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I think Something is killing my Sterling White Rose, HELP!

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:51 pm
by Trouble3
Hi,
I'm new to your site. I've been sortta gardening since I was a young Child with all sorts of flowers and plants. I do admit I am an Urban Girl that has "recently" (6 yrs ago) moved slightly out to country living. I found 2 Sterling White Rose Bush Cuttings(?) at Lowe's or Walmart or maybe even Sam's, the following Feb when we moved in to our Home. Of course I bought them! I love roses especially Sterling White's (yes, I'm a Guns 'n Roses fan) I planted right away, here in South Mississippi we rarely get below 50 in Feb, near our carport about 2 ft away from the cement. Every thing went great, however one of the bushes did die with in the 1st yr. The other on the other hand took off like crazy and has been giving me beautiful lavender blooms ever since (about 5 yrs now). I know that the blooms will not turn white for several more years, however, that is not why I'm worried. This yr we've had really crazy weather and the bush has seemingly died and dried out and become brittle, except for 2 new very small stems that came up at it's usual "grow and bloom" time. My hubby and I dug around the base to find that even the base of the roots were the same except for the main root the new growth was on. We dug the whole thing up and found it a new place and gave it some TLC (new soil, fertilizer, and lots of water). I hope we did the right thing. Anyone have any Ideas? :?

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:30 pm
by luis_pr
It should be interesting to confirm that the shrub survived by observing blooms from these new stems. If your rose is not own-root though, the new stems may be originating from under the graft, in which case they could be another rose such as Dr. Huey, Fortuniana, Manetti, Multiflora, etc. Make sure the plant is able to get sufficient amount of water so it does not dry out again. Using 3-4" of organic mulch up to the drip line will also help. Remember to also water in dry winters since the soil does not freeze over there.

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:51 am
by Trouble3
Well, it seems that it was Termites. We've had a really bad swarm this year in South MS. My garage and carport we eaten up as well as the rose bush. My poor rose bush has go to the garden in the sky, however my bush in the front yard is live and kicking. That bush has been in the yard for at least 15+ yrs. It gets plenty of TLC. It was my hubby's Grandmother's and I think she's guarding it from up above. :)

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:01 pm
by luis_pr
You had termites in the rose bush too??? I would replace the mulch because the literature I have read indicates that it is the mulch what attracts them. Or more properly, mulch that is kept wet a lot. If the rose is near the foundation, allow a few inches of soil to be free of mulch as termites do not like to be out in the open.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:50 pm
by ElizabethB
Trouble - I live in Lafayette, LA. Termites are always an issue. I had a landscaping business for 10 years and REFUSED to install beds against a stucture. If the client did not want the minimal expense of a gravel barrier I refused the job. I ALWAYS installed a gravel barrier from the structure to 6" outside of the drip line. If you have beds against your house you will continue to have problems with termites. I am surprized that your exterminator did not bring that issue up. Don't think that cypress mulch will be resistant to termites. I worked with another landscaper on maintaining the plantings on the main street of town. We found termites in living cypress trees! Not good. We refused the contract after the first year.

You really need to get your beds away from your house - if you want to keep your house from falling down around your head.

Good luck

Merry Christmas