Asked on Apr 26, 2013

What is wrong with these climbing roses?

Diana LafavorKaryl ZimmermanCorvera Outdoor Living By Design


Half of the limbs will have regular looking rose leaves & then there are "clumps" of very small leaves. The bush is climbing about 30 feet up a tree. Is it diseased, deformed or is it just the type of rose it is?
12 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Apr 26, 2013

    Do you know anything about the type of rose, Dianne? Does it start from the base? They're separate canes, right? It's really hard to see the differences in the leaves in your photos, but my suspicion is that this may be a grafted rose, and that the stumped-leaf rose is the rootstock rose and the other is the scion.

  • Dianne
    on Apr 26, 2013

    OH, OK...that makes sense...It is an OLD climbing rose @ a house a friend bought & we are cleaning up the yard. Will it bloom? I see NO sign of any buds. I did not know whether to cut it all down or leave it.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Apr 26, 2013

    hmmm...I am wondering if it is rosette disease? Take a look at this

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Apr 27, 2013

    @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) I thought about rose rosette, but aren't the leaves more deformed with that? @Dianne I think I would start by cutting out the canes with the small foliage. Start with clean pruners and wipe them frequently with hydrogen peroxide or a mild bleach solution during the process, just in case it is a disease issue.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Apr 27, 2013

    @Douglas Hunt I frankly couldn't really tell on my lap top last night, but looking at that third picture, it does appear to have the characteristics of rosette, the leaves are coming out looking reddish and clumping. I haven't seen a climbing rose have such a small elongated leaf such as that in any cultivar that I am familiar with. But I could be wrong...wouldn't be the first...or last time :)

  • Catherine Smith
    on Sep 4, 2013

    @ Dianne, I would suggest you contact you local extension office or your Rosarian society and have a pro have a look at this. It does look like the rosette virus on the reddish clumping leaves. If it is, it may be possible to save at least part of it, but I lost 3 of my oldest tea roses to this stuff and had to pull them up and destroy. It does spread quickly, however, I recently read the experts have come up with some possible solutions other than that and I would think it would certainly be worth your time to try and save this old beauty.

  • Maggie Lais
    on Sep 6, 2013

    I was just wondering about chemical burn or even a physical wound? Possibly an insect pest or deer that gnawed the growing point off? The rose plants do look like they could use some Iron and some fertilizer... I know this post is older, so I am really curious if you were able to track down the culprit or situation?

  • GrandmaCarol Speight
    on Sep 9, 2013

    So did the bush send a flower this year? Can try cutting it of about 10 inches above the ground before the Winter sets in....Be interesting to see what the Spring of 2014 gives up.

  • Dianne
    on Sep 11, 2013

    @Maggie Lais & @GrandmaCarol Speight I cut it back drastically. It did not bloom but am going to baby it & see what it does next spring. I will try to update then.

  • looking at the pic. trees are putting shade on the rose vine, now how much sun would you say the plant gets? it needs about 4-8 hours of direct sun to bloom on vines and vine bloom from old wood, then if you cut it how much did you cut off? the plant has to try to balance it self. it is more noticeable on older plants and when did you cut ( in the the season) it looks like it is trying balance it self . i would use any organic fertilizer, medina plus or root fertilizer for now that it is winter do remove any soil around the trunk base...

  • Karyl Zimmerman
    on Feb 3, 2014

    Rosette disease

  • Diana Lafavor
    on Feb 4, 2014

    It looks like a Lady Banksia to me

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