Interview with Canadian Hybridizer Brad Jalbert

henry_kuskaApril 5, 2013
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

I listened this morning from a link at facebook. It's a good interview.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 6:01PM
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kentucky_rose zone 6


    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 9:51PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Cool! Thanks!

Funny when the interviewer started out talking about a momentous introduction in the history of roses, I thought he was going to talk about 'Knock Out'. But he meant 'La France'.

The bit about sulphur air pollution in the past being so bad it keep the disease off roses was interesting too.

This post was edited by hoovb on Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 18:48

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 6:34PM
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Thanks for the link! Very informative. Jalbert said that you should remove old soil if you replace an existing rose at the same spot. That got me worried as I have just moved two roses and put two new ones in their old spots. I think that I read on this forum that here in the U.S. you don't have to replace the soil before replanting....

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:46PM
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Brads earlier video:

Here is a link that might be useful: link for above

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:31AM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

Both links are very informative, Henry, and thank you for posting them. I hadn't caught the video on hybridizing with Paul Zimmerman before, and it's good, but the interview with the Vancouver Sun is terrific. I intend to listen to it a few more times to make sure I didn't miss anything. In a way, we are lucky that Canada has outlawed pesticides, thereby encouraging the work of people like Brad Jalbert. There are bound to be more exciting roses introduced in near future - healthier and easier to grow - and that is a wonderful thing.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:43AM
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rideauroselad E.Ont4b

I used to buy a lot of my roses from Mr. Jalbert when I lived in B. C. He once let me take cuttings from a couple of his OGR climbers that I could not find a source for. He's a very nice guy. I still try to go to look around his garden and nursery every time I'm in B. C. in the summer. He has a wonderful test rose and display garden and he sells all kinds of roses. If you are ever in the Vancouver area in June or July, Select Roses is a must see stop for rose lovers. Well worth the drive out to Langley from the big city.

I've inserted a link to the nursery web site. It too is a very good rose resource.

I heard Brad mention a new specialty organic rose food in the interview that he's using in preference to bone meal as a plant starter. Lucky me, I've found a small nursery source in a town nearby that carries it here in Eastern Canada. I have much planting to do in the next few weeks. I'm going to try using it as he suggests.

Cheers, Rick

Here is a link that might be useful: Select Roses Webpage

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:16PM
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rideauroselad E.Ont4b

I just re-read Anne's post and realized I forgot to mentiion that some of Brad's roses are avialable in the U.S. See the link to the Biltmore Garden Rose Collection at the Select Roses Website link in my post above. He began breeding mostly miniature roses, but later branched out to breed other types such as Hybrid Teas, Landscape Roses and Mini Floras. There is also a link on his site to a list of his other roses, though I don't know how many are available in the U.S.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:24PM
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Jabert's comments on soil removal/replacement surprised me. Altho he didn't use the term "rose replant disease", isn't that what he's warning about? We've heard for years about rose replant disease in the UK, but this is this first mention of it I've heard from a grower in North America.

I'd be very interested in knowing if any of the regulars here follow Jalbert's advice before planting a rose in a spot where another one had grown.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:30PM
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There is some evidence that rose roots do give off a growth inhibitor.
Title: Growth inhibitor accumulates in the nutrient solution of closed system rose cultivation.

Author: Sato, N.

Authors affiliation: Shizuoka Agricultural Experiment Station, 678-1 Tomioka, Shizuoka, Iwata, Japan.

Published in: Acta Horticulturae (2005), 697(Proceedings of the International Symposium on Soilless Culture and Hydroponics, 2004), pages 511-516.

Abstract: "The circulating soln. was collected and analyzed for its nutrient concn. Three types of solns. were prepd. for the bioassay. One was the circulating nutrients soln. Activated charcoal was added to second soln. The third soln. was prepd. to the analyzed formula of nutrients soln. using distd. water. The rooted cuttings of rose were planted in each soln. and incubated in the growth chamber. The rate of change of fresh wt. before and after the incubation was biggest for the prepd. soln., which does not include the circulating soln. The fresh wt. growth rate was smallest for the circulating soln., and the results for the activated charcoal treatment was between them. Since the activated charcoal does not have a sterilization effect, it is possible that the growth inhibitors accumulated in the soln. during the circulating cultivation of roses. "

A rose society article:
Apples appear to behave similar to roses in a number of ways. This is what was reported for Apple replant disease in Washington State:
Title: Elucidation of the microbial complex having a causal role in the development of apple replant disease in washington.

Author: Mazzola M

Published in: Phytopathology (1998), volumn 88(9), pages 930-8.

