Secret's Out vs. Sugar Moon, also White Gold

rosefollyFebruary 5, 2012

Which do you prefer, and why?

I am considering a massed planting of five or six of one or the other of these first two roses. Qualities I am interested in include the following:

->strength and quality of fragrance

->repeat bloom - how much? I want to be assured of a good display about 6 weeks after my normal peak spring flush. I would be willing to disbud that flush if it would delay the flush enough. Never tried this, so I don't know if this is a practical plan.

->disease resistance, especially to PM. I do not spray except for a single dormant winter spray of copper fungicide

->growth habit -- how tall, how wide?

Nearby in large clay pots I am considering planting three of the floribunda 'White Gold'. I'm leery of mixing different whites too close together, in case brighter whites make softer whites look dirty, which I have seen in gardens. But do please tell me what you think of that rose as well.


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I bought Sugar Moon on Huey from Rosemania last year. It is a good disease free bloomer with OK fragrance, not that strong. I got some amazing looking flowers. Some looked like big round camellias in the cool weather. So I can see the moon reference. The rest of the year they were nice clean white blooms of average size but nicely repeating.

I like John Paul II much more. More flowers and much better fragrance. Really strong sweet fragrance and a nicely shaped fast growing plant.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:40PM
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I haven't grown the other two, but from growing an introduction year Secret for years and a Secret's Out for the past year, I can warn you this variety requires consistent moisture in arid areas. The flowers are gorgeous and fragrant with very low prickle counts. They've been totally healthy for me, growing and flowering well, BUT, let there be any water stress and the foliage is significantly adversely affected (browned leaf tips, yellowing) and the flowering shuts down quickly. Not to dissuade you from growing it, just an FYI in case your conditions seem similar. Kim

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 4:50PM
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I ordered SECRETS OUT from Witherspoon Rose Culture a few yrs ago, before they put it out to other suppliers. I ended up getting a pure hot pink rose which they did not even try to ID for me. And they were supposed to send me a replacement the next yr due to it being the WRONG rose. They never did send it to me. I will never order from them again!! I got one last yr from Regan's. It didn't do well at all, and never produced a bloom at all. I noticed last month when I was out watering, it died on me. I guess I'll give up. I'd love to see other's pics tho.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Hmm, I guess I've had this longer than I remembered! Jannorcal posted photos of it from my garden in August, 2009. It was the exaggerated sepals which initially drew me to it as I've always loved 'crested sepals', one of the things I strive for in breeding. It has a beautiful shape, gorgeous coloring with none of the pink tones of the original and a marvelous fragrance. As long as you feed and water it enough, it is beautiful. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Secret's Out

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 6:02PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

Hmmm, Secret has always been a mildew magnet in my yard, so I never bothered to get Secret's Out.

I also think Pope John is the better rose of the three -- White Gold, PJP and Sugar Moon. I grow all three. Pope John Paul does MUCH better if you can find it grafted however. It is VERY slow to mature on its own roots. And even once matured, its a slow grower that way, which is the way it is most commonly sold by all the standard bareroot rose suppliers. Try to get it on Fortuniana if you can. Especially true if you are trying to get a mature plant by the time of that wedding.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 7:37PM
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Kstrong and others, a question about PJPII: A couple of people have said that it does its best in heat. This wedding will take place at the end of May or beginning of June. Some years that is a hot time, but most years the high heat of summer is still a few weeks away. Ought I to expect good bloom under those circumstances?

I have already ordered three 'White Gold' from Pickering (the only place I found it) to grow in large clay pots next to the herb garden, but I still want my five HTs for the raised bed next to the kitchen door, our main door. We are kitchen door people, even when entertaining.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 8:15PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

We never get that much heat here, and it still does okay for me. It probably would like more than we have, as it is a heavily petalled rose, and most of them prefer heat. But it does fine here. Does not ball, ever.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 8:26PM
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You folks convinced me so I went looking for PJPII. It looks as though all the mail-order vendors who offer it grafted are sold out. Any idea how it does on its own roots? I hate to go that way with only a year and a few months to get them up to speed.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 8:54PM
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Never mind. I just saw Kstrong's comments on PJPJII, very slow when own-root. I'm thinking I'd be better off getting it next year grafted, instead of bare root this year. Please let me know if I am wrong.

Or better off with Sugar Moon this year, perhaps. With bare root season running out, I feel pressure to make a quick decision.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 12:20AM
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Check with K&M Nursery. Give Jim a call. He'll do everything he can to help you.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 12:24AM
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Ken, thank! I did call K&M, and you were absolutely right. He could not have been more eager to help me. He has some PJPII but could not get into the houses to check right away because they were spraying. He'll be getting back to me, and if he has them, I will have four arriving next week. I'll know by tomorrow at the latest. (By the way I assume that "n-ga.mts" means 'North Georgia Mountains". I visited there last year and was seriously impressed by the beauty of the landscape.)

Kstrong, they will be on fortuniana as you suggested, in fact the first roses I ever bought that way. I have a couple roses from Pickering on multiflora; a few from other sources on Dr Huey, but the vast majority of my roses are own root. Thanks for giving me the heads up about vigor issue.

Now as to spacing, how far apart should they be planted? I do want a massed effect, but not to the detriment of the health of the plants.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:38AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

I would normally say 3 feet minimum between them, but you could get away with 2.5 feet for a "massed" effect. Be sure to feed them plenty. With all the growing that fortuniana does, it eats like not just a pig, but maybe a papa hog.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:45PM
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I think you will love this rose

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Kstrong, I think I will stick with 3 foot spacing for the health of the plants. I had been thinking of 4 foot spacing so this will be some compression from my original plan. There are going to be white Dowdeswell delphiniums in this bed as well, so I imagine I'll be feeding the whole bed like mad. There is a large horse farm near me that offers the finest composted horse manure free. You just have to show up and load it, so I imagine I'll be layering it on with a generous shovel.

Thanks, Kitty. I think I will love it, too.

And my thanks to all of you. Everyone has been amazingly helpful and generous with advice. I'll post some pictures as the garden develops.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 1:04PM
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Thanks very much for the recommendation on Pope JPII. I love this rose! My four plants are flourishing, gorgeous, full double roses of heavy old-fashioned form, and heavy in fragrance as well. I disbudded the first flush to allow the roses to grow, but was distracted when they put forth their second round of buds. The fortuniana rootstock is giving me a bit of trouble, but it looks more like Japanese maple than the rose scion, so I can spot it easily and remove it. I never grew roses grafted onto fortuniana before, just a dozen or so on Dr Huey and one or two on multiflora. Most of my roses are own-root. For this rose, and for the amount of growth in such a short time, it is well worth it.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 12:20AM
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Let your fort. bush's grow. Stake them up where needed. Next prunning season, DO NOT prune them hard. Just detwig and kind of shape the bush. Next season you will be amazed at what happens.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:39PM
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Thanks, Ken! You and Kstrong steered me well toward this exceptional rose, so I'll keep following your advice on this one.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 9:55PM
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So any of you that grow White your sort of rangey?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 7:52PM
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my sugarmoon rose

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:21AM
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my sugar moon rose

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 9:48AM
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petaloid(SoCal 10a/24)

I think that Sugar Moon is pretty, but I am in a coastal climate and mine gets rose rust fungus on the leaves.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 1:27PM
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