“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, the famous quote from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Roses are a gardener’s delight. They are the queens of the kingdom of flowering plants. Their fragrance and beauty are ever unmatched. Yet many gardeners find themselves staring at plants that don’t flower as much as they used to and buds that are empty. Despite every care they take it just doesn’t seem to work even though the plant seems to be doing all right. It is what is known as rose blindness. Call it an illness or disorder it puts even the best gardener at their wit’s end. So here is more information about it followed by the steps you should take to treat your plant.
Recognizing Rose Blindness
For reasons never completely understood rose plants tend to stop flowering. When blindness happens you can notice perfectly healthy new shoots and canes growing from the plant. They either do not develop any buds or buds that would not bloom or empty flower cases. It could be the climatic conditions, it could be frost, it could be lack of fertilization, it could be not getting enough sun, it could be because there is too much old growth; the list goes on, but no one knows why.
How to Treat Rose Blindness
The first thing to do is to cut back the blind shoot by half. This helps stimulate further growth in the right manner and helps the plant flower more.
Also check if the soil’s pH is ideal for flowering. Fertilize the plant and mulch the soil. Check for issues that might put stress on the plant like insects, fungus, mites and other pests. Make sure the plant is getting enough sunlight on all the sides that matter.
Water is also an important factor in helping the plant bloom. Not getting enough water, especially in areas with hot climates, puts stress on the plant. If you are unsure as to the moisture levels you can use a moisture meter to measure. During the mornings or evenings when the temperatures are relatively lower you can give the roses a gentle shower or a few sprinkles of water if it is a small one to help the plant cool down a bit.
Pruning the plant will also facilitate further growth and also ensures all the leaves get exposure to sunlight and fresh air. Cut the dieback, spindly, dead or diseased stems to the healthy parts of it. if the plant is old, cut the parts that are doing poorly. Remove the suckers from the very base from which they sprout.
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your note on rose care was very helpful. as i face this problem with my climbing rose. tnku