Fortuniana Rootstock

dewydFebruary 26, 2010


I just purchased a couple of fortuniana roses from J & P for the 1st time. Came in what looks like 1 quart square containers.

My question is why are fortuniana rose root grafed stems so small, yet supposed to be a such a good rose producer? Compared to other type root stocks I see?

Fort stock is supposed to have a better root system and therefore a better producing bush, but the ones I have seen and got are pretty spindly looking?

How long would it take for a just purchased small fort rose plant to start producing flowers?

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phatboyrose(N/W FL. - 8)

I get all my roses from Mr.Mills at K&M Roses in Ms. Ckeck out his web site and maybe this will help. By the way mine are already blooming when I get them. Lots of luck.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 6:28AM
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I also just rec'd 4 roses from K & M and they were small stems, but one was blooming, and they are very healthy..... any that you order by mail are going to be small and in small pots, otherwise you are going to have to pay a lot more for shipping.....which is not an option I don't think, what with the cost of shipping..... Nelson's out of Apopka has roses on Fort. and they are available in most Nurseries here in Fla., and of course they are in much larger pots and larger plants.. also, depending on where you live, you may be able to get some from Cool Roses in W. Palm, they graft on Fort. sally

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 7:48AM
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Out of curiosity where did you order your Fortuniana roses from? Was it directly from J&P or indirectly like the ones offered by K&M?


To answer your question:

The rose you recieved never saw a field. Most, if not all, have only known a nursery all it's short life (your rose started out as a Fortuniana cuttring for about 3-4 months before it was repotted and grafted. Then it was probably given about a year or so before it was sent out to you. From experience, Fortuniana doesn't develope a thick neck until its around three to four years old. Don't let those skinny necks fool you, the plant is extremely vigorous and will grow faster and larger than it's own root counterparts.

I will admit that I'm a bit confused since every time I've purchased young plants (Michigan roses' maidens, Heirloom roses and Roses Unlimited (they tend to send bigger plants than Heirloom) all send small stick like plants that take quite a while to grow. What is your point of reference with your question?


    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 11:43AM
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Thanks for the reply's.

I ordered online directly from J & P.

The roses didn't look like they were in a field.

Yea I would have to agree the necks look pencil thin compared to other root stocks. I guess that's the deal with fort stock...looks are deceiving?

Some of the branches on the two I got are like 3/16" thin. I guess it will be awhile before they take shape?

Just curious how long it will take for them to get to normal Hybrid Tea bush size?

I believe K&M has a 4 bush minimum correct?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 11:24PM
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J and P enough said

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 8:32PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Don't worry about your Fortuniana gaining size in S. Florida.

Here in CA, our Fortuniana was a small cutting from an old rootstock plant in a Northern CA Cemetery.
Once it grew some roots, it put on size with embarrassing haste, and we planted it in the neglected far lower corner of the garden.
After a few years, it is bigger than a city bus, and is advancing steadily up the fenceline. It's about to collide with 'Smith's Parish.'
Our neighbor was threatened with dismemberment if he got his @#$%^%^ Roundup anywhere near my gargantuan darling.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 8:45PM
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Zyperiris what was your experience with J&P?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:47PM
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It's May 30, 2010, and I have got two different rounds of flowers on the Double Delight this past month, nice flowers, great scent. Just got a couple of Red Veterans Honor [VH] flowers this week, which has thick stems and would make for a good cut flower for a vase. Nice looking form on this flower when it opens up. The VH has a pretty good scent, mild, not strong, but noticeable for a red rose. The VH took quite a while to take off, it appeared to have some kind of fabric/fibre wound around the root system when I took it out of the small square container I received from J&P. Which held back the growth. I couldn't get it all off the root ball without ruining the fragile root system, so I just re-potted the bush. But it is growing normal now.
I was unsure a first whether they would produce, when,or if at all?, but they are taking shape and producing so can't complain. Happy Memorial day.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 2:09AM
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Once they take off you'll wish they wouldn't get so big. Roses on fort. get huge quickly, so I don't think there is anything to worry about. Be sure to leave lots of room. They will probably get twice the size the plant normally would. My Hot Cocoa isn't supposed to get bigger that 4'. Mine is 7' in a shaded area with extreme trimming. Same with 16 Candles,Simply Marvelous....

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 11:38AM
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When I lived in Central & South Florida I use to start my own graftings on fortuniana in 10 oz. dixie cups. Within 3 yrs. my bushs were HUGE. Move yours up into a 1 gal. pot and get ready!!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 10:33PM
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Ken, did you have a good guide for grafting. I'd love to do my own. I am very visual so something with pictures would help me the most. Is it hard?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 1:19PM
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Hi, I am based in South Africa and would like to know where one can get this rootstock seed from or how to grow the Fortuniana Rootstock itself cos I am too far to order it via post. I am interested in starting my own rose garden, but cannot find the rootstock to do it on.

