Rugosa Rose problems and questions

SPedigrees

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Last year my rugosa rose looked great and seemingly it was on its way toward becoming the 4 to 8 foot tall shrub I had hoped it would become. (1st image) Now it looks like this (2nd image)

Where have I gone wrong? I assume I should cut down the dead branches, but why did they all die off? I have allowed the suckers to grow, assuming that they would add to the volume of the original plant, but perhaps this was a mistake?

Thanks for any info or light anyone can shed on this.
RugosaRose20Jun2018smaller.JPG
RugosaRose16Jun2019smaller.JPG
 

ducks4you

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Knockout yellow rose, 06-01-19.jpg
WOW!! That is significant die off!!
Almost all roses are grafted today. If your rose dies below the graft line, the original rose, which WASN'T the one that you bought, will grow and probably not flower. I think I have one of those.
I suggest that you start over with a new rose. Last winter was brutal and it could be that your Rugosa Rose wasn't meant for zone 4.
Yes, I know that are supposed to be hardy, but if you bought from a local seasonal garden center, like a WM, you might not be getting what you think.
I once saw a rose for sale locally that was rated for zone 10!!!! We are borderline zones 5/6 and it would never have made it through out -16 February temperatures this year. I suspect your rose wanted to grow further south...like Virginia.
Look for a rose that can handle zone 3 and I think you will have better success.
My very hardy yellow knockout rose had about 1/2 dieback last winter. I pruned off about 3 inches below the dead wood and prettied it up. It is now flowering nicely.

Sorry for your loss!! :hugs
BTW, if you buy from a professional gardening center and save your receipt, they will usually replace the dead one with a new one...for freebies.
 
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thistlebloom

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I have also had significant dieback in my rugosas. Mine are planted in the border between lawn and woods and get very little attention. But your post got me wondering why this ordinarily very hardy, tough as nails rose would have problems.

In your case letting the suckers develop isn't a problem, and not related to the main plant failing, imo.

I found some explanations on this site that might help you:
https://extension.illinois.edu/hortanswers/plantdetail.cfm?PlantID=436&PlantTypeID=8

I think the dieback on mine is probably canker. I need to get out there and give mine some help because they are such a pleasure when they're blooming and you can smell them from the front door.
I let mine sucker up because I wanted a thick band of them along that edge.
I hope you can figure out the problem.
 

Ridgerunner

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I have not seen that so I'm not talking from experience with that happening to Rugosa Roses. I had one Rugosa in Arkansas and they did not die back without a lot of help, pretty tough. When I see that kind of damage to anything I have certain thoughts. First, freeze damage. You are in Vermont, how well do Rugosa overwinter for you? I have no idea. The canes dying but new shoots coming up from the roots isn't uncommon for many plants that get frozen. That's a general question, is that new growth this year or did some of the canes closer to the ground survive?

Second thought is water. If it was too much water I'd think the roots would rot first but maybe. More likely is too dry. The shoots died but the roots were able to survive and come back. Did you have a late drought last year? The ones I had in Arkansas never did take off the way I'd hoped, they were on a bank next to a dirt road and were probably too dry, though I know they are supposed to take some dry weather.

I've been thinking about herbicides, one that would kill existing growth but no the roots. I don't think so. but, I'll toss it out for thought.

To me that leaves pests and diseases. Thistle may have gotten it.
 

catjac1975

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View attachment 32161 WOW!! That is significant die off!!
Almost all roses are grafted today. If your rose dies below the graft line, the original rose, which WASN'T the one that you bought, will grow and probably not flower. I think I have one of those.
I suggest that you start over with a new rose. Last winter was brutal and it could be that your Rugosa Rose wasn't meant for zone 4.
Yes, I know that are supposed to be hardy, but if you bought from a local seasonal garden center, like a WM, you might not be getting what you think.
I once saw a rose for sale locally that was rated for zone 10!!!! We are borderline zones 5/6 and it would never have made it through out -16 February temperatures this year. I suspect your rose wanted to grow further south...like Virginia.
Look for a rose that can handle zone 3 and I think you will have better success.
My very hardy yellow knockout rose had about 1/2 dieback last winter. I pruned off about 3 inches below the dead wood and prettied it up. It is now flowering nicely.

Sorry for your loss!! :hugs
BTW, if you buy from a professional gardening center and save your receipt, they will usually replace the dead one with a new one...for freebies.
Looks like it got frozen over winter. Cut off all stems until they look alive. Might be dead. Are you sure they are winter hardy for your climate?
 

flowerbug

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last winter was pretty brutal for cold. if it was newly planted last year it may not have been well enough established, but it could have also been something else.
 

ducks4you

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That's what I thought, too, newly planted, but maybe not. It took several years for my knockout to get big. However, just like mums, if the roots don't grow deep enough to survive a freeze, whatEVER the reason, the rose or mum (or the asters I planted last Fall) won't make it.
I think this rose is a goner and should be replaced. The time you spend nursing it could be spent elsewhere in your garden. There is still time for a new rose to establish itself.
If you replant, be sure to heavily mulch your rose before the snow falls to protect the roots. I try to do this every year, and my 2 mini roses (pale pink, 17 years old now, and yellow, 2018), peace rose ( in the chocolate mint bed) and yellow knockout rose all came back nicely this year.
I am interested in what happens. After I clean up my fenceline by the street and transplant peppers there I am going to be putting up a new fence, a "faux" horse fence (bc of where the slats will go) and I want to create a block at the bottom with roses and other perennial bushes. Let us know what you do!! :hugs
 

catjac1975

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That's what I thought, too, newly planted, but maybe not. It took several years for my knockout to get big. However, just like mums, if the roots don't grow deep enough to survive a freeze, whatEVER the reason, the rose or mum (or the asters I planted last Fall) won't make it.
I think this rose is a goner and should be replaced. The time you spend nursing it could be spent elsewhere in your garden. There is still time for a new rose to establish itself.
If you replant, be sure to heavily mulch your rose before the snow falls to protect the roots. I try to do this every year, and my 2 mini roses (pale pink, 17 years old now, and yellow, 2018), peace rose ( in the chocolate mint bed) and yellow knockout rose all came back nicely this year.
I am interested in what happens. After I clean up my fenceline by the street and transplant peppers there I am going to be putting up a new fence, a "faux" horse fence (bc of where the slats will go) and I want to create a block at the bottom with roses and other perennial bushes. Let us know what you do!! :hugs
I hacve recently been hearing that the knock-outs seem to die after a few years.
 
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