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StrawChicago Alkaline clay 5a
'Chicago IL 5a'  photo
Photo courtesy of StrawChicago Alkaline clay 5a
StrawChicago Alkaline clay 5a
Illinois, United States
My commitment is to husband & kid, God & Jesus. Gypsum helps with root-growth. Sulfate of potash helps to induce blooms. All my 128 varieties are own-roots, except for 4 roses which are grafted-on-Dr.Huey. I don't spray. In my dolomitic heavy clay, pH 7.7, roses are healthy if I dig deep enough for drainage, and fix my pH 9 tap water with sulfate of potash and gypsum. See my garden below:

My garden is NW of Chicago, zone 5a, more than 38" annual rain & 29" of snow. Summer heat up to 90-100 F. My soil is high in magnesium at pH 7.7. I fix my sticky & poor drainage and rock-hard clay with gypsum. Austin and French Meilland like my heavy clay. In contrast, Albas, damasks, hybrid perpetual, and esp. Rugosas & hybrid Musk prefer sandy and loamy soil & need good drainage. Multiflora prefers high-rain & acidic loamy soil, but wichurana (Dr. Huey) prefers drier & alkaline clay.

For OWN-ROOT roses: PALE LEAVES prefer loamy soil & acidic rain. DARK-GREEN prefer heavy/alkaline clay. GLOSSY: best with partial shade & wet & alkaline minerals. TINY LEAVES prefer loamy & drought-tolerant (species). LARGE LEAVES = vigorous & deep root. THICK LEAVES = heat tolerant. 5-leaflet = modern roses, OK with alkaline tap-water. 7-leaflet or thornless or blue-color = multiflora & cooler sites & loamy & high-rain. 7-leaflet and many prickles = drought-tolerant Centifolia or Rugosa & prefer loamy/sandy & can handle hot & dry.

Over-fertilization: wilting, leaves curl down.
Too acidic: leaves curl up & thinner, and blackspots.
Too alkaline: Pale, leaves twisted & crinkled (copper def).
Potassium def: zero blooms, balling, thin & weak stems, and blackspots.
Calcium def: less petals, stunt growth & tip die-back
Nitrogen def: small leaves & pale LOWEST leaves
Sulfur def: entire plant is pale & stunt growth
Iron def: pale UPPER leaves with greener veins
Experienced (33 years)
Last visit: Thursday, December 5th

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