a very good idea what you want your garden to look like for the coming season so you could host the garden walk Ė I hope, I hope.

 Thanks to Karlís February meeting, we were introduced to several new varieties of roses for 2004 so we have to factor this into our equation.  At a smorgasbord, my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I tend to overeat.  This practice has carried over to my buying habits and I often purchase more roses than I have space for.  Sure, I can cut away more lawn to make room for these puppies, but on the flip side of the coin, Iím taking away play space for my grandchildren.  Of course I can squeeze them into existing beds thus creating a crowded and unhealthy situation.  Putting them into pots is viable but then they need to be watered more.  Storage could be a problem.  You get the picture.

 Donít fret, I have the perfect solution:  DIG UP THE GOOD PLANTS, BRING THEM TO ONE OF OUR MEETINGS AND GIVE THEM TO A FELLOW MEMBER.  He or she will treasure your discards.  If youíd rather give them to your neighbor(s), that fine too.  Perhaps we can get them started in this wonderful hobby as well as pick up a member or two because of your kind gesture.

 Another way to make someone happy (particularly children) is to divide your mature miniatures, especially the ones that have many canes.  Dig them up and carefully divide at root system.  This step is very important because each divided plant must possess an adequate root system to be successful.

If your roses look bad, are diseased, etc., shovel prune them. Even though they are free for the taking, plant lovers want to see results of their planting efforts and expect good performance.  The last thing we want to do is to turn them off forever on roses.

 Make sure the roots are moist enroute to the meeting.  Wet newspaper, rags, plastic will do the job.  Pruning deadwood, name tagging, sealing the cuts would probably be appreciated.  Of course, potting your roses is another great way of transporting your discards.  In this way you can buy some time for the new owner before he/she makes a decision as to location.

 I close now by saying happy pruning and unmounding and watch out for those thorns.

From my Garden

by Karl Bapst a.k.a. Rosenut


 I wrote my last column on St. Patrickís Day but I think St. Patrickís Day should be moved to sometime in May because everything is so green. My lawn has already been mowed a couple of times, my roses are leafed out and growing, and spring flowers are blooming.

 Spring gives us hope of things to come. Iím looking forward to my first rose bloom. After two years of trying to overcome my stroke, Iíve finally regained enough mobility to do what needs to be done in my rose garden. Pruning was finished by mid-April and I was able to fertilize the roses as I pruned. With materials obtained locally, I mixed my own organic fertilizer applying two cups at the drip line of each rose as I pruned. My fertilizer consists of equal parts of cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal, fish meal, blood meal, activated sewage sludge (Mil-Organite) and

0-46-0 (triple super phosphate). It should be bone meal but I find that too dusty so I use the 0-46-0 instead which is why we add the bone meal Ė for  the phosphate. I use this for my first application of fertilizer. To the second application applied in early June, I also add urea and Epsom salts. Horse manure is also a great fertilizer. I hope to be able to acquire a couple of trailer loads this year. Itís great for the roses and the soil. Iíll apply it 4-6 inches deep in the beds and work it into the soil.

 If you want to have clean, disease-free roses with no black spot, now is the time to start your fungicide spray. Fungus diseases are preventable. After youíve got a fungus disease, itís next to impossible to get rid of. Iíll spray the first time after I finish pruning while the roses are still leafing out. Iíll then follow a regular schedule spraying every 7-10 days through the first hard frost in the fall. The last two years I was not able to spray as needed and my roses showed the neglect.  Most any fungicide labeled for roses will be effective if one follows the label instructions for mixing and applying. Itís also important to follow the safety instructions on the label. Change clothes and wash up good after applying the spray. I cannot emphasize this enough.    

 This year I hope to reward my neighbors with a great show of rose blooms. They have been so patient waiting for the promised rose garden. Weíve had a very dry spring and I noticed all the soil in the rose beds was powdery dry. I got my sprinkling system up and running in mid-April so, God willing, they should have plenty of moisture. In my well-drained, sandy soil, I cannot water the roses too much. Roses should have lots of sun and water. They need at least 5-6 hours of sun daily, more if possible, and one inch of water a week in clay-type soils, more in well- drained sandy soil.

