Rose Rosette Disease in the Knockout Rose

Rose Rosette DiseaseRose Rosette disease in the Knockout Rose is very common viral disease here in SE Virginia now (and I know it is common in other states as well). It is a disease that affects many other roses such as the multifloral, climbing, and even hybrid roses. I have had first hand experience with this rose disease and its spread and I can tell you – THERE IS NO CURE OR SAVING THE PLANTS.

I tried. Many young roses will die within a season or two. My climbing rose started to decline rapidly and the rose buds shriveled up as the disease took over. Knockouts, however, will live for at least 3-4 years blooming and growing and displaying the beautiful burgundy new growth and witches broom (thorns).Rose Rosette Disease witches broom

I dug up and removed the diseases roses, however, I have neighbors who refuse to remove their diseases Knockouts because they still grow and bloom. I tried to explain to them that this disease affects the soil and is transmitted to other roses in the vicinity and not just in their yard. What you are going to be shocked at is that a few of these homeowners received them FREE from our Homeowners Association and the maintenance team who was digging them up because I had told them months before the roses were diseased!

Ironic, huh?

The supervisor or manager of the maintenance team has been a landscaper for years and he and I have butted heads. I simply tell him I am not a landscaper – I am a naturescaper and I work with nature. I no longer go to my Homeowners Association or to the maintenance department any more because they do not care that the deer eat the native plants to survive, that Round UP should not be sprayed in native areas, and that diseased roses and plants should not be given away!Rose Rosette Disease

Oh shoot I digressed, sorry.

In these videos, I share with you what to look for and how to spot Rose Rosette disease. Knockouts are very hardy plants and even when consumed by this disease they will bloom and grow. The new growth of deep burgundy on Knockouts is gorgeous but it is deadly to other roses and to the soil. Wherever the diseased roses grow, the soil is no longer viable for roses in the future. So you will have to find a new location for any rose bushes in the future.

If you Google Rose Rosette Disease you will find information about the very small Eriophyid Mite that spreads this viral disease. This disease can wipe out a row of roses in one season so if you see the signs early you may be able to save other roses before it spreads. The female Eriophyid mites will be hard to see and they hide near new growth shoots and in the bud at the end of the stem (or terminal bud/apex) where they lay one egg per day for a month. It is interesting to note that the male Eriophyid mites do not have wings but are carried throughout the garden by the wind, garden tools, and even your clothes.

You can use organic horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps in May- July on non affected roses to try and stop the spread. However, once a rose has the disease you must take immediate action to removed them and dispose of them properly (as seen in this video)  Knockout Rose, Rose Rosette Disease

A tip if you want to grow roses, do not plant them too close together. This can be a precaution to help you keep Rose Rosette disease from spreading in the garden.

Good luck and I hope this post help. I know it is sad when you have to dig up and destroy a plant. However, it must be done to avoid any future spread and destruction of nature’s beauty. Thanks for stopping by!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

and visit me over at The Garden Frog Boutique too

2016 copyrighted material C Renee


Formosa Lily (Lilium formosanum)

Formosa lily, Formosan lily, Lilium formosanumI added the Formosan lily (formerly known as Formosa lily) L. formosanum late last summer at the fall plant sale at the Lewis Ginter botanical garden. As I walked up I could smell the lovely fragrance and stood there inhaling the intoxicating aroma fragrance of the  white trumpet flower. I was in heaven. I thought it was an Easter Lily at first because of the beautiful fragrant white trumpet flower atop the tall stem. The grower told me it was grown from seed this spring and they are easy to grow and love moist but not wet soil in full sun or partial shade here in zone 7.

I knew nothing of the Formosa lily and had to go home and read more about it. I discovered it is native the island of Formosa in Taiwan and it is almost extinct there now! There is contradictory information about the zones with some sources I read say 5-8 and others 6b-9. The Formosan lily blooms late summer and grows upward to 7 feet tall in the south where the growing season is longer. In colder climates of zones 5 and 6 it will bloom early autumn and I highly suggest planting it in full sun.  In the colder zones this is a short lived perennial (or biennial) and so you may want to dig the bulbs up and try to store them in a colder garage or shed where they will not freeze below 10 degrees and plant them early spring. Or let them reseed and see what happens. Either way, only good things come out of letting nature fill your garden with blooms.Formosa lily Lilium formosanum

The Formosa lily is also known as the August lily and spreads by seed or bulbs which need the cold weather of winter in zones 7 & 8 to go dormant and rest. Anyone in zones 9 and up will need to dig up the Formosa lily bulbs and store them in the refrigerator to mimic winter’s cooler weather. I have collected seeds for 2 years now and in my new garden I will sow a backdrop of these fragrant beauties behind all my coneflowers, sedum, and black eyed susans.

