Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Madame is Ailing

Madame Alfred Carriere

Something is ailing my Madame Alfred Carriere climbing rose bush. Can you see all those dead branches? I've never seen it act like this before. Sure, it's lost the occasional cane before, but never so notably. Perhaps it has a severe case of spider mites, but it's too high up for me to tell.

Our weather has been horrible - no rain (even when rain is all around us) for many weeks and extremely hot temperatures. I've been watering the madame at least once a week with a good drenching. I've had her in the ground for about three years now and she's been quite a trooper, growing fast and blooming prolifically. So I would certainly hate to lose her. If anyone has any ideas of what could be wrong, and how to fix it, I'd sure like some help!

This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2009. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.

9 comments:

  1. Sorry about the dead branches. That is terrible. Hopefully you will get rain soon, and it will perk back to life!

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  2. I wouldn't worry about it too much. Prune the dead off if you can. Samples to the Extension office also can be invaluable.

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  3. My old rose had a big die-off a few years ago, and I couldn't figure out why. I pruned out all the dead, cut it back and it's now coming back well as you've seen, but not as big as it was (yet!) Sometimes it's hard to know why plants behave the way they do.

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  4. Oh, I hope you don't lose her either, Jean. It's always so sad when a plant inexplicably starts to decline. I would do as Liz says--cut off a piece and take it to your local Extension Office. I've done a lot of diagnosing of plant diseases while completing my volunteer hours in the office. I usually have no idea at first what's wrong, but with some research can usually figure it out--I've learned a lot this way. And when all else fails, I trot down the hall to ask one of the experts:)

    Wish I could have sent you some of our rain last week. I'm so happy to finally have some sunny skies.

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  5. Jean, I've sent a link to this post to my rosarian friend Jan in Corpus Christi. I'm hoping she'll have an answer.

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  6. If she were mine, I would follow the advice above; namely cutting off the dead branches. I would also cut her back as suggested. These two things often work miracles.

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  7. Wow, she looks more like a tree than a bush... I hope you can save her!

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  8. Hi Jean,
    As most of the die back appears to be (i think) at the ends of some of the canes, it is probably that the roots have dried out a little too much at some point. Once damaged, they can't then pull up the water that they need. Other than that, unless the water you use is incredibly hard (high lime content), then as previously mentioned, cut out the dead and carry on, as I am sure it will recover well.

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  9. Thank you Gary and everyone! I'm starting to think at some point it didn't get enough water. I plan to start cutting back the dead canes this weekend. Wish I had body armor for such a job! :-)

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