 A light sprinkling with a garden hose is not watering. All that does is wet the very top surface of the ground. This causes plant roots to grow shallow leaving them open to damage from any dry spells. I leave my sprinklers run an hour in each location to make sure the water gets deep into the soil. Watering deeply causes roots to grow deep, enabling the plants to better withstand a dry spell.  A few tuna fish cans placed around your watering area will indicate an inch of water when the last can is full.

 The time of day that you water makes a difference also. Early morning is best as the excess water on plant leaves can dry off in the morning sun. Water sitting on leaves allows fungus spores to germinate. This sets up your plants for diseases. My sprinklers come on at 4:30 in the morning which means that the last zone will be done at 11:30. By noon the plants are dry and the water has soaked into the soil where it will do the most good.  Watering in the evening means lawns and plants remain wet all night. On hot humid nights you can almost see the black spot growing on the rose leaves. Wet lawns all night can lead to mold in the yard.

 All plants have one job in life. That is to propagate Ė make seeds. Once theyíve done that they have done their job and can rest. You can prolong the blooming cycle and fool Mother Nature by removing spent blooms before they go to seed. As you walk through your garden just snap or cut off fading flowers or you can achieve the same results by cutting flowers for inside the house.  When cutting flowers from a rose bush always cut down to just above an outward facing leaf on a part of the cane that will produce another cane sturdy enough to support a new bloom.

A cane growing from another cane will never be any larger than the cane itís growing from. Cutting from thin canes will result in flowers that droop.

 If youíre still buying roses, I advise buying potted roses. Those bagged and boxed roses have been in those packages since January so the odds they will survive are pretty slim.  Plant potted roses the same as you would plant bagged or boxed roses.  Prepare a hole 18 to 24 inches wide and deep. Mix manure or compost in the bottom half of the hole and place the rose on this making sure the bud union will be 4-6 inches below the soil surface when finished. This may be contrary to instructions on many packages but is necessary in our climate to protect the bud union during our cold winters and guarantee winter survival. The bud union is the point where the rose pictured on the package is budded (grafted) onto a hardy, vigorous root stock. This is the week point on a rose bush. Moisture between the two slightly dissimilar tissues can freeze during sudden and hard fall freezes causing them to separate and kill the top part of the rose bush. This different root stock may grow (sucker) and produce canes that will not give you that pretty rose you purchased. Flowers produced from this root stock bloom only on second year wood and in our winters we seldom have second year wood except on the hardiest roses. This means the bush will never produce flowers.

 An easy way to get that bush out of the pot without harming the roots is to cut the bottom from the pot, then cut the pot up each side leaving just a little bit so it doesnít fall away from the root ball. Tie a couple of strings around the pot to hold it together, and then cut the remaining bit of pot. Sit the pot in the hole on top of the well-amended soil. Pull the soil in around the pot, cutting the strings as you fill the hole. When you are finished, you can pull up the two sides without disturbing the root ball.  As with any newly planted bush, water well and often. If done properly your new rose bush will not be aware it was transplanted.  Do not fertilize until itís growing well.

 Regarding fertilizers, check the NPK of any good rose fertilizer and then buy a generic with the same NPK since roses canít read and wonít know the difference.  A little fertilizer applied often is better and will give more even growth than a lot applied all at once.

From my Garden

by Karl Bapst a.k.a. Rosenut

   This year we have two insect swarms, 17 year cicadas and Japanese beetles. Luckily, cicadas do no harm to ornamentals. They are very noisy and will fulfill their duty to propagate then disappear for another 17 years. The worst should be over in about 4 weeks after they first appear.

Japanese beetles though consider many plants, especially roses, a gourmet meal. I've never seen them kill a bush but they sure can make one look sorrowful. They love light-colored and fragrant blooms, usually destroying them before you can enjoy them.