This is a great cut flower and it is recommended not too cut too much off the stem because the stems are needed to make food for the bulbs the following year. I never cut down my lily stems and let them die back naturally and let nature do her work. This can be a prolific reseeder in the garden so cutting off the flowers before they dry and release the seeds may help contain them.

Seeds from 1 Formosa lily bloom

Seeds from 1 Formosa lily bloom

Oh shoot I forgot to state my point: one flower produces a ton of seeds! Holy moly I could not believe how many seeds came out of the brown dried up flower head. I do not have pictures of the mature Formosa lily because mine is in pot and old sent up a 3 1/2″ foot stem with 1 bloom. I hope next year I will be able to share more pictures as I cultivate a new garden. You can google more information about the Formosa lily and as I grow this lovely fragrant flower I will share more.

Thanks for stopping by and reading. If you have the Formosa Lily I would love to hear from you on any tips. Gardening is a learning experience and one that I love to share!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2016 copyrighted material C Renee

I am a gardener without a garden

I am a gardener without a gardenI am a gardener without a garden and have been since spring (2016) when I dug up my flower beds and sold hundreds of plants. I dug up and potted up many plants to create mulched boring beds that would be easy for someone to manage. I am a gardener without a garden

Why? Because I have to sell my house and move on. Move on and hope that I can find a new home with lots of space for hundreds of plants and my fur babies. Move on to start my life not only as an empty nester but as a divorcee with 2 dogs, 3 cats, and a love of all things green and beautiful. I have to do this with a not so realistic price tag.I am a gardener without a garden

This is not what I had imagined when I turned 50 back in February when I counted down the days for my youngest son to graduate high school and I dreamt of the day I would find my dream home in the country and return to the country life my husband and I had talked about for years. The dream of a horse, donkey, and a cow eating in the pasture. A red barn with a tractor parked inside. A veggie garden and beautiful flower beds filled with all the colors of the rainbow. The perfect setting as I gaze out my window- to be inspired to write that book and fill my life with peace and joy. I am a gardener without a garden

I am a gardener without a garden and I have struggled with the sadness. It is a sadness that has consumed me at times. I have not been to a garden center since last fall and I can barely walk through the garden center at my local home stores without feeling a sense of loss and twinge of grief because I cannot buy a plant and enjoy the beauty of the blooms in my garden…because I do not have any flower gardens.I am a gardener without a garden

I am a gardener without a garden and I struggle every day to feel in touch with nature. I have even shed tears over my thoughts about just letting go of my houseplants and other tropical garden plants. Letting go and not bringing them in and just letting go of the idea of gardening and nurturing my green thumb. But then I remember that some of them are from my dad’s funeral over 17 years ago and I just cannot let go of the connection.

I am a gardener without a garden

Google pic prior to 2008 sorry for the picture quality but it shows the shade and landscaping

My gardens were cultivated from red clay dirt that was so barren weeds did not even grow. The yard was shaded from more than 18 Oak Trees on less than a 1/4 acre plot. I had a few Oaks taken out and had the tree guy limb these beautiful 30-50 Oaks up to the canopy allowing the sun to finally hit the ground. For 8 years gardening was my therapy for my unhappiness and burying the denial of a marriage that had been troubled from the very start. The bees, blooms, butterflies, and beauty that exploded in my gardens made me happy.

I am a gardener without a garden

Some are in pots but the majority are crowded sitting on the ground

I am a gardener without a garden. Therapy of dirt under the nails, the smell of a flower, and the buzz of a bee as it lands next to you in the garden. I miss that. I am pouring my heart out because anyone who tends a garden- flower or vegetable- knows the joy that gardening can bring to your soul. The first bloom of the season, watching a butterfly flutter from flower to flower, or the first tomato you pick off the vine…there is nothing so special as those moments in nature.

