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  • Author or Editor: Mark Harper x
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Roses are grown in Minnesota in the winter in closed greenhouses with the aid of HID lamps, and carbon dioxide enrichment. Although productivity is good, consumers often complain of a rapid dehydration or crisping of the leaves. Through a series of experiments using controlled environment chambers and known vase solutions we have determined that the crisping is due to the deposition of high levels of sucrose in the leaf cell walls due to transpiration from the leaves. The sucrose dehydrates the cell protoplast causing cell collapse and tissue death. Crisping is reduced by lowering the sucrose in the vase solution or reducing transpiration from the leaves. Abscisic acid added to the vase solution effectively reduced transpiration and crisping.

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Leaves on cut stems of commercially grown Rosa hybrida cv. Kardinal placed in preservative solutions containing sucrose developed necrotic dry patches that began interveinally and progressed toward the major veins until the entire leaf was dehydrated. Ultrastructural observations of initial damage showed disorganized protoplasm and plasmolyzed cells. Leaves on cut stems pretreated with abscisic acid for 24 hours and transferred to preservative solution containing sucrose remained healthy. We propose that sucrose accumulates in the mesophyll cell wall, thus decreasing apoplastic osmotic potential, leading to cell collapse and tissue death.

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Landscaping today involves the struggle to balance aesthetically pleasing plants while minimizing the impact on the environment, reducing water usage, decreasing fertilizer use, and eliminating or significantly reducing pesticide usage. Roses (Rosa sp.), although seen as challenging plants, remain the most popular flowering shrub in the United States. The identification of new cultivars that combine beauty, pest and disease resistance, and drought tolerance are important to Texas landscapes. Sixty roses were assessed over a 3-year period to determine flowering, drought tolerance, disease resistance, and overall landscape performance in minimal-input gardens in north central Texas. Atypical weather during the study had a significant impact on performance. A 2-year drought (2010–11) was accompanied by the hottest summer on record (2011), which included a record number of days of at least 100 °F or higher. As a result, supplemental irrigation was provided three times both summers. Roses generally fared well under these conditions and survived the drought. Flowering was most abundant during the spring and fall, and it was least abundant in the summer. Powdery mildew [PM (Sphaerotheca pannosa var. rosae)] was a minor problem. Nine of 60 cultivars developed no visible symptoms of PM during the study. Most PM occurred in Spring 2010, with very little found after June; none was found in 2011. Black spot [BS (Diplocarpon rosae)] was serious for some cultivars, but most were BS-free; RADrazz (Knock Out®) and Lady Banks White had no observed BS during the study. BS occurred mostly in May, June, and November. Overall landscape performance ratings were high, with 23 cultivars having a mean landscape performance rating equal to or better than the Belinda’s Dream standard. The best-performing cultivars were RADrazz (Knock Out), RADcon (Pink Knock Out®), RADyod (Blushing Knock Out®), WEKcisbaco (Home Run®), and Alister Stella Gray. This study was able to identify many other highly performing roses in north central Texas.

Open Access

Griffith Buck (Iowa State University) bred roses (Rosa sp.) to survive long, cold winters and hot, humid summers yet still retain their foliage without fungicides. Unfortunately, there is little known about the performance of Buck roses in the southern United States. Thirty-eight Buck rose cultivars were evaluated for flowering, disease resistance, drought tolerance, and overall landscape performance in alkaline soils with no fertilizer, no pesticides, and only limited irrigation. Flowering occurred on a bimodal basis, with the highest per plant mean bloom number (16.3 blooms) and bloom coverage (9.7%) in April, and a second flowering in the fall, with 13.7 blooms per plant and 6.9% bloom coverage in October. Drought stress symptoms were most evident in October, with a wide range of symptom severity across cultivars. Black spot (Diplocarpon rosae) and powdery mildew (Podosphaera pannosa) incidence were rare across all roses and years. Landscape performance scores, rated using a 0 to 10 scale with 10 representing a perfect plant and 0 a dead plant, were highest in April (6.5) and lowest in June (4.6) and July (4.6). Landscape performance was not correlated with bloom number or coverage. While unable to recommend many of the Buck roses for north-central Texas, the cultivars April Moon and Freckles, and possibly a few other roses, can join Carefree Beauty™ (BUCbi) as recommended roses for the area.

Open Access