THanks Olga

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 5:13AM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

If you can't find Fortuniana growing in South Africa, you might get as good results from using R. laevigata as rootstock. (That was done in the 1800's before Fortuniana was brought in from China.) You should be able to get laevigata seeds. Fortuniana is a cross between R. laevigata and R. banksia. I see in my Fortuniana more laevigata than banksia as well as the stems' similarity seems close.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 10:06AM
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teeandcee(Florida 9b)

I was at Giles in Apopka once when they were working with fortuniana. We thought they were snapping beans, lol. Everyone was sitting under the barn with big pans of what looked like green beans. That size, in other words. Upon asking we discovered they were preparing cuts of fortuniana for rooting or maybe grafting.

It does get large. For instance, I had Belinda's Dream grafted to it. BD was about 5 feet tall, and the fortuniana root stock sticking up out of the ground was easily close to as thick as my wrist. All in 3 years or less.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 3:42PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

teeandcee, I thought fortuniana rootstock was cold sensitive and had to be grown in zone 7 and above. How did your rootstock survive zone 6 so long? Just curious because I'm in zone 6 and would be interested in fortuniana if it would survive here. Thanks. Diane

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 3:06AM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

I'm not TD, but I've grown the rose bush Fortuniana and I've tried to grow roses grafted onto Fortuniana.

Fortuniana (the rose) survives here even when the temps get below 0Fahrenheit, albeit with some dieback. The survival of the rootstock (for a decade now) emboldened me to try roses grafted onto that as rootstock.

That was the problem. The roots are so strong that they keep pumping through winter, and that means growth of new canes and stems, even though it's freezing and the new canes and stems will die.

People I know who are growing roses grafted onto Fortuniana in my zone and colder do serious protection of those roses through winter; this can be as massive as plywood boxes with stuffing (Memphis TN) and other mounding of protections.

For Idaho, the question would be, will you have a long enough growing season to make this worthwhile for the rose to grow vigorously to offset the months it spends in serious protected conditions.

You could try one rose on Fort and the same rose on other rootstock and see which one works better for you over three or four years.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 10:50AM
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teeandcee(Florida 9b)

Nanadoll, I'm sorry. I neglected to mention I actually lived in Florida at the time. Duh!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 9:08PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

A member of the rose society I belong to has four roses, originally on fortuniana, that he swore survived our winters. I checked it out. He planted them at an angle with the graft under ground. Inspection showed the buried portion of the canes had gone own root and what was left of the fortuniana was only acting as anchor roots. His roses were only really healthy own roots and were getting no boost from the rootstock.
He continues to swear the root stock is still viable. I just let him talk. People will believe what they want to, regardless. Every fortuniana root stock rose I've brought back from Florida has died over winter in my garden and even a couple of potted roses I tried to overwinter in my greenhouse.
Cold zone growers, spend your money on proven hardy varieties suited for your growing zone.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:21AM
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teeandcee(Florida 9b)

Yeah, Ann's description of the boxes and protection those growing it in cold zones sounds like a big pain to me. Why would anyone go to all that trouble? I'm way too lazy for that kind of thing.

Of course, I spent all my years in Florida with zone envy, wishing I could grow what I couldn't. Now that I'm in zone 6 I realize it's not all I thought it'd be. We have our own zone 6 problems.

My point is I've learned I don't like to frustrate myself by working against my climate to a great extent.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 11:57AM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

That's why all 400 of my roses are own root and hardy. I shy away from grafted hybrid teas. The few I have are own root and have proven to be hardy also. Most of mine are hardy shrubs and climbers with many hybrid rugosas. None require winter protection although I do have to prune back quite a bit each spring, except on a few Canadian Explorers that stay green to the tips.
I seldom lose a rose to winter kill.
I know what you mean by zone envy. During my travels I've seen how big and healthy roses grow in other places and often thought how nice it would be to move. Having been on this Forum for so many years and reading of problems others have in these various places, I've come to accept the fact no place is without problems and one should make the best of where they live.
Perhaps this acceptance comes with age? I visit my children in Florida each year and get a lot of that zone envy out of my system.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 2:57PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

Thanks for all the great info--my curiosity is satisfied. I don't want to get into winter protection, so there is no fortuniana rootstock in my future. Diane

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 3:11PM
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teeandcee said:
"Of course, I spent all my years in Florida with zone envy, wishing I could grow what I couldn't."

What did you want to grow that you couldn't?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 3:54PM
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teeandcee(Florida 9b)

Karl, I've concluded the same thing finally. :) I will 'fess up to envying northern Cali growers though.

Kathya, I was in zone 9 in Florida (Citrus county, near Ocala); too hot for zone 8 plants and too cold for tropicals. My zone envy consisted mostly of hardy cottage type of plantings and old fashioned gallica roses though. That zone was great for southern type of roses though.

On the other hand, I didn't have Japanese Beetles like I do here. I still can't grow gallicas here because our spring storms hit just when they bloom and destroy those gorgeous once-a-year blooms. Then the beetles swarm until mid July.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 11:16AM
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