I am a gardener without a garden

This is the opposite side of the above picture. Just one area where I have plants ‘stashed’

The Iris, hostas, and many assorted perennials in pots or sitting closely woven together in an area in the dappled shade waiting for their new home…since July my (15 or more varieties of) Iris have been scattered about on top of the ground just waiting to be planted. The ferns, hostas, and even heuchera are just happily crowded back there in the back of my yard hidden from view. I even have some phlox, coneflowers, and hydrangeas mixed in. I have packets of seeds waiting to be sown…dsc_0267

I continue to house hunt and dream about my new home on the edge of a small town with room for a veggie garden, orchard, tons of flower beds, greenhouse, chicken coop, barn, and a workshop. It has been quite exhausting putting aside the past and moving forward stuck in my house which is not a home without my flower gardens. Is this my dream? Am I still a gardener? It is very difficult for me to pass a garden center and not think about what I am…I am a gardener without a garden

I am a gardener without a garden.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my story. Check out my other blog The Garden Frog Boutique too.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

copyrighted 2016 C Renee Cumberworth

I am a gardener without a garden

The Many Faces of Poison Ivy

The many faces of Poison Ivy, Leaves of 3 let it be and if you see 4 it is best to ignoreThe many faces of poison ivy as seen here in the south. I know I am going to blow that old myth away about “leaves of 3 let it be” and other tips for spotting poison ivy. Believe me when I say I know firsthand what it is to touch the wrong plant. I am highly allergic to poison ivy and from trial and error I have learned that poison ivy is not always 3 leaves!

Please do not think I am saying ignore  the “leaves of 3 let it be” but I am adding some more tips for you especially if you are walking in the woods here in the south (and I would love to hear from anyone else from other parts of the country). Here are some pics in this post of variations of poison ivy in  my area here in SE Virginia.

“LEAVES OF 3 LET IT BE; IF YOU SEE 4 IT IS BEST TO IGNORE” this is what I follow

I have found by unhappy accident that Virginia Creeper hides poison ivy many times. It is awful to start pulling what you think is an innocent vine to uncover the 3 or 4 leaves of poison ivy. Poison ivy has many forms and I hope that if you are like me and allergic to it that this post helps you stay clear of this nasty but beneficial vine in nature.The many faces of poison ivy, leaves of 3 let it be and 4 ignore

Poison ivy does not always have small serrated leaves you see in all these posts! Look at the above picture and do you see how big those leaves are and how the poison ivy is very woody and grows straight out from the vine.

“Leaves of 3 let it be; if you see 4 it is best to ignore”The many faces of Poison Ivy,

Oh yes poison ivy can have 4 leaves and vine up a tree mixing in with Virginia Creeper disguising itself. I have learned never to just pull out vines and if you must I suggest wearing long sleeves, pants, gloves, and trying to cover as much of your exposed skin as you can. Go in and immediately throw you clothes in the washer and take a shower. You can get poison ivy by contact with your clothes and your pets! So handle with care and washing withn 15 minutes of exposure works to minimize contact. The many faces of Poison Ivy,

Now I am going to give you another hint that I have done when I am no where near home and I come in contact with poison ivy. I carry hand sanitizer with me and I rub that on any exposed skin. I have also used window cleaner when I was at a friend’s house and sprayed it on my skin and wiped off. I knew I had to wash my skin because I walked right into a patch (the poison ivy was wrapped in an area of English ivy).

I have had Poison Ivy every year for as long as I can remember and a couple years ago I discovered a product at Walgreens that works to help alleviate itching and the spread. I have tried the homemade recipes but never any relief. IVAREST medicated poison ivy cleansing foam is the product and I do not quite follow the directions exactly- I use it a couple times a day lathering and scrubbing with my scrunchie to relieve the itching and breaking open the blisters to dry them up faster. In 40 years of getting poison ivy, I find this to help the best (this is my own personal experience).The many faces of Poison Ivy, leaves of 3 let it be and if you see 4 it is best to ignore

If you ever find yourself walking along a wooded area, in a park, or even in your own yard just remember this “LEAVES OF 3 LET IT BE AND IF YOU SEE 4 IT IS BEST TO IGNORE”. Thanks for stopping by and if you ever have any questions, just ask and I will help you the best I can.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2016 copyrighted C Renee