Powdery Mildew, Watch Out For It!

Powdery Mildew on Rosebushes 
By Stan V. Griep – Consulting Rosarian – Rocky Mountain District
Member: The American Rose Society, The Loveland Rose Society &
The Denver Rose Society

 

Powdery mildew on roses will form what looks like a white powder over the surface area of the rose leaves/foliage, and it may also spread to the stems and new rose buds. It can disfigure the leaves and they will not come back to their normal shape even after the powdery mildew has long since been killed. Powdery mildew loves to attack the fresh new foliage of rose bushes but will also attack all of the rosebushes foliage, it can also stunt the bud growth causing disfigured blooms and left unchecked will prevent the bud from opening. Warm dry days followed by cool humid nights are perfect conditions for an outbreak of powdery mildew.

Powdery mildew can be a very tough customer in the rose bed, spreading from one infected rosebush to other rosebushes quickly if left unchecked. Some varieties of rose bushes are very resistant to this fungus while others seem to attract it. I have seen Mister Lincoln hybrid tea roses with severe cases of powdery mildew that were planted right next to a Honey Bouquet floribunda rose bush that had no signs of the powdery mildew on it. In today’s rosebush market, there are several rose bushes that are listed to be disease resistant. This means just that, they are “resistant” to disease but that does not mean they will not contract a disease in the right conditions. However, if one wants to have less disease problems with their roses, seeking out the disease resistant varieties may well be worth the effort, this holds true when looking at powdery mildew. Some rosebushes are specifically listed to be highly resistant to powdery mildew, such as Honey Bouquet, Just Joey, Electron, Voodoo, Tournament of Roses, Europeana, Pope John Paul II, and Scentimental to name just a few.

Using a good earth friendly product like Green Cure sprayed upon our rosebushes at the Prevention Rate every 10 to 14 days is a very good idea. If your rosebushes do happen to get some powdery mildew started, spray them ASAP with some Green Cure at the Cure Rate. The instructions for both application rates are on the product label. Some garden websites speak of what they call the “Cornell Formula” for use as a homemade cure for powdery mildew on rose bushes. The ingredients given on these websites, for the supposed “Cornell Formula”, calls for baking soda and dish soap along with another ingredient or two. I have even seen cooking oil listed for use in the “Cornell Formula” mix! While baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) does have some ability to work against the fungal infections, problems that arise with the “homemade” mixes can be due to the dish soap and the cooking oil in these mixes. Some dish soaps will burn the leaves of the rose bush and can even act against the effects of the baking soda. Cooking oil easily separates itself from the mix enough that it is sprayed onto the foliage in a concentrated form, thus clogging leaf pores and leading to severe leaf burn or leaf scorch. For that reason I do not recommend using any such homemade mixes for fungus treatments on rosebushes. Here is a link to some great information on the Green Cure website for you as well: http://greencure.net/why_is_greencure_fungicide_better.asp

The website also lists places where the product can be purchased on-line. It is easy to buy Green Cure at Amazon.com or at Planet Natural online as well.

Keep an eye on your wonderful rosebushes as any disease or pest attack upon them that is caught early on, is far easier to gain control of. I also highly recommend that you water your rosebushes well the night or day before the application of any fungicide, miticide or insecticide. A well hydrated rosebush is far less likely to have any sort of negative reaction to a given spray application.

Photos of Powdery Mildew on Rosebush Leaves:

Powdery Mildew on Rose Foliage. I
Powdery Mildew on Rose Foliage. I

 

Powdery Mildew on Rose Foliage - II
Powdery Mildew on Rose Foliage – II

Training Climbing Rosebushes

Training Climbing Rose bushes

By Stan V. (Stan the Rose Man) Griep
American Rose Society Certified Consulting Rosarian – Rocky Mountain District
Denver Rose Society Member

Whenever I see pictures of roses climbing up an ornate trellis or arbor, climbing up the side of an old structure, old fence or even up and along an old stone wall, it stirs up the romantic and nostalgic juices within me. I imagine it does the same for many folks due to the number of photos and paintings there are of such scenes. Creating such scenes does not just merely happen in most cases, it takes some real effort and an ever vigilant rose loving gardener.

