1/07/2007

Every rose has its thorns...and assorted pests


Would a rose by any other name still be such a pain in the @%$@# to grow? I think so.
I'm now contemplating if I want to replant my rose bushes into new containers (the cooler months are the best time for this), put them in the ground, or just unload them anonymously in my neighbor's driveway during the night, since he seems much better at caring for them.
I have a love-hate relationship with the roses left to me by my the former owners of our home. I love the blooms, like this one I captured with my new camera in November. But dealing with the rest of the plant is another matter. Leaf spot, Japanese beetles, powdery mildew, and aphids tend to attack the plants all summer. The best solutions are very toxic chemicals, which I choose not to apply this past summer while I was pregnant. I guess I could put my environmentalist inclinations aside and go back to a regimen of spraying next summer.
Is the rose really worth all this effort?

8 comments:

Andrea said...

I think roses can be grown successfully without the use of toxic chemicals. In fact, it's the best way as the chemicals you use could kill natural predators such as ladybirds.

Try using companion plants such as nasturtiums and various herbs. French marigolds are also good at attracting pest predators.

Using natural fertilisers and building up the quality of the soil should result in healthy roses which can generally fight off most diseases.

Don't give up!

Jill said...

What a beautiful color!

Carol said...

I agree with Andrea, don't give up and resort to the sprays!

Pam said...

Yes. But there are varieties that do much better in the south, many of them are antique roses - and I have ~30 in my yard. Some still have problems with pests - but many of them don't at all - and are gorgeous. I agree with Andrea - I think folks get their gardens 'addicted' to chemicals - but if you have a diversity of plants then you'll also have a diversity of pests, including alot of beneficial ones. Go check out the Antique Rose Emporium's website (the one in Brenham, TX) for an incredible selection - but I can recommend some to you too. Some of the hybrid teas, etc are a bit of a pain compared to some of the antique roses.

Gotta Garden said...

I garden in VA. While you can (and I have done so) try to grow roses without chemical assistance, you should...in my opinion...be prepared to enjoy them in the spring and the fall. In between, they're problematic.

I have a variety of roses and grow a diverse garden...most roses simply don't grow here like they do, for instance in WA State (where I've also lived) (There's a reason Portland, OR is called the City of Roses!)...however, they're worth it to me.

I should add that last year after seeing a stunning rose garden in the National Catheral Garden during the height of the difficult season...which could only have been attained with chemical help...my opinion and that of a horticulturist I know...I have decided to engage in some warfare. It was amazing what a little assistance will do.

If they're worth it to you (what's really important), then garden as you feel appropriate and comfortable.

Garden Pictures said...

Did you try planting a few rose bushes between lots of lavender? It seems to greatly reduce some pests.

Melvin said...

awesome colour.....
thanks....

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Melvin
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