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Anti-fungal nutrients for roses

9 years ago

I re-post an excerpt from the below link:

"... the fungal inhibitory rates were measured using the plate-count method following shake-flask test. Moreover, an inhibition-zone test and observation by scanning electron microscopy were carried out. The inhibitory rate of the calcium, copper, and zinc alginate fibers were, respectively, 49.1, 68.6, and 92.2 %. The results from inhibition-zone test and shake-flask test show that zinc alginate fibers have the most significant action, and that copper alginate fibers have obvious inhibitory action, but the calcium alginate fibers have weak inhibitory effects. "

See link for nutritional analysis of one cup of whole-grain
corn meal.

NPK of corn meal is 1.6 / 0.65 / 0.4 compared to horse manure NPK of 0.44 / 0.17 / 0.35. Corn has higher nitrogen, almost 4 times more phosphorus, slightly more potassium, plus B-complex vitamins, 39% magnesium, 23% iron, 29% phosphorus, 10% potassium, 30% manganese, 37% selenium, 1% calcium, 12% copper, and 15% zinc.

Let's compare the ratios of of zinc, copper, and calcium in red-lava rocks. One neighbor mulch her roses with lava rocks, and I don't see any disease whatsoever in her 50+ roses. The other neighbor who mulched with white lime stones had some black spots in humid weather. See below link for Red lava rocks composition:

Red Lava rocks: pH 8.2, Phosphorus........................................6.0 p.p.m.
Potassium.........................................59.0 p.p.m.
Zinc.........................................................6 p.p.m.
Iron..................................................10.0+ p.p.m.
Copper...............................................5.5+ p.p.m.
Magnesium.......................................2.0+ p.p.m.
Boron.................................................10.0 p.p.m.

Wood ash is a strong anti-fungal agent, let's compare wood ash to lime stone:

Boron 123
Copper 70 ***** 10
Zinc 233 **** 113
Calcium 15 *** 31
Potassium 2.6 *** 0.13
Iron 0.84 *** 0.29
Phosphorus 0.53 *** 0.06
Manganese 0.41 *** 0.05

You can see from above for the anti-fungal agents: wood ash has twice more zinc, seven times more copper, but 1/2 calcium (a weaker anti-fungal of the trio). Wood ash also 2.6 potassium, compared to 0.13 of limestone.

Last year I watched a You-Tube on "Secret of Healthy roses" and the guy put Kelp meal, plus Brewer's yeast as SOLUBLE fertilizer. That didn't make sense, until I check the nutrient analysis for 2 tablespoons of Brewer's yeast:

Brewer's yeast is VERY HIGH in B-vitamins, which stimulate plant growth. For the anti-fungal trio (zinc, copper, and calcium), here are the values for brewer's yeast:

Calcium 0.0
Iron 1.1 mg 6%
Magnesium 32.0 mg 8%
Phosphorus 0.0
Potassium 633 mg 18%
Zinc 1.5 mg 10%
Copper 1.0 mg 50%

You can see that Brewer's yeast has decent potassium for blooming, plus to fight diseases. Also 50% copper, a strong anti-fungal agent. See below link for the You-Tube where the guy mixed brewer's yeast as the secret for growing healthy roses:

Here is a link that might be useful: Youtube top 10 secrets of growing healthy roses

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 15:13

Comments (140)

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    hi Strawberry and Jim, Beautiful tomatoes, marigolds and zinnias.

    Strawberry~Thanks for your nice complimet on my Caramel fairy tale rose. She needs to be moved and I was wondering where to put her. I think I'll plant her with my peach/yellow/ apricot Austins-Carding Mill, Lady of Shalott, Ambridge Rose and Crown Princes Margareta. I think her flowers will blend nicely with the Austins.

    Thanks for the info on Dr. Huey not liking being buried deep. Unfortunately most of my Austins are grafted on Dr. H. would you plant shallower? I can wait til it cools off some to dig them up seeing they are struggling now.

    I also just got order confirmation from Heirloom . All the roses ordered, Carding Mill, Jude, Sharifa Asma, Charlotte, Molineux, Eden, Compassion and Cream Abundance will be shipping soon. Yay!! Would you pot these up first, fertilize with what? I want to give them the best jump start on winter that I can. I have Pennington Alaska Fertilizer coming from Amazon, plus cracked corn, bone meal, pelleted and crushed lime, pelleted gypsum, kelp4less sulfur of potash, tomato tone and rose tone. What do you recommend? My soil is slightly acidic to neutral ph, so a little less sweet than yours. How late would you plant these in the ground? I'm zone 6a so a little warmer than you but we generally get a hard frost by the middle of October unless we get Indian summer :-)

    Again thanks for all of your help. I believe with your guidance I'll have success with my beautiful roses!!

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Sharon: I learn to check the natural habitat & pH for a plant. A friend gave me few Goij berry rootings. I planted that in MG potting soil (regular) with pH 6.5, plus Jobes' NPK 2-7-4 (high in bone meal & mycorrhyzal), plus gypsum. IT HATED THAT, and wilted immediately.

    Then I googled the natural habitat of Goji berries and found this info: "Goji berries grow in an alkaline soil of a pH of 8.2 to 8.6 in their natural habitat." In contrast, England is a rainy climate, mostly acidic soil. I checked your roses: " Carding Mill, Jude, Sharifa Asma, Charlotte, Molineux, Eden, Compassion and Cream Abundance,"

    Compassion and Cream Abundance are bred by Harkness, United Kingdom. But Eden is bred in France, a hotter climate & with a good region of alkaline clay. Eden is known as heat-tolerant and prone-to rust.

    Eden, Molineux, and Carding Mill are known to do well in alkaline clay & hot climate. For those 3 PLANTING HOLES, I would use less crack corn (too acidic), and more pelletized lime, plus 1 cup gypsum, and Tomato Tone in the planting hole. Then top with 4 teas. blood meal and water with 1 teas. sulfate of potash per gallon (once every 2 weeks). Potassium and calcium are known to prevent rust, Eden would need both, being a climber, plus many petals.

    For the rest: Jude, Sharifa Asma, Charlotte, Compassion and Cream Abundance ... all bred in United Kingdom. My personal experience with Jude: it HATES lime, and needs extra-potassium to bloom well. Sharifa Asma is a wimpy grower, needs extra blood meal to grow taller.

    When I mixed alfalfa meal in the planting hole for Dr. Huey-root-stock. It hates that stuff, with alfalfa meal acidic at pH 5.7, plus too wet. Dr. Huey likes it dry and alkaline, being bred in CA. My experience with alfalfa inside the planting hole for own-roots: OK if less than 1 cup, too much make them grow too tall, like Scepter'd Isle shot up to 5 feet as 1st-year own-root.

    For own-root bands, they do best if potted in 2-gallon container 1st. If you use Moisture-Control MG potting soil, the pH is neutral. Mix 1/2 cup gypsum and 1/2 cup Tomato Tone at NPK 3-4-6 (with alfalfa meal & chicken manure).

    I have better luck with alfalfa meal in the planting hole, than 1/2 cup in the pots ... why? Pots need to drain fast & already have peat moss, and alfalfa meal is too sticky, which impedes the drainage in a pot. Pennington Alaska pellets already has alfalfa meal, the tea is excellent in promoting growth. Rose Tone at NPK 4-3-2 already has alfalfa meal & good for slow-grower like Sharifa Asma.

    The fast grower like climbers I give extra potassium to make them bloom, and stop growing. But with the slower-growers like Sharifa Asma and Jude I give extra nitrogen via blood meal. Loamy soil leaches out nitrogen more than my sticky clay, so 1/2 cup of blood meal on top after PLANTING IN THE GROUND, will help GRAFTED roses to grow faster.

    For tiny own-roots, I use less a few tablespoons of blood meal on top, to balance out the once every 2 weeks of watering with sulfate of potash, and the red-lava rocks (high in potassium). It should be equal ratio of potassium to nitrogen, but 1/2 phosphorus. If you use bone meal in the planting hole, no more than 2 tablespoons and mix very well, that stuff burns root if in direct contact.

    Sharon, good luck with your GRAFTED roses in the ground, and own-root bands in the pot. Own-root can be planted DEEP, no problems whatsoever. I grow own-root in pots 1st until they get big, then planted them 6" below soil .. they easily survive my past winter of -25 degree.

    When I killed my Knock-out which had both Dr. Huey and its own-root, the own-root was one-tenth the size of Dr. Huey .. the doctor was extending 4 feet away, and it took me 45 minutes to dig him up. That's why I never buy grafted. I took me only 5 minutes to kill own-root Knock-out in that bed where I planted too deep, and it lost Dr. Huey completely.

