Protecting Roses

Q: I have James Peirce roses, the ones that bloom are insanely beautiful, but it's rare that they bloom and they are not growing in height. It seems like they have been stunted by dogs, cats, fungi or something else. Any tips, suggestions or thoughts?

My roses say thank you,

A: Rosebud,

Dogs, cats and fungus can all cause serious damage to your roses, but stunted growth and low bud production might mean your roses are in need of a good feeding. You may want to test your soil. Roses are very nutrient hungry and deficiencies in phosphorus and nitrogen can both result in stunted flower growth and low flower production. For the best growth and flowering, roses need feeding every 3-4 weeks and an inch of water per week. Mulch them well with 1-2 inches or organic mulch and maximize flower production by deadheading the blooms you do have. Cut off any infected or damaged areas.

Organic anti-fungus/anti-mildew recipe:

1 Tbsp of baking soda, 2 1/2 tsp. of vegetable oil and 1 gallon of water.

Organic insecticide recipe:


1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap. Add 1 1/2 teaspoon of this to 1 cup of water.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


August 23, 20050 found this helpful

Many people say to bury banana peels with the skin sides up aound the base of the rose bushes. Also some make a thin puree of banana peel (or whole cut up overripe bananas) & water and pour it at the base of the bushes. Apparently works wonders! The roses love the potassium in the banana peels.

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