 There are  three things you can do: knock them off daily into a bucket of soapy water, spritz the blooms with Sevin insecticide, or leave them be until they are finished gorging themselves and mating. I choose the latter. I let them have my roses for the time they are around, then take them back to enjoy the late summer and fall bloom. This is lot easier on the nerves and fighting them is a losing battle anyway, especially here in soybean country where driving the roads during beetle season is like driving through a hail storm. I often wonder how the farmers have anything left to harvest after the beetles get through with the crops.

  With June often comes hot, dry weather.  Roses are thirsty plants. They need at least 1 inch of water a week, more if your soil is sandy. Tuna or cat food cans placed around the area being watered will tell you when there has been one inch of water applied to the garden or lawn. When the last can is full, at least an inch has been applied to the area. Deep watering forces the roots of your plants and shrubs to grow deep.  Shallow watering keeps roots close to the surface. When a dry spell comes, shallow roots soon run out of water, plants wilt, and get stressed. With deep watering, as the soil dries, the roots grow deeper reaching for water. Therefore they can handle dry spells much better. This is especially true on lawns but is applicable for all plants.

 Evening and night watering should be avoided. Water sitting on plant leaves and lawns all night makes them more likely to get a fungus disease. Warm, humid weather and wet leaves are the perfect environment for fungus spore germination. My sprinkler system comes on at 4:30 A. M. and runs for one hour in each of seven zones.  My whole yard and all the flower beds are watered by 11:30 A.M. and by Noon everything is dry, lessening the chances of fungus diseases. 

  Another way to make sure your rose bushes have enough water is to put five gallons a week on each bush. A five gallon bucket of water with a nail hole in the bottom side lets the water run out slowly and soak in with no runoff, guaranteeing that all five gallons stays with the bush. 

 If you have been faithful with your preventative fungicide spraying you should have disease-free roses and they'll stay that way through the rest if the summer. Keep up the same 7-10 day cycle through fall for the best results. An ugly bush is one with yellow, black spotted leaves lying on the ground under bare canes.  Leaves produce the food that produces flowers. They also allow the bush to put up stores for winter and next spring.  Early spring growth comes from food stored over winter in the canes.  A sure way to stress a bush is to allow black spot to kill the leaves resulting in few, if any, flowers and a better than even chance your rose bush will not make it through the winter.

 Great care should be taken when fertilizing in hot, dry weather. Too much fast acting fertilizer can burn the roots of a rosebush.  A little fertilizer often is better and gives more even growth than a lot all at once.  Any dry fertilizer should be watered in well. If you have the time, a diluted fish emulsion at one gallon per plant is a great tonic for roses.  Mix as directed or 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. A tea made of horse manure, (two ample shovels full in a barrel of water and allowed to steep for a few days), is also a great pick-me-up for roses. Fish emulsion will make your rose garden smell fishy for a day or two and might drive the cats crazy.  The manure tea may make you gag but the roses will love it.  Alfalfa tea is also good.  E-mail me for the recipe if interested.  Fish meal, horse manure, and alfalfa meal applied to the soil will work too but the liquid teas work faster.

 Summing up June:

         Make sure the roses get plenty of water

         Fertilize mid June for good summer/fall bloom

         Maintain your fungicide spray schedule

         Don't sweat the cicadas or Japanese beetles

         Not mentioned but also important, keep the flower beds weeded and the soil loose so that water can get to the roots easily and the weeds won't take the water from the roses (it looks neater too).

 Enjoy June Ė July has its own problems!

 Anyone interested in visiting for a hands-on pruning demonstration or to ask questions is welcome to come out. Just e-mail ( first to make sure I'm home.  I also have a selection of this year's new roses growing in pots.


This is an excerpt from a posting on the ďGarden Web Rose ForumĒ, written by an Arizona rose grower in Zone 9 -- submitted by Karl Bapst


"I have received several questions on growing roses in shade, so I thought I would try to answer all at once.  I am going to go around my garden, and tell you what has done better and worse for me in shade. I have much more experience with modern roses than OGR's.