    Below is Charles Austin bought as gallon-size own-root from Chamblee. I put too much alfalfa meal in the planting hole. The result? It grew too much leaves, and only 1 bloom for the 1st year. Picture taken a month after purchase.

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 14:35

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    Hi Jim: thanks for the picture of the mountains in your PA area ... that's so beautiful !! I live 1/2 hour northeast from DeKalb, IL. You are right that DeKalb is flat, mostly corn fields. I have more trees & and varied scenery here. My heavy clay is fertile too. I don't need to fertilize much, but I need to add trace elements for disease-resistance. This is my first year WITHOUT horse manure, and it's the most black spots, and disappointing year !! Horse manure NPK is low, but high in trace elements, thanks to its being a good source of bacteria. Plus zinc and copper vitamins added to the feed. Even if the soil is tested sufficient in NPK, with constant rain, and after heavy blooming .. nitrogen and potassium are leached out. Nitrogen can be re-supplied again with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which is abundant in organic matter like composted manure. But potassium has to be supplied via fertilizer. Henry Kuska, professor of chemistry and once had a garden of over 1,000 roses, made an excellent observation that perhaps roses become depleted of potassium after a bloom cycle, esp. late fall. I agree, I gave Comte de Chambord a big-dose of potassium at the start of its 2nd flush ... it gave many petals-bloom, and the bulk of the blooms are heavier than the leaves plus the wimpy root. Now at the end of its flush, it's breaking out in B.S. To make zillion-petals bloom, a lot of potassium and calcium are needed prior to each flush. Less-petals like Knock-out are more disease-resistant, because the bulk of its roots is more than the bulk of the blooms ... the roots can easily fetch more nutrients. So for wimpy-root roses like Comte de Chambord and Jude the Obscure, immediate soluble fertilizer is needed for blooms & disease-protection. Why Mr. Lincoln is more disease-resistant for your soil than else where? Perhaps Mr. Lincoln root is most vigorous in your particular soil to fetch the nutrients needed to fight against diseases. Romanticas are clean in my alkaline soil, since their roots are very vigorous at my soil pH, with plenty of dolomitic lime for them. Your pic. shows the mountains in PA, which means less air-flow than my open Chicagoland. Plus I don't get dew, as you stated, "Here we get heavy dews outside. So around 10pm the leaves on our roses are getting wet as if it rained. They dry off early to late morning so perfect breeding grounds for BS." I find that dry & leathery leaves like Crimson Glory (prone to mildew in dry climate) tolerate wetness on its leaves. Crimson Glory is my top-clean rose, even after 1-week of constant rain. Same with shiny leaves like Pat Austin ... that one is known as a water-hog & loves the rain, but become droopy in hot & dry weather. Christopher Marlow has thick & shiny & rain-resistant leaves. It's the thin-leaves like Comte de Chambord that can't take the humidity nor wetness. I have to give that SOLUBLE calcium & potassium to make its leaves thicker. Same with Gruss an Teplitz, leaves can't take wetness, and he's the parent of Dr. Huey rootstock. Zinc and copper are the 2 strongest antifungal agents, and some soil are more deficient in those. That's why this year without horse manure, my roses are the worst ever. Calcium is a weaker antifungal agent, but it still works. That's why my Duchess de Rohan planted in my clay fixed with tons of gypsum, is 100% clean despite being a shady, perpetually wet spot where other perennials are mildewed, and other roses with BS. My clay is dolomitic lime, and I'm next to a limestone quarry, yet my soil is tested barely adequate in calcium. One hundred plus-petals bloom like Austin roses require lots of calcium and potassium, versus less-petal Knock-out. Below is a bouquet picked today, July 23, showing the many petals roses. The firm-petal one like Stephen Big Purple which lasts long in the vase, also requires an ungodly amount of calcium. It does very well next to my limestone-based patio, and doubled in growth after application of gritty lime. Pink is Sonia Rykiel, yellow is Golden Celebration, small beige Mary Magdalene, big peachy pink are Evelyn. This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Wed, Jul 23, 14 at 22:56
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  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks Strawberry for more great info. At the risk of sounding like an idiot, what are the approximate dimensions of a 2 gallon pot. I have plenty of 1 gal. pots from assorted perennials but not sure how big a 2 gallon is.

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I missed that Caramel Fairytale of yours enchantedrose...
    Nice looking bloom!

    How deep did you plant the graft on your grafted roses enchantedrose?
    I think you climate calls for planting it 2"- 3" deep.

    Plus with your type of soil they may just adapt anyhow...

    What you think Strawbhill?

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Jim, thanks for the nice compliment. She is a very pretty rose and has a very light but lovely scent, soft fruity and has been VERY neglected. Never fertilized, or pruned. About 4 feet tall, covered with buds this year and gorgeous disease free dark green leaves so I think I might have to start giving her a bit more attention, or maybe I shouldn't mess with a good thing ;-).

    Thanks also for your input and recommendations on planting depth. I went down 4 inches per the recommendations of the vendor I bought from but she is zone 5/4 so quite a bit colder than me. Her roses were gorgeous, already in full flower in mid June, mine were still in tight buds showing no color, but it's been abnormally cool here this spring and summer, but I wonder if her roses will lose their vigor eventually as they were all grafted. She also sprays for pests and diseases which I won't do and uses Miracle grow soluble which I also won't use.

    We rarely get below -5 now and that is in a cold winter. Most times we don't even see zero degrees so quite a bit warmer than we used to be. My soil is slightly acidic to slightly alkaline depending on which bed I'm planting in. I have 6 raised bed sections to work with, super easy to plant in, with various topsoil blends. One is probably 25 year old 100% cow manure, the rest are a blend of horse manure, sand and topsoil from a local farmer. Beautiful quality, never sticky, no hardpan even with severe drought, beautifully friable and full of earth worms :) so good quality for plants. I have some Queen Anne's lace growing here and there, the flowers are gigantic, some probably 7 inches across, so very fertile soil.

    All the Austins are grafted on Dr. Huey which Strawbhill says hate acidic soil and resent being buried deep. I have 3 Darcy Bussles that are David Austin own root, I think 2 years in a pot if I remember what the grower told me correctly, these are doing really well and pushing out new buds and growth constantly. The flower is a glowing deep magenta, not as purple as Munstead Woods, it seems to me a prettier bush but not quite as fragrant, but so far disease free and very prolific. I think I'll wind up replanting the DA grafted when it cools off a bit. It has been very muggy here low 80's but no rain to speak of so far so perfect climate for blackspot. I think I have PW on some too. My phlox was so gross that I yanked it all out. Kinda drastic, like you ;-)

    I have 3 Bolero Roses that smell exquisite, flower nonstop and are extremely healthy, beautiful dark green leaves and tons of buds and new growth still in pots. I called Star Roses and found out that these are also grafted Dr. Huey root stock so I won't plant these deep either and will keep the soil on the sweet side.

    I think I'll eventually replace these all with own root. I've read that grafted become less vigorous with age, and the union above the graft may not put out own roots or really strong roots. I'm almost 56 so I really don't want to have to replace all my roses when I'm in my late 60's. It's already a lot of work: I can't imagine starting all over at that age. I'll move them to the back yard instead. Less desirable planting conditions but it will be nice to be surrounded by roses!

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've always heard zones 4-5 the graft (bud union?) gets planted 4" - 6 " deep.
    Zones 6's are 2"- 3" deep
    Then as the zones get warmer they can be planted flush or above the soil a bit.

    At 4" your roses probably will adapt in your type of soil and may even turn own root someday.

    See what Strawbhill advises....

    I grow all own root and my mind went blank on the terms used... Bud union

    This post was edited by jim1961 on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 16:25

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you, Sharon and Jim, for your questions which help me as well. I measured my $5 plastic-2-gallon pot: it's 12", or 1 foot tall and 1 foot in diameter.

    My mistake with that Heirloom hybrid tea grafted on Dr. Huey: I planted it too deep, more than 4" below. I made my clay to be slightly acidic with alfalfa meal (pH 5.7) and peat moss .. same stuff I did with own-root Austins. Dr. Huey can sit for months in dry ware-house no problems, but he hates anything wet and acidic. My Grafted rose was pathetic like Sharon's Scepter'd Isle, so I killed it.

    Recently I learned from Seaweed that Heirloom hybrid tea likes her dry & alkaline CA. What I should had done was NOT to plant it too deep. I should had made the soil more alkaline by spreading ground-limestone on top, like how I perked up Radio Times. I should had cut a long branch off and stick it deep into the soil, to grow another own-root.

    Vigorous Austins like Golden Celebration, Evelyn, Radio Times, and Scepter'd Isle HATE to be grafted on Dr. Huey. They root themselves easily in my rock-hard alkaline clay. I killed a baby Radio Times, and a baby Evelyn (rooted themselves when I dumped soil for winter-protection). When I dug own-root Scepter'd Isle to give away, its root is just as big as Dr. Huey.

