Please help me solve this reoccurring rose problem.

CraighBCraighB Posts: 519
edited May 2018 in Plants
Hi guys,

I purchased Jude the Obscure rose from David Austin a couple of years back and it is in a container. Last year after the new shoots started to grow in March/April, they grew about 4/5 inches and then every single one of the shoot tips shrivelled, went brown and crispy and dropped off. I contacted David Austin but they didn't know why this had happened so they sent a replacement...

I planted the replacement in a container and and kept the other one to see if it would do the same this year. Guess what... both of the Jude roses had every one of their shoots shrivel up again!! However I have Princess Alexandra of Kent and Gentle Hermione all in the same size containers with the same compost mix, fed with the same amount of rose feed and they are doing fantastic!

We also purchased a Jude rose for my partner's Gran last year so I was very interested to see how hers was performing (hers is also in a container). After visiting last night her Jude has done exactly the same!! I honestly can't think what is going on here. I have contacted David Austin again but I haven't had a response back yet.

I have attached some photos so you can see what I mean. Any help would be really appreciated because this has really left me scratching my head!!


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 4,104
    I have 3 Falstaff shrub roses. I noticed the other day that some of the new shoot tips have done exactly the same as yours. Most of the shoots were fine, but there were about 6 crispy, shriveled shoots.
    The only thing I can think of was the bitterly cold weather, but that was before the shoots appeared...
    Will be interesting to see what others think.
    I've got 12 other shrub roses, all fine and several climbers and ramblers - all fine.

    Am I right in thinking that Jude the Obscure is the most scented rose available?
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 1,231
    What have you fed the rose with please?   it looks well fed with nitrogen, but maybe not so much potash...  

  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 519
    edited May 2018
    Yes Pete Jude the obscure is extremely fragrant I love it. So it's very disappointing that this has happened again.

    I thought the same about the cold weather and frost causing it but as you said the shoots shrivelled way after the bad frosts.

    Marlorena, the feed is Bayer Toprose so this has higher potash than Nitrogen. I used this on my other roses in pots and they are doing brilliant.

    Also because the shoots are never growing to full size with flowers at the end of them the shrub looks very stunted.
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 1,231
    I would try feeding with liquid tomato fertilizer only, on a regular basis and see if that improves things, and I would hope it's in a decent size container.. but this is a large growing shrub rose, that really ought to be in the ground for best performance...
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 13,538
    What you have there is called rose blindness.

    My old ma used to say that it was caused by a virus. Sh may have been right, she may have been wrong. Nobody knows. It’s  PITA though.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 519
    edited May 2018
    Thanks Pansyface,

    However would this affect every single shoot? I thought this happened to the odd shoot here and there?

    And would it affect 3 different roses of the same variety, 1 of which is growing in a different town?

    I thought maybe it could have been a bad batch but they would have had other complaints surely? The first rose was also purchased a year apart from the other 2.
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 1,231
    I'm inclined to think it's more to do with lack of moisture at the roots. Austin roses are noted for their water demands in the early years of growing.

    This is one of my Austin roses, I do have some good flower buds on it, so I will see some nice rose blooms,  but as you can see a few shoots are like yours.  It's a young rose and still needs time for those roots to go down before it becomes self sufficient..

    ..the bud dropped off this shoot but another forming below at leaf axil..

    ..I think this bud will drop off too, but another bud forming at leaf axil below it..

    ..they do need a lot of watering for the first year or two... from the 3rd year I don't water them at all, as they become established and perform as you hoped they would..
  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 519
    Yes that does look like mine Marlorena!

    However after what Pansyface said about blind shoots I researched it on YouTube and there are videos on this subject and the guys roses also looked exactly like mine and he said it can affect entire plants!

    So maybe it is blind shoots after all? The problem is how to get it to stop producing them!
  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 519
    Oh I forgot to mention as well... Last year I took a cutting of Jude and stuck it in a bit of compost as a bit of an experiment to see if it would root... Well it did and this also had little shoots that started to grow this spring and they too grew about 3-4 inches and the end of the shoot just stopped and shrivelled!

    So that's 4 Jude's that are doing this strange thing! 
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 1,231
    Sometimes you know Craig, I think it's not meant to be, and if a rose isn't performing for me over what I would call a reasonable amount of time and effort, then I don't get sentimental about it, and they get tossed in the wheelie bin... life is too short to put up with non performers and there are so many other roses, equally as scented if not more, that you could grow and not waste your time on...  

    Jude the Obscure enjoys water and heat in abundance, it will grow much larger than the stated heights, given those requirements - in the ground.   I'm not much good with pots, I only have a couple, so I do try to get them planted wherever possible... and if they fail, I try another...

    I've got about 75 roses, about 25 of them are Austin's, some better than others... 
    ..this is 'Royal Jubilee' on an obelisk... the scent is divine, if you ever want to try it..

Sign In or Register to comment.