 ďMy yard is about three quarters covered with shade, a necessity for human comfort in my hot clime. But it should be noted that most of the tree shade is mottled; it is the house shading the yard that is difficult to deal with. But if one has over two hours of sun, and the RIGHT plant, you can do it.

ďThere is a little talked-about rose called Queen Marguerite that I saw a picture of and fell in love with it. Its pearly pink perfect blooms and small stature made it a must-have for me.  It bloomed beautifully in the month after I planted the bare root, but by April the blooms were a singed mess. In an attempt to save its life, in the middle of July (in Phoenix ), I moved it to a place where it had zero sun. Zero. It is in its third year there, and it is thriving, covered with flowers almost all summer and fall.

It is the only rose I have found that will grow in no sun.

ďThere are some roses that will NOT grow without many hours of sun, at least 6 a day, period. Among these are Mr. Lincoln (I believe lack of sun is why many call this plant stingy) AND most other reds (Veterans Honor, CI). A red, shade grower, is Souv. du Docteur Jamain. It blooms well in shade, and doesn't really like the sun and has small flowers and quite fragrant. J & P's little Gardenese plants (I have Red Rascal) do quite well in mostly shade.  So do Lavaglut and Scarlet Meidiland.

ďAustin Roses do very well in partial shade, at least the ones I have tried. I have Falstaff, Graham Thomas, Evelyn, Guinevere (not really an Austin), the Prince, Bow Bells, The Reeve, Lilian Austin and Jude the Obscure, all flowering beautifully in their semi shady spots. The results are still out on Bibi Maizoon, for she had NO sun until April 1. Because of their delicate petals, the wind storms have been of much more trouble to these plants than the shade, this season, but my bushes that are well protected are covered with color.

ďSome roses that love shade: Fragrant Cloud, Electron (holds its petals better), Heirloom (doesn't grow as tall), Hot Cocoa (the flowers are a nicer color), Rosarium Utersen, Double Delight, Tournament of Roses, Brides Dream, Tiffany, Knockout, Scentimental (blows more slowly, too). Yes, and Gruss an Auchen. Just Joey, Outta the Blue is awesome with sun protection, covered with purple flowers from early spring to winter. In fact, most purple and mauve toned roses are safe to try with some shade.

ďSome pink roses would include Sexy Rexy and Brilliant Pink Iceberg (mine is stunning with very little sun).

ďFor yellow and orange, in my garden the plant Arizona gets NO sun until April, but it blooms all of March.  St. Patrick also enjoyed a spot with only 4 or 5 hours sun. For the same amount of sun, Disneyland makes a gorgeous hedge; the end bush gets less sun but blooms even more.

ďI also have several bushes on a wrought iron pool fence, that bloom rather oddly Ė Dynamite, Blaze , America , Bonica, Guinevere and Heart n Soul. All six bloom more on the side of the plant in the shade. Please draw your own conclusions.

ďSome roses that have failed to grow in the shade: First Prize, Queen Elizabeth, Black Magic, Crystalline, and a dozen others I cannot remember without prodding.

ďThere are drawbacks to shade growing that might be different in different zones. In my zone, mites are much more of a problem in sun-challenged spots. Some plants stay much smaller, and some get gigantic, though I am not sure how the sun changes things. I think that all roses present their own unique challenges."

Beetlemania June, 2004 - Adolph Ferber

 I read an article not too long ago that listed the major garden pests throughout the state of Indiana .  Although I am not in total agreement with the article, which by the way was compiled by Purdue University Pesticide Programs, it did prove to be of consider interest which I would like to share with you today.  Probably the University of Illinois has published a similar report highlighting many of the same pests, especially since Illinois and Indiana are much alike in terms of growing conditions, plants/crops.  The top ten pests listed were:

 1)  Japanese beetles

 2)  Moles

 3)  Lady beetles

 4)  Hornets, bees, and wasps

 5)  Ants

 6)  Wildlife (raccoons, opossums, and squirrels)

 7)  Termites

 8)  Spiders

 9)  Bagworms

10) Galls (abnormal growths on plants that can be caused by insects)


Give Hoosiers a cigar for hitting the nail on the head with their #1 choice.  These hard-shelled insects are about Ĺ inch in length with body colors of brown (back and wings) and green (head and bottom area.)  Introduced into the United States for research purposes in 1918, they escaped shortly thereafter from a New Jersey laboratory and began their westward journey.  After 86 years they are now located from the East coast to the middle of Illinois .  By the next century they, no doubt, will be found throughout the continental United States .