    Seaweed has Teasing Georgia, a vigorous Austin. Hers is grafted, and it declines in bloom as it matures. Same with the rose park, their grafted Austins like Abraham Darby gets larger in size, but decline in blooming with each subsequent years. The last time I saw Abraham Darby, it was 2 blooms on a giant bush 6' x 5' ... that was in wet fall & lots of rain.

    Sharon, I would start an own-root from the Mommy-grafted-on-Dr.Huey, either bending down a branch, and dumping soil on top.... or stick a branch deep into the ground, next to Mommy. I use a knife to slice off 1/2" of the outer green layer on both sides of the lowest stem, so it roots easier. You'll get a vigorous own-root when the grafted-Mommy declines in the future.

    Below are own-root Golden Celebration, 100% clean, and William Shakespeare 2000 as own-root. My W.S. is small like a mini-rose, always blooming, and gives me 4" bloom. It's easy to give tiny own-roots plenty of water & nutrients, but a giant grafted bush would require MANY TIMES more potassium & phosphorus & calcium and water for blooming ... which some gardens can't afford.

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 16:43

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here's a Rose Society article on grafted roses...

    Oooops this is mainly about Florida....

    Here is a link that might be useful: To bury or not to bury

    This post was edited by jim1961 on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 16:50

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here's a article on David Austin roses and burying the graft.
    The 4" deep is mentioned in this article...

    What I found interesting was the fact this woman buried her David Austin roses 4" deep but does not fill all the soil in right away. She only fills the soil up to the graft then lets the roses grow until they go dormant then fills the rest of the hole in with soil. Some rose expert advises this practice...

    Here is a link that might be useful: Planting David Austin Roses...

    This post was edited by jim1961 on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 17:40

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Jim: That's a great tip ... covering only half-way would leave a hole, or "basin" to collect water. Thank you for that smart tip.

    Niels, in zone 5b Denmark, once posted a thread, asking for the life-span of a grafted-rose. Folks in CA raved about grafted-on-Dr.Huey, stating that grafted-roses can last for decades. Niels remarked that it's NOT THE SAME in his cold zone & acidic clay, where grafted-roses have a short-life-span.

    I agree with Niels, in my zone 5a, there's a decline in grafted-roses. The average life-span of a grafted-Austin at the rose-park is 5 years, and the average life-span of grafted-hybrid tea is much less, some only 2 years. One example is Intrigue floribundas .. I saw them in their 1st year at the rose parks, tons of blooms, very impressive.

    After a mild winter, I visited the park early summer, and that Intrigue-bed was a mess. All were covered with black spots, lost leaves, no blooms ... they got rid of that bed the 2nd year. The rose park sprays every 10 days.

    Same with my last house with acidic clay. My dozen grafted hybrid teas were glorious 1st summer. After the winter, they went down hill, and became one-cane wonder with black spots early spring. The bud-union is sensitive to cold & acidic wet clay, thus a decline thereafter both in vigor and disease-resistance.

    Own-roots are different. Wise Portia was one cane, 3" tall in June thanks to the winter, plus my grapefruit experiment. But own-root expanded fast ... and looked like this the next year:

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 10:55

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you, Jim, for that great link on planting David Austin roses, at recommended 4" below ground. In that link, she showed how the distance from the bud-union to the root-mass vary considerably with roses.

    Dave and Deb in zone 5a, Montana (dry climate & alkaline clay) stated: "I plant the bud union 2 to 4 inches below ground level. We mound our first year roses and some of our tender established roses. I do this to keep them cold as much as to protect them from it. I wait until mid December when, hopefully, the ground is frozen." They grow tender hybrid teas, mini-roses, but NO hardy Austin !!

    I look over the list of Austin roses that Sharon has, most are hardy to zone 4. The Austins that died on cold-zoners are Pat Austin and Bishop Castle. When I first got Pat Austin as a tiny band years ago, I planted it RIGHT INTO my clay, it was so tiny, so I put it less than 1" below ground, but I kept adding horse manure as it grew taller. I survived last worst winter, with temp. below -25.

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Strawberry and Jim, thanks again for more invaluable info. and guidance. It has been very much appreciated.

    Strawberry~I understand the technique of layering, I have done this with my hydrangeas and have gotten plenty of babies this way and scratch the cambium layer to promote roots :) but I'm not sure that I understand your other technique. Am I cutting a long stem off of the rose bush and rooting in the ground? No rooting hormones? How long a stem and how much in the ground verses how much above ground. Do you cut 2 strips of "bark" for lack of a better word on the whole part of the stem that will be below the ground. I have never had success with rooting cuttings but never stripped the stem to expose the cambium layer before. Is it better to try this in a shaded area to lessen the stress and evaporation?
    My Heirloom Roses are coming on Thursday!!! I can't wait to get them. It is like Christmas, isn't it, except much better weather and much better presents :)
    We have also gotten some much needed rain, everything is glowing!! and looks so lush.

    Jim~I'll be digging these roses up and replanting more shallow and might trying your suggestion to see how that works. Thanks for the link. I'll def. check it out.
    Happy gardening.

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Sharon: 1 week ago I tested rooting cuttings by gently scraping the green layer at MANY points .. those became whitish with calluses (start of root-formation). The ones that WAS NOT wounded, nor stripped off the outer layer DID NOT callus, even after 1 month.

    Dave and Deb in zone 5a explained in HMF how to stick a stem next to the mommy-bush, which shades the baby. Dave wrote "In spring of 2004 the dogs broke a big cane off one of the Oklahoma. To get Deb laughing, I just took the cane and stuck it in the ground. I told her, "now we have another Oklahoma". I forgot about it until late August when I started to pull the dead cane out of the ground when I noticed a bit of green at the bottom. I looked closer and there was a bit of new growth about an inch from the ground. ... I uncovered Oklahoma in spring of 2005 and saw new growth. It had 4 blooms that spring and those huge blooms on that tiny thing looked hilarious. The blooms were so big I had to prop them up. 2006 was a great year for the rascal and Oklahoma Jr is doing great own root. Oklahoma is not cane hardy in zone 4/5. It starts the year 6 inches to a foot tall. Spring growth is vigorous and it quickly gets 3 to 4 feet tall. We get 30 to 35 blooms per flush on our 2 bushes. Repeat time is average - about 6 weeks. We don't get black spot. Oklahoma will get a touch of powdery mildew ... Both of ours seem to use the iron in the soil faster than neighbors. Fragrance is strong and one of my favorite scents. Oklahoma is usually 4 - 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide by season's end."

    *** From Straw: Dave and Deb are in Montana, dry climate. My Chicagoland is more humid & rainy weather, and every baggie method I tried rotted. I left Oklahoma cuttings in a cup of rain water, and they sprouted new leaves ... that one roots easily. See link below for Hartwoodroses' rooting by covering with a plastic dome (cut-off pop-bottle). I never try that before .. we don't drink pop.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Root cuttings by Connie of Hartwoodroses

  • 9 years ago
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    Hi Strawberry, thanks for the link to the cuttings rooting. I will try that when I get some rooting hormone. I'd love to see if I can root a Sceptre'd Isle cutting :)
    We are as humid as you but seemingly a lot less rain. It's overcast today but hasn't rained at my house yet, although other areas of my town have had rain.

  • 9 years ago
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    Hi Strawberry, thanks for the link to the cuttings rooting. I will try that when I get some rooting hormone. I'd love to see if I can root a Sceptre'd Isle cutting :)
    We are as humid as you but seemingly a lot less rain. It's overcast today but hasn't rained at my house yet, although other areas of my town have had rain.

  • 9 years ago
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    Sharon, just wondering why your digging your roses up?
    Are they doing bad?
    If not they may grow ok in the future...

  • 9 years ago
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    Hi Jim~ Strawberrry pm'd me telling me that Dr. Huey doesn't like to be buried super deep. I buried the bud union at least 4 inches below ground. Some seem ok but my Sceptre'd Isle is in rough shape. I won't be moving them til later this year. Maybe at that point they'll start growing and I won't need to replant them. I'm like you and Strawberry though, I'll only plant own root from now on. With all the winter damage to my roses it really doesn't make sense to grow grafted ones.
    My Folksinger that I posted the picture of is own root, suffered die back to the ground this year and came back beautifully and is probably close to 4 feet tall. Kind of an expensive lesson learned. I'll replace these as time and money permits so eventually I'll have all own root. I have one David Austin own root from Austin direct "Darcy Bussels" that is growing like crazy, sending up lots of new growth and many buds. I've heard that David Austin's own root bare roots are inferior quality but this rose is gorgeous so I might try ordering a couple bare root own root roses from them. They have quite a good selection of own roots now. Heirloom Roses are nice but they're so tiny. Chamblee's are really nice but they don't have a really large selection of Austins. Rose Unlimited probably has the most available so I'll be ordering from them too. I think I'll need a bigger yard ;-)

  • 9 years ago
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    Hi Sharon & Jim: There's a lady in CA who planted her roses too deep on Dr. Huey, she had to replanted them at ground level. She posted on that years ago. I didn't pull my Heirloom hybrid tea up ... and let Dr. Huey suffer for months (deeply drown). Then 1/2 of Dr. Huey died on that one, and it was so lop-sided, so I killed it before winter.

