Monday, April 17, 2006

I Think I Know What I Did Wrong! Roses - part 6

Perhaps I have burned the root hairs!! I read this on the Maine Rose Society's website:
Burning Root Hairs

"The growing tips of root hairs can be “burned” by fertilizer unless you wet the soil well before applying fertilizer. To both understand and avoid “burned” root hairs a bit of understanding of the process by which plant take up fertilizer is in order. First nutrients are absorbed at the growing tips of root hairs by a process that includes that of osmosis. If the soil is dry when fertilizers are applied there is a heavy concentration of the nutrient inside the plant and a lesser concentration outside the plant. This will draw both water and nutrients out of the plant and starve the rose. By watering the plant before applying the fertilizer you create a more balanced situation between the plant and soil. Then when you apply fertilizer you create enrichment in the soil, followed by movement into the plant where the plant puts the ingredient to work in the process of growing."

If I fertilized with a chemical fertilizer 3 times a year for the past two years, it is quite likely that I did it at least once, if not all 6 times, when the soil was dry.

On my roses and rhododendrons is the only place I use chemical fertilizers. Everywhere else I have just used manure and leaf mulch and the growth is positively lush. The Explorer roses get a slow release fertilizer. So it looks like their roots have not been burned by it. This is a major breakthrough!! Now I need to understand how to promote the growth of root hairs.

How do you like this fun bit of info:

"Root hairs are formed by two separate processes: initiation and subsequent tip growth. Root hair initiation is always accompanied by a highly localized increase in xyloglucan endotransglycosylase (XET) action at the site of future bulge formation, where the trichoblast locally loosens its cell wall....The ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid shifts both root hair initiation and the local increase in XET action toward the root tip. On the other hand, roots treated with the ethylene inhibitor aminoethoxyvinyl-glycine, as well as roots of mutants affected in root hair initiation (rhl1, rhd6-1, and axr2-1) revealed no localized increases of XET action at all and consequently did not initiate root hairs. Disruption of actin and microtubules did not prevent the localized increase in XET action."

Got that? (it is from a Plant Physiology website)


Blogger kerry said...

Thanks for the heads up on the fertilizer/root problems. I was very intrigued reading your rose saga. I do hope you have figured out what has gone wrong.

I just this year have become interested in roses and from what I can tell I have a LOT to learn. I jumped in with both feet buying 8 varieties (Darlow's enigma, Rose de Rescht, cl Etoile de Holland,
Gallica officinalis, Rosa virginiana, Double de Coubert, Paul's Himalayan musk, and Rosa Mundi)which is a big purchase for me.

5:36 p.m.  
Blogger Miss Canthus said...

I hope that someone can learn from my mistakes! And hopefully from the solution too.

I am familiar with the names of the roses you have chosen but don't have any of them. I wish you the best of luck with them.

6:33 p.m.  

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