Why Did My Rose Bush Die?

Why Did My Rose Bush Die?

By Robert B. Martin, Jr.

You failed to water. You pruned too hard.
You ran it over with a car.
The nursery mailed it without roots.  
You killed it with those gardening boots.
You left the bush wrapped up in plastic.
You broke the roots. They’re not elastic. 

You left it baking in the sun
While you departed at a run
To find your shears, perhaps a trowel, 
Meanwhile the bush threw in the towel.
You left it soaking in the tub.
It turned to mold; aye there's the rub.

You threw alfalfa in the hole;
The toasted roots were like charcoal.
You planted it in too much shade
You used a contaminated spade
You planted it without a cone.
You picked the wrong rose for your zone 

Too high pH.  It hated lime.
Alas it needs a gentler clime.
Your ground is drenched with motor oil.
You should do something to your soil.
Too rich. Too poor. Such wretched tilth.
Your soil is clay. Your soil is filth.  

You failed to water. You pruned too hard.
You ran it over with a car.

The fallen oak produced a rot
The leaves turned brown it went to pot
You killed it with an herbicide.
You scattered Round-Up far and wide,
Gophers descended underground
That ate your roots and stayed around.

The winter rains propelled a spore
Of downy mildew and much more
Perhaps you sprinkled from above.
You should have talked to it with love. 
The summer sun burned up the crown
And caused the canes to all turn brown

You failed to stake; the north winds blew
The candleabra fell, the rest fell too. 
You fed too little; you watered too much
You sprayed the bush with heavy touch
You foliar fed with Miracle-Gro.
Forgot to measure who was to know?

The bush was virused from the start
You bumped it with the gardening cart
The whacker whacked a basal break
More pain than e’en the rose could take.
Companion plantings grew like weeds
It disappeared among the reeds

You failed to water. You pruned too hard.
You ran it over with a car.

(Adapted from "Why Did My Plant Die?" by Geoffrey B. Charlesworth)

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