    It's cool here in the high 60's, perfect temp. for black spot, after a month-long rain. What's in the planting hole determines the long-term health. Stephen Big Purple still clean, in the hole which I used Scott's Premium Top soil, sold for $2 a bag at Walmart.

    That bag has peatmoss (pH 4) to balance out the wood-ash (pH 10). They put wood ash in there to impart that "black" color, and that stuck to my skin tight, I had to use alcohol to rub it off. I tested the pH of Scott's Premium Top soil, slightly alkaline, not bad. My roses are always clean & bloom well when I mixed that in the hole, thanks to the antifungal properties of wood ash (high in zinc, copper, boron, potassium, and calcium).

    But the roses where I put lots of MG-potting soil, has terrible black spots, since that soil doesn't have wood-ash added, it's just brownish peatmoss & lime, at neutral pH

    The roses where I put cheap-top-soil, which tested VERY ALKALINE at pH 8, really black with wood-ash added. Roses are 100% clean, but don't bloom, thanks to the high pH. This top soil was sold $1.29 per bag.

    Wood-ash has the strongest anti-fungal nutrients, best used with peat-moss (pH 4) to balance out wood ash pH at 10. Peat-moss and lime, as in MiracleGro potting soil, doesn't help with fungal diseases in roses.

    The worst holes with perpetual black spots? That's where I put tons of pine-bark, pH 4.5, high in manganese (known to promote fungal growth).

    The second worst hole is the one which I foolishly tested high-phosphorus fertilizer last year, will have to dig up Sonia Rykiel late fall to undo the damage. According to Texas A & M University, high-phosphorus fertilizer brings down zinc and iron, and zinc is the strongest anti-fungal agent. Sharon, my best wishes to you in making the best planting holes!

    I found pdf file, entitled "Impact of boiler-ash on soil nutrients", it lists the concentration of boiler ash/soil, with 267 K (potassium), 190 CA (calcium), 30 P (phosphorus), 9 for iron, 60 for manganese, and 470 for zinc. You can see zinc being very high, same with potassium and calcium ... those are the 3 most vital for disease-prevention in roses. Too bad we converted our wood-fire-place into gas-fire-place when we first moved here !!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Impact of boiler-ash in soil nutrients

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 22:48

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Strawberry and Jim

    Strawberry~Thanks for the info on wood ash. I have a whole pail full of wood ash. We heat our home with a pellet boiler and burn about 8 tons a year so plenty of ash!! My recent soil, the one that's a blend of horse manure, sand and topsoil is neutral to slightly alkaline but I have no idea what the anti fungal properties are. I don't know if the farmer adds lime or it's just sweet from the manure. I'm ordering more of it for yet another raised bed so I'll ask him. Should I mix some wood ash into the soil before I plant? I remember that you said it is very caustic so I'm not sure if it's a good idea. I'm not seeing much black spot so far, Folksinger is clean as is a mystery red own root rose that was top dressed with this new soil mix so this soil doesn't seem to encourage black spot.

    I was wondering if I could encourage roots by removing the outer layer of the canes that are right above the graft bud and dust with rooting hormone to force some own roots from the canes. Have you ever tried this? I've read that Dr. Huey rootstock also makes it difficult for the rose to produce basal growth. I have a grafted Heritage that is basically a one cane wonder plus Graham Thomas grafted died over the winter and Wild Eve, a very non impressive rose in my opinion, was also a one cane wonder and removed this spring.

    I'm in love with Bolero rose, continuous bloom, incredible scent and healthy dark green foliage. Unfortunately this is also grafted to Dr. H. She is an offspring of Fair Bianca and has gorgeous creamy white petals with a soft pink center and green button eye. You definitely see the Austin parentage in her and she smells as delicious as Munstead Wood. Roses Unlimited has Bolero listed, she's on my list for next spring. She truly is an outstanding rose so far but she hasn't gone through winter yet!

    So, for fertilizer for my new bands from heirloom I shouldn't use bone meal but should use blood meal. Would you put some lava rocks on top of the soil too? I know a lot of questions!! but I so much appreciate all of your help :-)

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Sharon: Good questions, I wonder the same. Great idea you have about scraping the outer bark of the lowest branches & dust with rooting-hormone to get babies .. I would love to know the result, thanks.

    I checked on the trace elements of various manure, see below link. Swine is highest in zinc. Poultry and Swine manure are both high in zinc, copper, and boron - due to the enrichment in their feed. Horse manure is highest in chromium, nickel, aluminum, and iron. I still like horse manure, since I like the deep colors (esp. deeper blue) with horse manure. Chromium is an anti-fungal agent.

    I'll repost the info. on wood ash: CaCO3 (calcium carbonate) Equivalent 43% (woodash) 100% for limestone

    pH woodash at 10.4 versus pH of limestone at 9.9

    Woodash is high in calcium, potassium, zinc, chromium, and all trace elements . Woodash also contains 123 mg/kg of Boron, which is vital for plant growth.

    Woodash has 70 mg/kg of copper, a fungicide in Bordeux mixture. It has 233 mg/kg of zinc (compared to 113 in limestone) a fungicide fraction in Mancozeb spray. It has boron, another fungicide for dry rot. It has 65 mg of lead, compared to 55 mg of lead in limestone, also a fungicide. Finally woodash has 57 mg of chromium, another fungicide.

    I re-posted info about your soil, Sharon: "My recent soil, the one that's a blend of horse manure, sand and topsoil is neutral to slightly alkaline." Sounds good to me with no diseases on your roses, why fix what's not broken?

    Advantages of wood ash (pH 10.4) combined with lots of peatmoss (pH 4) is BETTER MOISTURE-RETENTION, more potassium & calcium and anti-fungal nutrients. Disadvantages: It will burn roots if applied fresh. Best to top that stuff during late fall, and let the snow & rain work that down for next year. My Mom used wood ash for 30+ years in Michigan, she kept it away from roots. I see SURFACE application as safe (away from the central stem), but NOT mixed into planting hole.

    My Bolero from Roses Unlimited survived many winters, including this past coldest one. Bolero is a child of Sharifa Asma (Austin rose), Kimono, and a French rose Centenaire de Lourdes. That French heritage made Bolero liking the gritty lime that I applied during this month-long rain.

    Nitrogen leaches out BIG-TIME from roses in pots, so putting some blood meal ON TOP helps. I won't put that into the soil, since band-roots are tender. Bone meal is a NO-NO for pots .... I can write an essay on how many failed experiments I had with that stuff. I'll use bone meal only for my spring bulbs.

    Red Lava rocks has high pH of 8, with potassium & iron. My pot with red-lava rocks is on 2nd flush ... Barcelona rose with 4 buds. The other pots without red lava are doing nothing. My Wise Portia with red lava rocks has at least 40+ buds for 2nd flush, double-the amount of last year. Drawback? I need to supply nitrogen via blood meal to balance out the high potassium in Red Lava rocks.

    I use Red Lava on roses that like it alkaline: such as grafted-on-Dr.Huey, roses that has French heritage (Bolero), Sweet Promise, Frederic Mistral ... these French rose also like gypsum in the planting hole. Since you have many Austin roses (bred from a rainy & more acidic England) ... I would NOT use red-lava on OWN-ROOT-AUSTINS. Own-roots tend to have paler-leaves than grafted-on-Dr.Huey, and high-pH would worsen the chlorosis (paleness).

    My experience with gypsum in the planting hole? Gypsum pH is neutral, it has sulfur to neutralize the calcium-hydroxide in alkaline-tap-water. Gypsum is good for all roses. I use at least 1 cup for my rock-hard-clay, and 1/2 cup mix in with 2-gallon-pot for best root growth.

    My experience with gritty lime, or pulverized lime? Most Austin roses hate that stuff. Orange and yellow roses hate that stuff. Both colors prefer partial shade. French roses, or roses that tolerate high heat, full sun, and with firm petals like Stephen Big Purple like that stuff. Calcium helps plants to cope with drought and heat.

