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What is wrong with my rose?

I was out early one morning watering my perennial flower beds when I happened to notice these ugly things protruding from the stems and leaves of one of my favorite and oldest roses.

They totally freaked me out!

Tons of things began running through my head!

“Is this going to kill my rose?”

“Will it spread to my other roses?”

I promise you, all of these and a few more questions will be answered below; but first I thought we could share more about one of my favorite flowers before I get into the gruesome details.

What Defines a Rose as a Rose?

There of course is the saying a rose is a rose is a rose. Which means a thing is what it is, but what really makes a rose a rose?

Webster dictionary says a rose is “any of a genus Rosa, of the family Rosaceae, (the rose family) of usually prickly shrubs with the pine 8 sleeves and showy flowers having five petals in the wild state but being often double or partly double under cultivation"

Donna Heritage Rose
Donna Heritage Rose says "A rose is a woody perennial flower plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over 300 species and tens of thousands of cultivators. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing, or trailing, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colors ranging from white through yellow and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with similar numbers native to Europe, North America, and Northwest Africa. Species, cultivators and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often fragrance. Roses have acquired cultural significance in many societies. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach 7 m in height. Different species hybridize easily, and this has been used in the development of the wide range of garden roses."

That was an eye full or a mouthful. Not sure, when you're reading it would be an eye full and me telling you feels like a mouthful. I digress.

Anyways, what does the flower industry use to define roses from each other.


Roses are first categorized by their class or type. The most common class is the hybrid tea roses, these are the ones you are most likely to receive for Valentine's Day. Next is the Floribunda or Polyantha class. These are a lot like the hybrid roses but grow on smaller plants which result in smaller roses! But, they are not as small as the next class, miniature roses. These roses are small enough to grow in containers on your deck or patio.

William Baffin Climbing Rose
William Baffin Climbing Rose

Shrub roses are known for the sprawling habit and hardiness.( I have a few of these) Climbing roses by nature love to climb up anything and are used as a focus of a Cottage type garden. (I also have a few of these) Last, is the tree rose that is cultivated by trimming sturdy cane type roses to form a tree appearance.


They are then categorized by the rose’s specific habit like size, shape, height and width. This is where you will have decided if your favorite rose will even fit in the place you plan to grow it?

Foliage Color

Roses are most known for and prized for their flowers and the foliage is often overlooked. When choosing a rose (or any flower) the foliage is just as or even more important. When my roses bloom they are beyond stunning but the average blooming time of roses ranges from a few days to maybe two months, if you grow a reblooming rose. The rest of the year you only have the foliage to look at. I always try to grow different types of flowers together, so when one is not blooming another is. In this same regard give a little thought to foliage color to bring continual appeal to your perennial garden year-round. This also goes back to shape, the shape or even the color of the stems can bring in some Winter Garden appeal too.

Henry Kelsey Climbing Rose
Henry Kelsey Climbing Rose


Now we're getting to the good stuff. Because roses are known for their flower a lot more detail is given on size, form and even petal count. Size is the width and circumference of the flower itself, as well as, if they grow in singles or in clusters. Form and petal count is going to tell you the fullness of your flower. I wonder whose job it is to count pedals?


Roses have been cultivated for hundreds of years. Cultivation is, in short, the breeding and selecting for that perfect species of roses. Parentage is the list of the other roses that were crossed through either hand pollination or grafting to make the plants you may be enjoying in your garden. Roses are cultivated by different people or even farms and they are all called hybridizers. They work hard to give you that perfect combination of different roses to develop one specific variety of rose. Lastly is the intro year, this is the year the very first rose that was cultivated from that parentage and by that certain hybridizer. There are actually several very famous hybridizers which have developed some of the most prized roses in the world!

Now that we know what makes a rose a rose. Only because I love them so much, I can't help to show you the roses I grow and why!

Roses I Grow In Wyoming

Modern Blush Rose
Modern Blush Rose

Modern Blush Rose

I love this Rose for its soft pink, medium full flowers and its round shape of medium green foliage. This Rose is a member of the super hardy Parkland Rose family bred in Canada. I thought if it can grow in cooler temperatures up north than it should be perfect for us here! It was introduced in 1976 by Henry Marshall. I just love the cozy old-fashioned charm that this modern blush rose brings to my garden.

William Baffin Rose

This is one of my climbing roses. This is another that is hardy and is able to survive our harsh Winters. This climbing rose has deep pink double petaled flowers that grow on old and new wood. The glossy medium green foliage grows on sturdy thick canes that can reach 8 to 10 ft tall. I planted mine about 9 years ago and it stands about 5 feet tall. It was cultivated in 1974 by Dr. Felicilas Svejda. This is the rose that had those weird growths I am going to tell you about.

Henry Kelsey

It is called a climbing rose, but it actually classifies as a large shrub rose. This rose was also cultivated in Canada. It has single layered red flowers that grow on tall sturdy canes that are covered with dark green tinted with burgundy foliage.The Henry Kelsey was cultivated in 1984 by the same person as above.

Austrian Copper

This is a foetida rose that has hot orange red flowers with yellow on the reverse of the pedals. This rose has struggled in my environment of deer and clay soil but if she doesn't give up I won't either. She did not bloom this year but I just planted her last year so that can be expected. The Austrian Copper was cultivated prior to 1590. See hundreds of years of cultivation!

Morden Sunrise Rose
Morden Sunrise Rose

Morden Sunrise Rose

This rose has a multicolored flower of pink, peach, and pale yellow on the reverse of the pedals. This rose is also a Parkland Rose and was cultivated by Davidson in 2001. This is a more recent cultivation but I just love its pastel blooms.

Donna and Carla

I have two more roses in my garden that their names have been lost over time. I didn't lose them but because these roses have been passed down through so many different generations their true names have been lost. I call them Donna and Carla after the two ladies who gave them to me. Donna is a pale pink climbing rose and Carla is a hot pink rose shrub rose! Now let's get to those funny nodules on my rose!

What Is Wrong With My Rose?

Those nasty little nodules are called Wild Rose Galls!

Wild Rose Galls are formed when an insect lays an egg on or in your rose and the feeding of the larva stimulates excess growth of the plant tissue. The plant, as a result, creates a little structure or gall that contains both food and protection for the young larvae. The insects that most commonly cause these galls is the Cynipid Wasp.

I tried to find a larva in one of the nodules of the galls. I thought maybe they'd already hatched but the female Cynipid Wasp lays her eggs in early spring. The lava will then feed and develop over the summer, fall, and winter. So when I found them this spring they were too small for me to see with the naked eye.

The first thing I did was prune off the affected area as there were not very many, this was easy to do. This actually is the most organic way to get rid of them.

Pruning will lessen the chance of the larva developmenting into adults which will interrupt their cycle of life, as adults only live for 5 to 12 days and do not feed but spend their time mating and laying eggs. Pruning of galls if found early will put a halt to their cycle, as Cynipid Wasps only create one generation per year. If you want a complete and scientific view of these galls and more can be found here.

Another, non organic way to get rid of these cynipid wasps is with Bonide annual tree and shrub insect control. I only recommend this if you need a quick solution to get rid of a huge infestation. The label even states that it can be harmful to bees and other pollinators and only to use when a plant is done flowering. So like in the fall maybe?? This picture is from a big box store near me!

This is a decision you will have to make but I like honey and everything's bees do for me so I did not use it.

I hope this post gives you a little knowledge about roses or it may have grossed you out to. Till next time!

Pray, Just Plant!

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