Don't moan, this is another First Prize question

andrearkJanuary 13, 2014

My first Prize has been the worst of my roses. I have only 32 now, but the rest are good to wonderful.

This rose is not happy where it is. It's in a bed that gets only the minimum amount of sun required.

What if I replanted FP into a nice size pot and moved her to a hotter and sunnier location? She doesn't bloom often, is rather short and sickly looking, but when she does bloom, the blossoms are large and perfectly shaped. I've not had to get rid of a rose yet, and I feel vey guilty about even thinking about it. Guess if I had many, many bushes like many (sorry) of you, I wouldn't feel so bad.

Would a move to more heat and light help?


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Life is too short for bad roses. Get rid of First Prize and replace it with a rose you can enjoy and which will reward all the care you give it.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 11:59PM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

I agree.

First Prize was my first rose. It was also the first rose I shovel pruned.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:50AM
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I was hoping for some advice on moving FP to a hotter and sunnier location. Don't think I can just destroy this rose without at least trying something else.

So, on to a nice size pot and a different location. Wish me luck.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:28AM
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I had First Prize do well in a pot so just give her a big one with the best soil you can get. If you can shade the roots a bit with something that blocks the sun from hitting the pot its even better because roots die off where the sun hits and so the plant doesn't get the full space in the pot. I used to plant 3 strawberries together in hanging pots and the one on the sunny side always did the worst.

First Prize is worth the effort and you already have one. Be sure it is not an impostor if you got a baggied one at a big box store. Not all of those are what they say they are and are generic roses of the same color but don't grow as well. First Prize does not like shade. I would get a Gruss An Aachen for that spot. That's a beautiful rose that will like your zone. Iceberg might be able to take more shade as well.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:44AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

First prize is one of those roses that demand the best care in order to put out "first prize" blooms. That's why it was an exhibitors' rose to begin with. Sure, you could probably grow it in a pot, but it won't "like" it. It wants a space in the ground to itself (no treeroot competition), perfect loam soil, abundant fertilizer, regular spraying and full sun. The more of those you can provide, the more "first prize" blooms you will get.

Unfortunately for both you and this rose, it's not easy to please it.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:58AM
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I would definitely advise moving it. A Sunnier location may work better, or the spot you have it in may just not be a good spot soil wise.

I had a Julia Child that wouldn't do squat where it was planted for two years, actually shrunk. Moved it last year and it has exploded in growth. I am not sure what the issue with that spot was, western exposure lots of sun, good roses growing on both sides of it, but both the JC and Peace I tried to grow in that area just shrunk until I moved them and then they exploded.

So definitely try moving it, there may be something in the soil or another root there that just happers its growth.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:18PM
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the_bustopher z6 MO

I had the same problem with a Seven Seas bush. I dug it up and moved it several feet over to a different spot, and now it is doing quite well.

I actually have better luck with roses in pots than in the ground. I think you should give the First Prize another shot either somewhere else in the garden or in a pot. You can custom-make your potting soil for better results.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 1:17PM
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Oh thanks for all the support.

The soil had EB Stone Rose Soil added. It also had compost applied twice a year and Dr. Earth Fert tea added about every month. The only thing I can think of is that it isn't getting enough sun. And the only place in my yard that gets more is my deck. That's why I suggested putting it in a large pot. I have 24 gallon pots on my deck that are doing great, , , so far.

Kittymoon, I'm sure that my First Prize is not an imposter. I got it from Regan's which I trust a lot. And more importantly, The buds are the longest tubes I've ever seen. And the Blooms perfect and lovely....Unfortunately it has only bloomed 3 or 4 times since June 2012.

Good deal! I didn't want to kill her.

I will let you all know how it's going in the spring.

Once again, and most sincerely, thanks so much for
your support.

happy andrea

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 2:37PM
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dan_keil_cr Keil(Illinois z5)

Get a Gemini. It is a PB and a much more Superior rose.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 4:16PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I will say that sun is a key factor in bloom production. If you want to try it go ahead and pot it up. You have nothing to lose by doing so. If it still doesn't please then you can ditch it with no regrets!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 4:23PM
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Give it a shot on you're deck. A 24 gal. pot is big enough for it to get settled into. After moving it, DO NOT feed it until you see new growth coming on the bush and then only 1/2 strength this coming season. Lots of water. If it has any "umph" left, she should bloom very nicely this year.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 4:36PM
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I have Gemini already. This fine rose is still blooming. I also have Brandy and St. Patrick, both descendants of First Prize and both wonderful for me.

My sentiments exactly. If I try to 'fix' it and it doesn't work, I won't feel guilty about not giving it a good shot.

Thanks both of you,


    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 4:44PM
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If you put it in a pot you have to be very careful how you do it and how you water it. It is at least twice as hard to succeed growing roses in pots. I would never attempt it with a difficult rose like First Prize.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 8:51PM
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I already have 10 growing successfully in pots. I am aware of the additional work involved with potted plants. And I would assume that a difficult rose like FP would be even more difficult. But this rose is not doing well in the ground. So, I might as well try it in a sunnier place, even though it will be in a pot and more difficult.

Thanks for your input,


    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 1:22AM
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You can learn a lot about watering when you grow roses in pots. You water them one day a lot and before you know it they are dry. Water doesn't stay like it does in the ground. Or, if you don't have drainage they can stay wet and that is worse. Also, you wash nutrients out and you expose the tender hair roots to the side and the bottom of the pot. The ground stays at an even temperature but pots do not. They can get hot. And finally, roses do not like to be confined. My experience is roses in pots are always stunted and unhappy.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 8:59PM
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I have a Cl First Prize in the ground which is growing slowly. I have one in a large pot which is growing much better. Many times if a rose is not thriving in the ground I dig it up and pot it up and it usually takes off. Once it is a pretty large size in the pot they often have better momentum to make it in the ground. So you could eventually replant it in the ground. It probably does need a sunny location.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 8:37AM
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I'd suggest getting several plants and growing them in different locations at the same time.

I did this with camellias--I purchased eight plants and put them in different microclimates, then I moved the survivors to the best spot in our yard. I also did a field trip to DC and the National Arboretum. I determined that they need far sunnier spots to grow when they up here in Connecticut, compared to locations further south. I also noticed this with roses--they do better in partly sunny locations the further south you go.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 10:40AM
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I was hoping someone had experience with this rose in a pot. Just the right answer! Thanks.

I will move it to a little sunnier spot and hope it likes it.

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 10:44AM
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