    My experience with cracked corn? Great for my rock-hard-alkaline clay at pH 7.7, but it's acidic at pH 4. OK to mix cracked corn with an alkaline medium to dilute its acidity. Drawback? Cracked-corn sprout all over. I did that late last fall, so corn got killed by my zone 5a winter. However, that made my clay fluffy & more moisture-retention. Will test the pH of ORGANIC dry pop-corn kernels ... there's a big difference in chemical composition of genetically modified, partially-fermented cracked-corn, versus ORGANIC dry pop-corn.

    Below is the link that lists the trace elements in different manures: swine, poultry, and horse. Sharon, I appreciate all your questions, they help me to realize the solutions to my own garden. Without your questions, I would be too lazy to do the research.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Trace elements in manure

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    So in a nuttshell Dr Huey just doesn't like to be planted deep. Ok gottcha...

    By the way here is the tip of the day never get Brewers Yeast in your eye! :-0 (lol)

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Jim! I hope your eyes are OK. I wish I could get horse-manure delivered like Sharon. This year I haven't used horse manure (too rainy), and I really miss the health & lush foliage with that stuff. Wood-ash burns even more, I got wood-ash from my neighbor's fire place, and that stuff was caustic, had to wash my fingers immediately.

    My Mom used wood ash by sprinkling on top of thick layer of leaves ... the leaves neutralized and diluted the wood ash. In the summer she used that composted leaves & ash in her garden, that's the only source of fertilizer for her flowers ... they bloomed lots and her roses were always clean.

    Gardening know-how is an excellent site, an excerpt from that site: "wood ash fertilizer is best used either lightly scattered or by first being composted along with compost. Wood ash will produce lye and salts if it gets wet. In small quantities, the lye and salt will not cause problems, but in larger amounts, the lye and salt may burn your plants. Composting fireplace ashes allows the lye and salt to be leached away. Not all wood ash fertilizers are the same. If the fireplace ashes in your compost are made primarily from hardwoods, like oak and maple, the nutrients and minerals that will be in your wood ash will be much higher. If the fireplace ashes in your compost are made mostly by burning softwoods like pine or firs, there will be less nutrients and minerals in the ash."

    Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening know-how on wood-ash

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Wed, Jul 16, 14 at 18:53

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Jim and Strawberry~In reference to Dr. H being finicky about being buried too deeply I'm assuming that the answer is yes. Thanks for the tip on not getting brewers' yeast in your eyes!! That's good to know ;-p According to Strawberry you don't want to drink it either, it's very nasty tasting. As long as the roses don't complain though I guess it's all good.

    Strawberry~I just got my Heirloom Rose order! and bought some Vigoro organic potting mix. They are small but very healthy looking. They sent my first order only though, I hope my Jude and Carding Mill will be following soon. Thanks for all the info on the roses' soil preferences. The research you do is astounding.

    I bought some rooting hormone to see if I can get Sceptre'd Isle to throw some roots from the canes and I want to try layering as well if one of the canes is long enough. I'll keep you updated on this process if I have any success.

    Now I just need to get all the newest arrivals potted up and fertilized so they can start to do some serious growing.
    Have a wonderful night.

  • 9 years ago
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    I do not much of anything about Dr. H. enchantedrose ...
    I've always grown own root. Years ago I watched other peoples grafted roses die off and the root-stock take over.
    I said to myself you know I just do not care for

    To this day my wife still thinks those Jesus and Mary YARD statues can turn white roses to a red color... Dr. H.!
    Yep my wifes mother planted grafted roses by those statues in zone 5a. You guessed it they all turned red!

  • 9 years ago
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    Hi Jim, I'm beginning to regret the decision to buy grafted but they are so tempting when they're in flower, but live and learn. Your and Strawberry's helpful suggestions and advice have been very much appreciated. I'll probably give the roses to my daughter as I replace them. She's a lot younger than me ;-p, so will have time in her youth, haha, to replant when they peter out.

    I have not even been blessed with Dr. Huey's roses making an appearance. He just ups and dies on me, but it is too funny that your wife believes that Jesus and Mary are responsible for the miraculous change in the roses coloring. Maybe I should get some of these statues for my garden? My little Alice (in Wonderland) just stands prettily in her bird bath. She hasn't performed any miracles at all :(

    I do have a stepping stone with the word grow on it, My husband asked if that was a demand, I said no it's a request, pretty please with sugar on top!!

    I just got some Austins in today from Heirloom Roses~
    2 Molineuax
    2 Charlotte
    2 Sharifa Asma

    also Eden, in spite of her negative press, Cream Abundance a floribunda by Harkness that others in the rose forums have raved about and have Carding Mill and Jude the Obscure on order. I hope Jude's flowers aren't too obscure (kind of an unfortunate name). I've read he can be stingy.

    We will be reworking some beds, putting in brick pathways and such plus taking down the ugliest paper birch in the early fall which is in danger of taking out our utility wires in the next ice storm. it shades the rose beds too much and is in the way of the design I have planned so it just has to go!!

  • 9 years ago
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    Good luck enchantedrose and I hope your new Heirloom roses grow and bloom great for you!

    I'm a firm believer that what works in our garden may not work in yours and vice versa.
    I feel we all need to experiment to see what works and see what grows best. Then stick with whatever gives us the best results...

    Have you seen threads where certain things do not work for a lot of people but do work for some. I think everything in life is like

    A lot of times I need to see for myself whether something works here or not by experimenting...

  • 9 years ago
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    hi Jim, thanks for the excellent advice and your well wishes for success with my Heirloom Roses. I plan on seeing what will work best for my environment, especially since you and Strawberry have given me some valuable information on what has worked for both of you in your own little gardening patch and a host of different regiments to try to see what works best for my flowers. Without your and Strawberry's valuable input I would have been at a loss at where to even start. My roses already look much better than past experiences, the Heirloom Roses I got about a month ago are growing nicely, putting out slow but steady new growth. I probably would have damaged them by now with Miracle Grow had it not been for your and Strawberry's advice against using it and telling me about the problems it has caused in your garden plus the residual effects in salt deposits. The wealth of guidance from both of you is priceless.

    Thank you, Jim, and Strawberry, for being so generous with your time in helping this reintroduced "newbie" out :-)

  • 9 years ago
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    I wish you much success with your roses enchantedrose!
    Yes feeding the soil which it turn feeds the rose is the best approach in my opinion.
    MG does nothing for the soil and is just like a drug habit.
    The rose will needs its quick fix after awhile... :-O

    But their are people whom successfully have used both organics and MG fertilizer together and have wonderful gardens. They found a balance somehow which worked for them...

  • 9 years ago
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    Strawbhill, wondering how your Brewers Yeast applications are going?

    I have a few Double Ko roses the same age and purchased from the same vendor.
    I gave one of them Brewers Yeast but at this point it is still behind the others ones which only have gotten compost spread over their roots.
    Actually right now I'm getting more blooms on the D-Ko's
    that did not receive ANY Brewers Yeast.
    If things change I'll let you know...

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Jim: I'm going to do red-cabbage-pH test on the brewer's yeast. I suspect it's acidic, since it doesn't go well with yogurt, plus I had to use lots of honey to make it taste good for my tummy! If it's acidic, then won't benefit your lower pH soil, but would benefit my pH 8 tap-water, and pH 7.7 rock-hard clay.

    Sharon: Congratulations on your new own-roots. Please inform of their progress. I received 2 Heirloom roses today ... the other 3 that I ordered most likely arrive tomorrow on Saturday.

    Below is an excellent blog that describes various organic fertilizers.... the writer Jeannie is from Florida (sandy soil) so the amounts she uses are greater, due to leaching. She talks about milorganite, alfalfa pellets (horse rather than rabbits, which has salt), and the importance of getting COMPOSTED manure, rather than FRESH manure, which burns.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Blog on organic fertilizers for roses in Florida

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 13:22

  • 9 years ago
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    Hi Jim, I got most of my little HR roses potted up today. Some are really nice size, especially Carding Mill. I think I'll skip the MG, I used Vigoro organic potting soil with no added fertilizer. The vendor I purchased my grafted DA roses from uses miracle grow and mulch and has to spray for blackspot. Almost all of the grafted DA's I planted don't have any or very little blackspot and the Darcy Bussels own root Austin from DA has no blackspot either and is thriving beautifully so I think Strawberry's observations about MG are spot on. I have more roses coming, I think I may have lost my mind but I just ordered 2 "Harlow Carr" and 2 "The Mayflower" for another bed that will also have Molineux, Charlotte, Jude the Obscure, Princess Alexandra of Kent and a non Austin "Cream Abundance". The Mayflower was available as 1 gallon from HR so I splurged as it was a bit pricey, but I'm not getting any younger ;-) so I figured I'd indulge!!
    I'll post some pics of my little babies and take progress pics so we can see how they grow.

