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trouble with sterling silver

15 years ago

I'm about to give up on Sterling Silver AND I'm a little annoyed with my nursery. Bought one last year and planted it in June, watered deeply and often, planted with a good helping of nice compost and peat as we have crappy soil. Well, after a nice initial bloom, the week after planting, nothing. And I mean nothing -- no more blooms and not even a new SHOOT of growth for months. I fed it, watered it, whatever, nothing. And then this spring, one teeny little shoot comes out from above the graft union and kicks the bucket a week later, and the plant then sprang to life from below the graft.

So, this spring, late May, I tear it out and replace it, again with Sterling Silver as I love lavender roses and was feeling stubborn, again with a good helping of compost, bone meal, peat mixed in. Here it is again in July and it's doing the same exact thing!! Fabulous blooms in June, just tons of them, and now nada, not a single sprig of new growth. The plant looks vaguely unhappy -- cupped leaves kind of, very dark green foliage, some crispy bits. A few new buds started and gave up the ghost. Now powdery mildew wants to set in.

Now, I have a DAvid Austin antique-type rose about 15 feet away that's doing just fine thank you, I have irises, lillies, phlox all thriving in the same bed. What gives?

I called the nursery and this guy told me I was watering wrong! All spring I was concerned that I hadn't given things enough water last year, so this year, about every other day (I'm home a lot), I've been leaving my hose to drip a steady trickle right on the root zone of everything for something like an hour or so at a time; then I go an move it to the next plant. The new rose has been getting watered like this about every two days or maybe three because it looked droopy otherwise. Guy at the nursery says no, the plant is getting "lazy roots," water a stronger stream for like ten minutes, no more than once a week. And he tells me to feed it Miracle Grow for roses.

I dunno. Everything else has been just fine and I've never had this strange non-growth thing before. Are they just trying to avoid giving me a new plant or am I doing something wrong? Is Sterling Silver that difficult in Ohio? Any suggestions on a sturdier lavendar rose?

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