by Joellen Bowerman
QUESTION: Last year all of my roses were tall, spindly and all the leaves fell off by fall.
I had roses but no leaves at all. What happened?
They are in full sun
They get plenty of water
They were fertilized by Miracle Grow Rose Product.
What Can I do this spring to prevent this from happening again?
Lots of money in Roses right now in the yard.
Some plants have been here for 12 years and never had this happen.
ANSWER: Hi Joellen! I am not sure what exactly happened to cause your roses to grow spindly and loose all their leaves.
But I suspect they could have been attacked by spidermites.
They are tiny insects that hide under the leaves, and they will suck the juice from leaves and then the leaves fall off.
When a rose loses lots of leaves, they lose energy and grow spindly.
Spidermites can overwinter so you should take action as soon as the weather allows you.
Treating dormant roses with dormant oil will help smother overwintering spider mite eggs.
During summer, check your roses foilage often.
Spraying the undersides of rose leaves with a blast of water daily will reduce the spider mite population.
Severe infestions might require treatment with an insecticide.
Neem oil is also a good product for insects, and is a lower impact product.