  • 9 years ago
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    Hi Strawberryhill- Thanks for your well wishes. Good luck with yours too! The plants are gorgeous, though tiny for the most part. I'll post some pics soon.
    I potted most of them up today and fertilized them according to your directions. Should I put some lava rocks on all of the potted own roots and blood meal? I didn't use any bone meal or cracked corn. The chipmunks have found it and burrow into the roses to get at it. I might sprinkle some cat litter around to see if this will deter them. I don't know how well cat "manure" and urine work as fertilizers ;-). We use hardwood pellets for the litter box so it's organic, anyway. I planted some drift roses (own root) and they keep digging tunnels to get at the corn.
    Would you put some blood meal on the planted Doc. H grafted ones, especially the ones that have seemed to stop growing? My Princess Alex. of Kent, Boscabel, Sceptre'd Isle and Lady Emma, all grafted, don't seem to be doing much. Should I put some lava rocks on them too? I'm nervous about over fertilizing; these have cracked corn, tomato tone and lime in the planting holes and have been watered once with sulfur of potash. It's been cooler here lately so that has been a help, they seem a little less stressed. The leaves are nice and green but there is none or very little new growth.
    Thanks so much, again, for all your suggestions.

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Sharon: I "red-cabbage" pH test many samples today. My tap water is obnoxiously bluish-green in red cabbage, at least 8.3, compared to baking soda at pH 9.

    I only put red lava rocks if I want BLOOMS, and not growth. If you want growth, then skip the red-lava rocks. Too much potassium drives down nitrogen (necessary for growth). Red lava rocks is high in potassium,

    I tested Red lava rock: Surprisingly mildly alkaline, around pH 7.2 versus the reported value of 8. It's slow-release, same as acidic cracked-corn (pH 3.5), tomato tone (neutral pH), and lime (pH 9). Sulfate of potash works IMMEDIATELY, thus a fast-acting nitrogen is needed to balance out the potassium.

    The advantage of milorganite is NPK 5-2-0 with 4% iron, compared to blood meal NPK of 12-0-0, but lesser % of iron. Some roses need more iron for growth. Milorganite is known to deter deer for 5 weeks ... that might help with chipmunks. TerryJean in IL who used Milorganite observed that the growth is even better than alfalfa tea. I used Milorganite on my lawn, and the growth is IMMEDIATE, versus slower blood meal.

    I tested Milorganite pH in red cabbage juice, it's bluish around 7.7, same as my alkaline clay. My experience with pH 8+ hard-well tap water: growth is vigorous, but less blooms. What's missing is nitrogen, since your soil is more loamy than my clay, nitrogen leaches out with water.

    Milorganite is cheap $8 to $9 per BIG BAG, it's less stinky that Pennington pellets, and MUCH LESS stinky than chicken-manure. Milorganite doesn't burn with low NPK 5-2-0. Blood meal with NPK 12-0-0 burns more if in direct-contact with roots, due to its higher nitrogen.

    I get growth, plus blooms by making tea with Pennington pellets, but it's expensive, plus the growth is less due to NPK of 4-6-6, zero iron. See below link for my red-cabbage juice result of many samples, including Brewer's yeast (very acidic, at pH 5).

    Hi Jim: Knock-outs like it alkaline, it blooms well with my tap water pH over 8. Thus Knock-out WOULD NOT like Brewer's yeast, versus my Eglantyne, an Austin rose, which likes it acidic.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Red cabbage pH testing of many samples

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 15:04

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Sharon: Pennington Alaska pellets with NPK 4-6-6 has ACIDIC pH, around 6 ... thanks to the alfalfa meal in the mix. Alfalfa meal pH is 5.7. Years ago I got terrible black spots when I put alfalfa meal around a few roses.

    My Honey Bouquet rose: first year mulched with pH 8 horse manure (very healthy!), second year OK mulched with cocoa mulch & horse manure ... also tested gypsum & potassium pellets. This 3rd year I did nothing. It rained so much so I spread gritty lime, still BS-fest. So I gave it left-over solids from Pennington Tea: the worst BS ever !! The acidic solids play a factor to encourage fungal growth.

    Someone else made the observation that when she dumped alfalfa tea-solids on roses ... the worst BS ever !! Wet & sticky & acidic topping is great for fungal-germination. When it rains so much, 2 things get flushed out the most: nitrogen (10 mobility) and potassium (3 mobility). Phosphorus mobility is a 1, so it doesn't get flushed out.

    Recently I chopped banana peels in my bucket of used tap water (pH 8.3), threw in a used lemon-rind, and watered wimpy roses with that. Studies showed that vitamin C is essential for plant growth. Roses sprout new growth from the potassium, vitamin C, plus blood meal I spread on top. That was even faster than Pennington Pellets, with no salt with banana as potassium.

    The ideal NPK for best growth in pots is 20-10-20, according to several U. of Extensions. That's the ratio that Ball International Nursery use for their greenhouse. Alaska Pennington Pellets, with pH 6, is OK to fix alkaline tap water in hot & dry weather, but when it rains so much, that stuff can really induce black spots.

    I'll test GRANULAR sulfate of potash (acidic pH) as a tiny amount with Milorganite NPK 5-2-0 (alkaline pH 7.7), in the event of constant rain. Hubby ordered a HUGE bag of TomatoTone, $15, NPK 3-4-6, neutral pH, but its nitrogen isn't high enough, plus would be expensive to top that many roses. I save TomatoTone for inside the planting hole.

    Rain and daily watering from pots leach out 3 elements: nitrogen, potassium, and calcium. My pots did really bad early summer since I forgot to mix gypsum with potting soil like previous years. Horse manure supplies potassium, calcium, magnesium, trace elements, but VERY LITTLE nitrogen. Plus when the bedding breaks down, it takes away nitrogen from plants.

    Here's an excerpt from below link, from U. of Colorado on COMPOSTED manure: "first year release rates will be significantly less than with fresh manure. For example, in composted dairy manure, only 5-20% of the nitrogen will be available the first year ... this can lead to a nitrogen deficiency. This could be supplied with blood meal (approximately 1 to 2 pounds per 100 square feet)."

    The below link also warned, " Continual and/or heavy applications of manure can lead to a salt build-up. To avoid salt problems associated with the use of manure or compost made with manure, limit applications to one inch per year." It lists NPK of horse manure (with bedding) as 0.7 - 0.2 - 0.7, that's only 0.7 nitrogen, compared to 12 in blood meal, and 5 in Milorganite. With composted manure, it's only 5-20% of the 0.7 nitrogen is available the 1st year. Add that to the nitrogen-loss incurred by the decomposition process of bedding, you'll get a deficit.

    *** From Straw: In previous years I mixed alfalfa meal with horse manure to top roses ... it worked great: growth & clean roses. But that was messy & too much work. So I'll testing a new approach: High potassium red lava rock & milorganite on top, and gypsum mixed with soil ... plus occasional watering with sulfate of potash.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Excellent info. on manures from U. of Colorado

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 9:26

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi strawberry, thanks for the info. on milorganite. Should I use this on the planted Austins? If so, how much? Scpetre'd is still showing no new growth, neither is princess Alex and Bascobel. The others are sending up new growth, Lady Emma even has a couple buds.
    I just ordered Ivor's Rose too. I don't know much about it but it has excellent reviews at HMF and a very pretty deep raspberry red flower.
    My Darcy B is growing like crazy, tons of new growth and buds. Except for her lesser scent than Munstead Wood, still nice but not as strong I like her much better in both form and flower and might even replace MW with her instead. this one is an Austin own root, and contrary to what I've read about Austin's own root bare roots being of lesser quality she is growing amazingly well. This is 3 planted together about 16 o.c. The rose is a little more deeper colored and less red than the pic.

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Heirloom Rose order from June 15, 2014 coming along nicely. These include 2 Clair Matin, Belinda's Dream, Honey Bouquet and About Face.

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Some of my new Heirloom Rose, just potted up yesterday-Carding Mill and Molineaux-

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    and the tallest though not many leaves-Jude
    Tiny but very healthy looking so far.

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Sharon: What a feast to my eyes !! I enjoy seeing your new roses very much. Darcy Bussell is absolutely gorgeous with the perfect red color (looks almost like Seaweed's Rouge Royal). My guess is your pale rose from June 15 group is Honey Bouquet? It's pale in my clay and HATES lime .. last year Honey Bouquet did much better with high-potassium & acidic cocoa mulch.

    My Carding Mill band is dark-green just like yours ... that one does well for alkaline folks. The Jude I received yesterday is bare, with many pale leaves ... Jude HATES lime, prefers it acidic & high potassium.