Just as it is with raising our children, it is of the utmost importance to start early on in helping guide them as to the proper way to go, training them to follow a good path. First on the list with our rose bushes is to pick the area and structure desired for the climbing roses. The structure being an ornate or plain trellis, arbor, fence, building wall or stone wall/fence, then the area being a place with good sunshine, well-drained soils and a place where we really want an eye-catching focal point in our garden or landscape. Next on the list is selecting the ones that have the color or colors desired, bloom form desired, fragrance and habit desired. We kind of need to stand back and look at the desired area with whatever the climbing structure is in place. Create a vision or mind painting of what our desired outcome is.

After purchasing the climbing rose bushes that meet our needs, the training begins. I like to use either a rubbery wire reinforced rope or stretchy vinyl type tie off material to attach the canes of the rosebush to the structure selected. While holding the canes in place nicely it also allows some flexibility so as not to damage the canes as they fill out and grow. Even with this flexibility the ties will need to be changed out at some point due to growth. We need to wait for the canes to grow enough to tie them off and train them to go in the direction of best support that fits our earlier mind painting. Canes that grow out and too far away from the structure initially can be either pruned out, or monitored for a while as they grow to see if they can be brought back into line and trained in the desired path. Do not make the mistake of letting them go too long though, as unruly canes can make for more work later. Also do not make the mistake of waiting too long to tie off / train even the canes that are going in the right direction, as they too can become unruly in what seems like the blink of an eye. Once they become unruly either our mind painting must change to allow some redirection, or we will need to prune them back and wait upon new growth to guide things back as desired. For training our rose bushes up the side of a building or stone wall, we will need to provide some anchoring sets to tie off to. This can be done by drilling some small holes along the desired training path and setting an expansion or glue in type anchor, perhaps a friction fit type. I prefer either expansion type anchors or glue in type as they do not ten to work loose with wind and growth movement like the friction fit ones seem to do.

I have been called over to do a garden visit at the homes of some folks that just moved into a new to them home where the climbing roses have turned into untamed monsters! This can and will happen if we do not stay vigilant of what the rosebush is doing. This can also happen if the main person tending to them gets ill or passes away. Others do not know how to tend to the roses and they start growing however they wish to without any form of guidance. It really does not take long for the once beautiful mind painting creation turns into a jumbled up mess. There are times when such a mess can be returned to being a vision of beauty but it takes considerable work to get it done. Lots of pruning, stepping back to look at things, lots more pruning, then finally back to where things need to be. With some of the older climbing roses this type of heavy pruning will also mean sacrificing many blooms, as these older climbers only bloom on what is called the “old wood” which refers to the previous season’s growth. Even so, it is best to do the work and bring the beautiful vision back. In some cases, like one I personally worked on, the bush has just gotten way too out of control. The owner wanted it totally chopped down and removed as it had become a destructive monster to her. I asked her to allow me to try to bring it all back prior to removing the bush. I got an apprehensive okay. Late that fall after the bush had started going dormant, the canes were all pruned out and down to within 6 inches of the ground. Drastic move you say? Maybe, maybe not. The following spring the rosebush did indeed send up new growth. The new growth was gradually tied and trained to a nice new ornate trellis which would then trail out onto the fence line on either side. Thus returning to a vision of beauty over time that would cause delight again instead of the feelings of frustration and depression it had come to cause.

Climbing rose bushes are indeed work, they will demand your attention for some time to come rest assured of that. If you are up for the challenge you will be richly rewarded not only by the beauty you behold, but also the ooo’s and ahh’s of delight from garden visitors and those enjoying your photos of the vision of beauty your efforts have created.

Roses Of 2013_June
Blaze Improved Climbing Rosebush – Photo by Stan V. Griep – 2013
Roses Of 2013_June
Blaze Improved Climbing Rosebush – Peaking through porch side of lattice – Photo by Stan V. Griep – 2013

Ever Heard Of Rose Pickers Disease?

