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Growing Roses with Minimal Pesticide Use

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Last year, team Making It Grow visited Pat Henry up near Laurens, SC. Pat is a world-renowned rosarian and partner at Roses Unlimited. She maintains a beautiful yard devoted to a half dozen small gardens devoted to those plants, watered by hand as she doesn’t have irrigation. Amazingly, she doesn’t spray for black spot or Japanese beetles. Due to restrictions on homeowners use of pesticides in Germany and a desire to develop improved rose varieties, the Kordes company in the 1990’s began seed trials to develop roses that fit their strict requirements. Each year, they plant over a million seeds and follow them for seven years selecting for vigor and resistance to black spot, among other traits.  Pat adds that she’s even willing to tolerate the two to three weeks of Japanese beetle damage rather than spray, spray, spray with insecticides. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.