    For inducing growth, Milorganite surpasses Pennington pellets. TerryJean is right about its growth is better for her 300+ roses than alfafa tea. Pennington is expensive, $7 per 3 lb., plus sprinkling acidic pellets around roses induced both Blackspots and Rose slugs.

    I inspected my lawn this morning. The place where I threw Milorganite by the fist-full DOUBLED the growth of the grass nearby, plus deep-green grass. Early spring my husband accidentally spilled Scott's Weed & Feed, NPK 22-3-3, the grass was darker green, but AT THE SAME HEIGHT as nearby lawn. Milorganite NPK is 5-2-0, $9 for a 36 lb. bag, I just watered that in, next to my window, and I can't smell anything.

    How much Milorganite to use per rose bush? I use 1/8 cup or 2 Tbs. for band size, and 1/4 cup for larger roses. It breaks down instantly, so once a month is best. I'm getting lazy in putting sulfate of potash in the water, so I sprinkled 1/2 Tbs. potassium per 2 Tbs. Milorganite. Same ratio of potassium as nitrogen is best for balanced growth.

    Early spring I got sulfate of potash (powdered) from Kelp4Less only $11 for 5 lbs. Now they TRIPLE the price to $30 for 5 lbs. Stuff are always cheaper in early spring.

    My homemade potassium-solution of chopped up 6 banana peels, NPK 0-3-42, 1/2 used lemon rind in 5 gal. of water, produced faster growth than Pennington Pellets. There are a few studies that proved plants need vitamin C for growth, but I haven't seen any scientific research that plants need alfalfa meal for growth.

    The best stuff come cheap & free, such as vitamin C in used-lemon-rind. I mentioned to my hubby that my past 3 years of using horse manure saved me at least $60 in fertilizer, plus my plants were much healthier. Below is a link from U.S. Department of Agriculture on how Vitamin C protects stressed-out plants:

    Here is a link that might be useful: Vitamin C protects stressed-out plants

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 18:02

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Strawberryhill, thanks for the compliments. Darcy B is a glowing deep magenta, not as dusky a purple as MW, a bit darker than Knockout but a very vibrant magenta red. She has been by far my best performer so far and holds her flowers up nicely. I can't wait to get the rest of my garden finished. We still need to complete a divided raised bed with a stepping stone walkway leading to a fountain. Once this is completed everything can be planted!!

    I checked the pale green rose is Belinda's Dream, she has bright green new growth but darker lower leaves. Honey Bouquet is the middle one in the back row and is one of the tallest. I can't recall if these have limestone or not, they do have cracked corn and tomato tone in the pots. No blood meal either. Should I top dust with blood meal or with the Milorganite?

    What would you recommend for a potassium fertilizer since kelp4less has raised their price so much? I found a 5lb. bag on ebay for $7.00 plus $6.00 shipping. It's from Alpha Chemicals international in MO. Not great but better than kelp4less. It is organic powder 0-0-50.

    We're not really banana eaters here so no banana peels. I only like them when they are at a certain ripeness which means I'd have to eat all of them in one day :-) We don't use lemons much either. How would lemon juice work? I wonder if it would be a deterrent to the chipmunks too. I know quite a few animals don't like citrus.

    I have 3 bags of Pennington Alaska Tomato/veggie fertilizer. Can I still use this? Would it be best to put some lime with it to neutralize the acidity? I'd hate to not use it due to the cost. Darcy Bussels is own root, so are Molineux, Carding Mill, Jude, Sharifa Asma, Charlotte, The Mayflower and Harlow Carr. All bands from HR except the Mayflower which is 1 gallon pots. Do any of these prefer slightly acidic? Or would using lime in conjunction with the Pennington be better?

    I haven't tested the potting mix I used for the most recently potted roses acidity. Unfortunately I don't have any of the potting soil left from my earlier roses and these probably have lime in the pots but I'll check the ph of the Vigoro Organic potting soil to see how acidic it is.


  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Sharon: Pennington Pellets, NPK 4-6-6, pH 6, was great when it was hot & dry, and I watered with my pH 8.3 tap water. Thanks to that, I got 3 blooms on 6" Jude, and 5 blooms on tiny Eglantyne. Both own-root Austins prefer slightly acidic.

    We got all-month rain at pH 6, that's when the pellets ON TOP caused trouble with its being sticky & acidic, helped with germination of both black spots and rose slugs . Alfalfa meal is even more acidic than Pennington, at pH 5.7. Last few years I put alfalfa meal down 1st, then top with alkaline horse manure (pH 8), roses were clean, even during summer rain. I put 2 cups of acidic alfalfa meal per planting hole, and watered with my pH 8.3 tap, and roses were clean & vigorous.

    Pennington at NPK 4-6-6 UNDER alkaline topping, would help with own-roots which prefer acidic: Jude, Honey Bouquet, and the pale leaves one. Phosphorus is best in the planting hole, since its mobility is a 1, stay put.

    I put even higher phosphorus Jobe's Organic Tomato NPK 2-7-4, smaller granules, into pots for bands, no problems for the last 2 years, if used along with gypsum. Gypsum helps plants to utilize nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium & trace elements even at higher pH. The Goijberry plant didn't like that MG acidic potting soil (pH 6.5), so I stuck ROSE cuttings in that medium (pre-mixed with 1/2 cup NPK 2-7-4, plus 1 cup gypsum per 2-gallon), plus 3 cups perlite for good drainage. I expect the cuttings to wilt from that medium, but they are more vigorous than medium with just neutral potting soil and perlite.

    Pennington isn't best with grafted-on-Dr.Huey, but wimpy own-roots love that stuff, due to its being slightly acidic, which neutralize alkaline tap. I can't sprout bean sprouts, nor broccoli sprout with my pH 8.3 tap-water, but my Mom makes her own sprouts easily with her neutral tap-water. The health food store sells citric acid to sprout, it lowers pH of tap-water. Roses root better if the medium is acidic like rain, pH 6 to 5.6, and Pennington has that optimal pH for own-root growth, if BELOW soil surface.

    Both endo- and ecto- mycorrhyzal fungi thrive at slightly acidic pH to help plants with phosphorus uptake. The key for own-roots to bloom well: keep the soil BELOW slightly acidic, but supply anti-fungal nutrients, and keep the surface dry and alkaline.

    Gypsum pH is neutral, thus calcium will be released. Lime pH is 9, calcium won't be released, since it binds with phosphorus & potassium at higher pH. The only reason why I topped pots with gritty lime is: I forget to mix gypsum in the potting soil like previous years. I already tested topping roses with gypsum: they broke out in rust.

    Gritty lime worked with French roses that like it alkaline .. but it's a disaster with own-roots that like it slightly acidic: Honey Bouquet, Jude, Eglantyne, and most Austin roses.

    Bone meal isn't bad if less than 3 Tablespoons per planting hole. Pennington Pellets has fish bone meal at NPK 4-6-6, From the below link, Bone meal is highest in sulfates at 2000 ... sulfur is an important nutrient for plants to be dark-green, without sulfur, plants are pale. next high values are Iron at 400, and Chloride at 400 (some plants don't like chloride), but bone meal has 300 sodium (salt), best if small amount.

    The advantages of bone meal are: 14% phosphorus plus 23% calcium ... but those are tied-up if the pH is above neutral. That's why Pennington Pellet pH is acidic, at 6, to release the calcium and phosphorus for best blooming. So Pennington Pellets is best BELOW a dry & alkaline topping such as horse manure (pH 8), Milorganite (pH 7.7), EnCap compost granules (pH 8) , and bagged composted manure (with wood-ash added for the pitch-black color, pH near 8) ... no pest nor fungi can germinate in such alkalinity.

    The Moo-Cow manure from HomeDepot has wood ash added for its pitch-black color, same with the composted manure from Menards. My Mom got fresh cow manure in MI, the color wasn't black, it's dark-brown. I used 1/2 bagged-manure for a few planting holes, they didn't bloom the 1st year, thanks for the extreme alkalinity, but bloom better later, with more rain & own-root secretion of acid. These rose have been clean for the past 3 years.

    Sharon, I appreciate your questions very much. Without your questions, I won't think through as to what worked, and what didn't work. Gypsum is vital for disease-prevention, because its sulfur neutralizes the calcium-hydroxide in tap-water, to release calcium & potassium & trace elements from soil. Sulfate of potash supplies sulfur to keep roses dark-green, plus potassium for disease-prevention & blooming.

    Picture below is Duchess of Rohan, zero diseases, in 2 hours of sun, after 1-month of rain, in wet & poor air flow bed. It has 10% gypsum, which helped to release calcium, potassium, and trace elements to fight diseases. It gave a fantastic spring flush when the trees were less dense. pH of soil is 7.7, so leaves are pale. It's much greener now, after Milorganite with 4% chelated iron.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Composition of bone meal

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 0:05

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Again, thanks so much for ALL of your info. and suggestions and for another beautiful, healthy rose picture.