Rose Pickers Disease Is Very Real

By Stan V. (Stan the Rose Man) Griep
American Rose Society Certified Consulting Rosarian – Rocky Mountain District
Denver Rose Society Member

I had never heard of Rose Pickers Disease or the Sporothrix schenckii fungus until about 8 years ago now. Had someone told me about Rose Pickers Disease before then I would have thought they were joking with me due to me being a Rosarian. However the disease and the fungus became very real to me when my dear mother fell into a climbing rosebush in her back yard. She got several puncture wounds from that fall and a few nasty cuts. Some thorns had also broken off in her skin. We cleaned her up well removing the thorns and using hydrogen peroxide on the wounds, we thought we had done a good and thorough job. We soon learned we had not! My mother started to develop these hard bumps under the skin that were itchy and then painful, eventually breaking open to drain. I will spare you the rest of the nasty details. We took her to the doctor and then to a specialist that was also a surgeon. The entire ordeal went on for nearly two years with antibiotic drugs, other drugs and surgeries to remove the nodules. Had we taken her to the doctor as soon as possible, be it against her will, perhaps we could have saved her the nasty experience but also perhaps not. The first doctors were perplexed by what they saw and the specialist surgeon told me that he was going to write a medical paper on the entire situation. That is when it really hit me that what we were dealing with was extremely serious.

Researching the disease and the fungus that causes it again for this article did give me the chills I must admit….. Here is some medical information on it for you;

Sporotrichosis is a chronic infection characterized by nodular lesions of the subcutaneous tissue and the adjacent lymphatics that make pus, digest the tissue and then drain. Some of the diseases that may be caused by Sporothrix are:

 lymphocutaneous infection: localized lymphocutaneou sporotrichosis
 Osteoarticular sporotrichosis – the bones and joints may become infected
 Keratitis – the eye(s) and adjacent areas may become infected
 Systemic infection – sometimes the central nervous system is invaded as well
 Pulmanary sporotrichoisis, this is caused by the inhalation of the conidia (fungal spores). Seen in about 25% of the cases.

Sporothrix typically lives as an organism that obtains nutrients from dead organic matter such as wood, decaying vegetation (such as rose thorns), Sphagnum moss, animal feces and in the soil. Sporothrix is especially abundant in areas where Sphagnum moss is abundant, such as in central Wisconsin. It is only rarely transmitted to humans, however when the Sphagnum moss is collected and used for floral arrangements and such uses where it is handled a lot the right conditions are provided for the transmission in some manner. For further medically related information please take a look at this link > http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/sporotrichosis

This article on “Rose Pickers Disease” brings to the forefront the need for safety while we work out in our gardens. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that emergency rooms treat more than 400,000 garden tool related accidents each year. Taking proper care of our hands and arms while working in the garden is extremely important to helping prevent accidents. Wearing those heavy and hot gloves while pruning may feel like a huge inconvenience, they truly do provide us with some great protection. There are rose pruning gloves on the market these days that are not so heavy really and have protecting sleeves on them that extend up the arm for good protection. The thorn on a rose stem or cane provides an excellent device for transmitting infectious material into your skin, as is seen with Rose Pickers Disease from the fungus Sporothrix schenckii.

Should you be poked, scratched or pricked by rose thorns, and you will be if you grow roses for any length of time, take care of the wound properly and right away. If the poke, scratch or prick draws blood, it is definitely deep enough to cause problems, even if it did not draw blood it could still lead to problems. Do not make the mistake of thinking that treatment of the wound can wait while you finish your pruning or other garden chores. I understand that it is an inconvenience to drop everything, go treat a “boo-boo” as we heard them called as children, then go back to work. However it truly is very important, if nothing else do it for this old rose man.
Perhaps it would be worth your while to create a little medical station of your own for the garden. Take a small plastic paint bucket and add some hydrogen peroxide, individually wrapped gauze pads, wound cleaning wipes, tweezers, Bactine, Band-Aids, eye-wash drops and whatever else you think appropriate in the bucket. Take your own little Garden Medical Station with you each time you go out to work in the garden, then treating a wound does not require travel to the house to take care of it. Keep an eye on the wound, even if you think you took care of things properly at the time. If it becomes reddish, swollen or more painful get yourself in to see your doctor!

Enjoy gardening in a safe and thoughtful manner, after all our garden friends need our shadow there!

Hello world!

Hello everyone! If you like gardening and happen to also Love Roses, then this is the place for you! I will be trying to add some of my photos to the site. Maybe an album if I can figure out how to do that?? At any rate, Welcome!!

Stan The Rose Man
Golden Celebration - Austin Shrub Rose - Photo by Stan V. Griep

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