Iíve been fighting these critters for the last ten years achieving very limited success.  They are especially bothersome outside the cities near farmlands because of the bean crops, etc.  Other than man, Japanese beetles have no natural predators.  However, one day a few years ago, sitting on my patio, I noticed a sparrow in flight, captured a beetle.  This sparrow took its prey to my garage roof, landed, and played with the beetle like a cat plays with a captured bird.  I guess sparrows are good for something.

 Japanese beetles are unique in that they cause havoc during their immature and adult stages.  As an immature grub, they feed on the roots of farm crops, like corn and soybeans and turf grass, i.e. da lawn. As adults, they feast on more than 240 species of green plants.  In my yard, weíre talking primarily roses. In your abode it could be grapevines, raspberry bushes, etc.

 These ďsuckersĒ first appear in July and stick around till August, eating and mating.  They not only devour your precious blooms but munch on the foliage as well. Fortunately, the host is not completely devastated and does recover quickly.  However, during this period of time the plants look like ďhell.Ē

 Pesticides are very effective against beetles but are not environmentally friendly. Do what you have to do, but I quit using insecticides many years ago.  I now squash beetles to death between my thumb and second forefinger. Okay, I used to be queasy about squashing and wore gloves.  However, I get so damn mad when I see them that I donít take the time anymore searching for a pair of gloves. A friend told me that her mother likes to hear the squash sound when squeezing.  You go girl!!!!            

 For beetles, insecticides SEVIN and BAYER are very lethal.  They are also a killer of beneficial insects as well which is the main reason why I donít use insecticides.  Remember, wear the proper safety equipment because these insecticides are highly toxic.

 Beetle traps Ė I donít recommend their use, at least not in my yard. If you must buy this product, give them to your neighbor down the block and let his yard entertain all the beetles in the neighborhood. Believe me, they will have a ball.  Buy enough of these traps because they will fill up rapidly due to the sex scent.

 I have experienced lawn damage caused by the grubs.  A dead give-away is brown patches of turf somewhat circular in nature.  Since grubs reside just below the surface in the root zone area, you can easily check for grub action by grasping the dead grass and pulling upwards. The carpet should separate quite easily.  If you spot grubs, seek out your local garden center for help.


          Here are some suggestions from Adolph for those interested in exhibiting at a rose show.  


Ł      If you spray, do it at least a week before the show.  Also, use liquid iron (for green leaves) one week before.

Ł      To straighten a stem while on the bush use bamboo and tie it to the cane at least a week before.

Ł      Clean and polish leaves on the bush if possible.  Final grooming can be done at the show.

Ł      Make the second cut under water at an angle.  The stem should be in proportion to the bloom Ė roughly 6 or 7 times the length of the bloom.

Ł      Harden the rose in a dark corner then refrigerate at 35 to 38 degrees for up to three days.  Cover bloom with a baggie to keep it moist.

Ł      To transport your roses, use juice cartons with warm water; add Listerine or Sprite (not diet) or Floralite; vinegar and sugar also work.

Ł      Grooming kits can be as small or elaborate as you choose.  Indispensable items would include Q-tips, pruners, aluminum foil (never clay) to raise the stem in the vase, scalloped shears for damaged leaves (found at craft stores in the scrapbook section), an X-acto knife, tweezers and cotton balls or a soft cloth for polishing leaves.

Ł      Last but not least, donít be shy if this is your first show.  Someone will be there to help you!







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