    Gypsum~I have used Epsoma gypsum, I need to find a less expensive alternative though, plus according to Home Depot it's been discontinued, they have "Pennington Fast Acting Gypsum Plus AST Dry Lawn Fertilizer" available for online order. I don't know if this would be appropriate. Once the roses are planted and established how do you add the gypsum? Do you scratch it in on the surface and then cover with an alkaline mulch to avoid rust? How much per rose and how often?

    Sulfate of Potash~If I use dry like you how often would I apply? Every 2 weeks or once a month during the growing season?

    Bonemeal~In regards to bonemeal/phosphorous how much should go in the permanent planting hole? How would you add more if it has such a low mobility? I think I recall some old time advice from Mike Lowe where you push a dowel down along side the rose and fill it with bonemeal. Again how much and how often?

    Pennington Fish Fert~For the Pennington just dust it on the surface? How much should I use for an established rose? Would you still make the "tea" or just scratch in the solid fertilizer around the top? Would I just use it once a year and then cover with an alkaline mulch or keep remulching throughout the growing season? Could I use my custom blend soil as a top dress? It has a fairly high ph. I think it measured in the upper 7's or maybe mix in some wood ash with it, which I have plenty of.

    Tomato Tone~ Should I still use the tomato tone? How often over the growing season? Should I alternate between TT and Pennington? In your opinion is one better than the other?

    Milorganite~How much should I use and how often on established roses?

    Can you think of anything I missed? I know it's a lot of questions and I really appreciate the time you've taken to answer me :-).


  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Sharon: You benefit me & others with your intelligent questions, which enable me to see what I did wrong with my past experiments. How did I cause rust by throwing POWDER GYPSUM on top? I repost the info:

    There's a U. of Nebraska research on rust, with the title, "Medium pH and Leaf Nutrient Concentration Influence Rust Pustule diameter on leaves of dry beans."
    Their conclusion: Plants grown in pH 5.8 medium show significantly larger rust pustules than plants grown in pH 6.5 or pH 7.9. Concentrations of Cl (chloride) and Mn (manganese) were more in high rust. In contrast, concentration of K (potassium) were less in high rust."

    From Straw: Alabama Agriculture Cotton Research also recommended potassium fertilizer to reduce rust. Info. about gypsum from

    Elemental Calcium......21.0%

    Elemental Sulfur (S)....17.0%


    Kelp4Less sells 5 lbs. of GRANULAR GYPSUM at 18% sulfur for $12.50 .... more than my local feed store, or Menards at $4.49 for 25 lb. bag. There's a quarry nearby that manufactures gypsum, so cheap here in my Chicagoland. I WOULD NOT use Pennington gypsum plus lawn fertilizer, if it's chemical nitrogen (high in salt).

    What I did wrong was to throw 1 cup of POWDER-gypsum on top ... it's acidic, plus fast release of calcium, which drove down potassium, necessary for rust-prevention. Previous times with 1/8 cup of GRANULAR gypsum, along with sulfate of potash ... no problems whatsoever.

    I would use even less GRANULAR gypsum, like 1 teaspoon, along with 1 teaspoon sulfate of potash, plus 0.2 cup of Milorganite. The best ratio for veggies is 1 part nitrogen, 1 part potassium, and 1/2 part calcium. Roses have a higher need for calcium, so I use equal amount to potassium.

    Sulfate of potash NPK is 0-0-50, and Milorganite NPK is 5-2-0. Take 50 divide by 5, you'll get 10. Ten teaspoons of Milorganite is equivalent to 0.2 cup, best with 1 teas. of sulfate of potash, and 1 teas. of gypsum. I would use more sulfate of potash & gypsum with pale own-root like Jude which needs more potassium for blooming, plus more sulfur for leaves to be darker-green.

    PALE own-root like Duchess de Rohan, W.S. 2000, Jude, Eglantyne, Honey Bouquet, Comte de Chambord can take more gypsum at 17% sulfur, and more sulfate of potash at 23% sulfur.

    DARK green roses grafted on Dr. Huey, and French roses dislike acidic sulfates. Bone meal has high sulfate at 2000 ppm, and 400 iron & 300 sodium, with the dark-green roses break out in diseases. I put too much bone meal in Gruss an Teplitz hole ... he's the parent of Dr. Huey, it became a BS-fest, and I had to fix the hole.

    Pennington fish pellets NPK 4-6-6, high phosphorus with fish bone meal. The pale & lighter-green roses LOVE that tea, today tiny Jude broke out in 2nd flush, 3 more buds with that tea, very fast repeat. Austin roses, bred in an acidic & high rain England like that ratio ... The ratio in David Austin Rose food has NPK 9.5 - 7.5 -10 ... a bit higher nitrogen due to high-rain England, which leaches out nitrogen.

    Acidic sulfates help pale-own-root to bloom better, but sulfates also burns if in direct-contact with roots, best as SOLUBLE. Pennington pellets is best as SOLUBLE tea under hot sun, to spoon-feed wimpy own-roots which can't acid-phosphatase as band-size.

    Bone meal is OK for pale own-root the planting hole, if mixed-thoroughly and buffered by plenty of soil. Bone meal burns if applied on top. Concentrated amount of sulfates near the stem burn. One person killed his tomato plant by topping with Jobe's Organic tomato fertilizer NPK 2-7-4, high in bone meal. When I mixed that stuff THOROUGHLY in the planting hole, I got bumper-crop tomato.

    Same with gypsum, at 17% sulfur, and sulfate of potash, at 23% sulfur. Both burns my finger, and burns any root, best used as soluble. If I sprinkle some on top, I flood the basin immediately with water, to dilute that, along with milorganite for nitrogen.

    Tomato Tone has NPK 3-4-6, neutral pH & less phosphorus ... it didn't burn my tomato plant, so that can be applied at 1/4 cup before a rain. It's finer particle & tend to float, best to let rain work that in.

    Milorganite is best 0.2 cup with 1 teas. sulfate of potash and 1 teas. of granular gypsum .... spread that on top before a rain, if you are lazy like me. Safe approach would be Milorganite on top, then make soluble out of potassium & calcium per gallon of water.

    Roses are all different from each other, the pale ones require more sulfates, potassium, and phosphorus via SOLUBLE to bloom. The darker-green leaves like Dr. Huey can secret acids to utilize nutrients from soil, thus breaking out in diseases when too much acid is supplied, like rain-water (pH 5.6 in East coast), or sulfates in bone meal, gypsum, and sulfate of potash .. which are components of Pennington Pellets.

    Sharon, best wishes with your roses. They all are different from each other ... such as pale Graham Thomas which required an ungodly amount of potassium & phosphorus as soluble to bloom for a Texan. It took me 3 years, and countless failed experiments to learn the above.

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 11:19

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Your Heirloom roses look great enchantedrose! I hope they grow well and bloom great for you!

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Strawberry, Fingers crossed for my success. They are looking really good right now, even Sceptre'd has very tiny signs of growth, so I'm hopeful that it will start growing too.
    Thanks for the tremendous amount of info. and research you have made available to me. I so appreciate all the effort. I've saved all of the data in a file for quick reference. It is far better than any book that I've read :-)
    I'll post pics when the garden is completely planted and all the hardscape finished so you and Jim can see the finished "masterpiece"

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    hi Jim, thanks for your compliments. The roses are very healthy looking though small. I hope with all the nurturing that they'll put out a nice growth spurt before fall. Both you and Strawberry have been a great help and source of inspiration. Your roses are gorgeous. I tried buying "Thomas Afleck" due to pictures that you posted but it was sold out at the various mail order vendors. I purchased "Ivor's Rose" which has some excellent reviews. I need to branch out a bit beyond DA's, heavenly as they are, and plant some less finicky roses. Hopefully Ivor will be one of the less demanding ones and is supposed to have a wonderful fragrance to go with its easy care, so a win-win if it lives up to its "press"!

    Ivor's Rose

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Can't wait to see finished pics of your garden! :-)

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I love the dark-pink color of Sharon's Ivor's rose. My Pink Peace died this past coldest winter, that has dark-pink color. Like Jim, I enjoy all of Sharon's pictures. Bush-shots are rare to see. The more I grow roses, the more I pay attention to bush-beauty. Thank you, Sharon, your questions help me a lot, for me to see what I did right or wrong. Since this thread is too long, I stop here, and post the rest of the info. in another thread:

    Here is a link that might be useful: Links to identify nutritional deficiencies

    This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 15:58

  • 8 years ago

    I have read through part of this thread too. There is a lot of good stuff here.

    strawchicago z5 thanked User