Monday, August 1, 2011

If Mama Ain't Happy

You know the saying "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!".  Well, I feel that way about my Iceberg rose bush.  If she's not happy, I'm not happy!

Iceberg roses don't have a very good reputation in Texas.  They are revered in California, where they must grow like weeds.  (At least it seems that way to me.)  But ask a Texan about Iceberg roses and you're more likely to get a rant rather than a rave.

If I were the type to just get rid of plants that didn't do well, Iceberg would probably be replaced.  But once having spent money on a plant, I don't get rid of it easily.  If it dies, that's one thing.  But if it's just unhappy, I'll try to figure out why.

I've moved Iceberg several times, and I know where it is now is a good spot for a rose.  It should be happy.  Instead, it occasionally sheds its leaves.  Usually in Texas the cause of this is blackspot.  But my Iceberg doesn't show any signs of blackspot.  It just pouts.  I've spent years watching this rose, trying to figure out what is the cause of its unhappiness.  Am I missing the signs of blackspot?  Is there another disease attacking it?  Voles?  Lack of sun?  Too much sun?  Heat stress?  I've gone through all the possibilities, and still I'm stumped.

But this week, Iceberg looks glorious.  Like she does in spring.  In spring.  When we get rains.  Hmmm....      And this week I've been giving it plenty of water.  Is there a connection?  Could that be the answer?

I think Iceberg just needs more water than the dry summer Texas weather offers.  At least, that's my theory.  For this week.  You may have another.

Whatever the reason, whether my theory is correct or not, Iceberg is happy this week.  And since Iceberg's happy, so am I!


  1. Your perseverance and good observation has reaped lovely rewards Holley, well done! Glad to see your Iceberg rose doing well with gorgeous blooms :)

  2. Hi Holley - hmmm, I'm thinking now that maybe I need to water my Icebergs more. I'll give it a try. They flower ok, but they are not very prolific. They are still babies though ...

    Yours look lovely! Really lovely!

  3. Your Iceberg looks indeed happy right now. It could very well be the lack of sufficient water when it was not doing that great, since roses are known to shed their leaves when they are heat stressed as a survival mechanism. Even though Icebergs are considered THE roses in California, mine don't look that great at certain times of the year either. They are prone to powdery mildew in my garden and sometimes the leaves are downright ugly for that reason. They still continue to bloom like crazy, so from a distance they still are an impressive sight.

  4. Some of my roses are managing the heat very well, and then, some are not handling it well at all. I know what you mean about trying to make them happy...I, too, will do a lot to try to make them happy. Sometimes a plant will go an entire season looking sickly, and then perk up the next season. I hope you get more rain, soon.

  5. I reckon unless you're a cactus, a little more water makes everything happier :-) Your iceberg is probably breathing a sigh of relief from the extra water. Take care...

  6. Mark and Gaz - It's more luck than anything else. But it's nice to get lucky every once in a while! And maybe I have solved the puzzle!

    GardeningBlog - I hope the extra water makes a difference. I would love to know if it does! I can see why this rose is so popular. When it's blooming, it is quite lovely.

    Christina - I didn't realize they had such problems with powdery mildew. Blackspot is the big disease here. When they're happy, they really show it by blooming like wild!

    Sage Butterfly - I know what you mean about looking good after a season or two of not being happy. Which is always puzzling. There are a couple of roses that I am puzzled over, but am too wimpy to just replace them! Maybe I'll crack their happiness code eventually!

    Toni - haha I agree. In this heat, I want more water, too!

  7. My Iceberg has not been happy this year either. We had such a cool very wet spring and then into hot, hot hot. My Iceberg has been getting black spot from all the set and shedding now because of the heat. Last year it was beautiful and my favorite rose so I know it is mostly weather related this year.

  8. Nawet bym nie przypuszczała ,że róża Iceberg ,która jest chwalona u nas w Polsce ,w Kalifornii ,rośnie jako chwast .Piękna jest u Ciebie i masz się z czego cieszyć...pozdrawiam ...

  9. Lona - At least you know it's weather related, even though it's frustrating to have it happen. It's like you lose that whole year!

    Bogusia - I really don't know if it grows like a weed in California! It just grows well there. I'm surprised and happy that it is known and loved there in Poland.

  10. I am glad your Iceberg is happy now. It looks great. There is a lot of hybrid musk in it, so it probably does get heat-stressed. I hope it stays happy!

  11. glad that you're both happy. you're roses are pretty, don't replace them. the more effort, the more satisfaction you get from it. stay happy :)


  12. More water--that's what we all need this summer, right? Your perseverance is honorable. I don't like to pull out plants either unless they die. Good luck!

  13. A very healthy looking plant!

  14. Róże lubię wodę, a my mamy jej w nadmiarze tego lata. Możemy trochę przekazać :-)

  15. Masha - It's amazing that it's blooming so well now, with our highs being 105 to 108 every day! I hope it stays happy, too. I'll keep watching it for a couple of years to see if I change my hypothesis!

    Angel - Maybe you're right - if we have to work at a plant being happy, we get more satisfaction. I'm not sure, though. I sure do like the easy ones!

    Greggo - How was your return home? Not happy?

    Plant Postings - Half the country needs more water, the other half has had too much I think. Rain would certainly be welcomed. We are certainly due for some!

    Kelli - Isn't it amazing? Super high temperatures, and it's blooming its little heart out. I can see why it's so loved where it's happy.

    Giga - I wish I could take some of your water! It would be nice if we could pass it around.


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