ABSTRACT: "Systematic studies were conducted to elucidate the role of different soil microbial groups in the development of apple replant disease. Populations of targeted microorganisms were reduced by the application of semiselective biocides and soil pasteurization. Bacteria were not implicated in the disease, because application of the antibiotic chloramphenicol reduced soil populations of bacteria but failed to improve growth of apple transplants, while enhanced growth was achieved at pasteurization temperatures that did not alter attributes of the bacterial community recovered from apple roots. Populations of Pratylenchus penetrans were below the damage threshold level in eight of nine orchards surveyed, and nematicide applications failed to enhance apple growth in four of five replant soils tested, indicating that plant parasitic nematodes have a minor role or no role in disease development. Application of the fungicide difenconazole or metalaxyl enhanced growth of apple in all five replant soils, as did fludioxinil in the two soils tested. Soil pasteurization enhanced growth of apple and resulted in specific changes in the composition of the fungal community isolated from the roots of apple seedlings grown in these treated soils. Cylindrocarpon destructans, Phytophthora cactorum, Pythium spp., and Rhizoctonia solani were consistently isolated from symptomatic trees in the field and were pathogenic to apple. However, the composition of the Pythium and Rhizoctonia component and the relative contribution of any one component of this fungal complex to disease development varied among the study orchards. These findings clearly demonstrate that fungi are the dominant causal agents of apple replant disease in Washington state."

The full paper is available at:

Google Scholar cites that 110 papers have cited the apple paper. If you look at the Google Scholar citations, I suggest that you first look at the 2012 and 2013 citations as you should find enough there.


Of particular interest (to me) is the following full paper that reports that adding a seed meal to the soil at planting may be useful for apple (If anyone tries it for roses, please let us know):

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Henry, What's your favorite source for seed meal?

I remain very interested in knowing if any of the regulars here follow Jalbert's advice before planting a rose (with or without the benefit of see meal) in a spot where another rose has grown.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:03PM
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"Henry, What's your favorite source for seed meal? "

H.Kuska comment. I have not tried it.


I exchange the soil when replanting. I also add mycorrhizal fungi (I do not spray fungicides) when I plant in new or old positions.

Here is a link that might be useful: link for mycorrhizal fungi

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:32PM
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donaldvancouver(cool wet z8)

Hello- Inspired by the article, I made a trip today out to the Jalbert place in Langley. Was very impressed: big, healthy plants, beautifully presented. The staff- many family, I assume- were very generous with their time and expertise, including Brad. Learned a lot and bought a couple of roses. Their prices are higher than in the chain stores, of course, but the size and the vigour of the plants, the customer service, and the selection made it well worth it.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 9:19PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

They're killing roses though. Healthy roses which look cr@p. I'd rather have a rose with the odd blemish that looks stunning than a really healthy ugly plant. Going down the route of breeding roses for lazy gardeners who only want to 'prune once a year' isn't a good plan if you ask me.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 1:34AM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

Haha, Kordes fairy tail roses are like English Roses, on your bike lol

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 1:40AM
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donaldvancouver(cool wet z8)

The issue isn't the odd blemish- it's generation after generation of plants with beautiful flowers that defoliate to the point of looking like coloured kleenex on a stick unless doused with endless fungicides. And now we have an industry in collapse because the public has come to believe that roses are fussy, high-maintenance things that require chemical maintenance to survive.
By selecting only roses that are both beautiful and fungus resistant, there are certainly compromises that must be made. But these roses are becoming more spectacular with each new introduction. It seems like a small price to pay on the long term, frankly.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 2:03PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

Nice doomsday scenario you post there. Those are two extremes, roses from the 19th century and up to the end of the 20th century, which need spraying, and those bred by monomaniacal breeders, who think a healthy rose is a nice rose. Why not go for moderate health, but retain some charm along with it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 12:23AM
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Every April I visit the largest privately owned nursery in my area to check the wide selection of roses that arrive there each year. Most years, I leave with several new varieties. Yesterday I made my first visit there this season. Immediately, I noticed that the section of the nursery devoted to roses was larger than usual. As I walked the rows, I could hardly grasp the reality of what I was seeing -- there was every available variety/color of Knock Out and NOTHING else.

Looking across nursery, I spotted two other (much smaller) sections of roses. Rushing over to those, I found that one contained Meilland's Drift series in three colors; the other (labeled "climbers") contained nothing but 'Joseph's Coat'. I suspect that a climbing KO (in various colors, no doubt) is in development at this moment. When that is released, will the transition to nothing but KOs at last be complete?

In a brief chat with one of the owners as I was leaving, she stated that "everyone wants KOs", and that the HTs & Floribundas received in recent years had so deteriorated in quality that the plants no longer met the nursery's standards. One can't fault business people for tending to business -- particularly a business that's teetering on the edge these days.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 10:11AM
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Susanne27(5a Ontario Canada)

This is a trend that I am also noticing these days.Here in Canada every garden centre (big box types) that I have been in lately has only carried Miracle Gro products and McKenzie seeds. No choice. No competition - no price comparison. Its early in the season but I am sure that when the plants come in there will be limited choice there as well. My local nursery quit selling HT and Floribunda roses years ago because they were sick of people bringing them back dead the next year.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 10:31AM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

I suppose they are following market trends. Strikes me though, if they just spent an hour researching what does well in that area they could stock good varieties. I think, and obviously don't live there, that with a country as large as the US, you really can't sell the same thing everywhere and expect it to do well. I think growing the wrong roses is what has given them the reputation for being fussy, not that roses are badly bred.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 11:30AM
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rideauroselad E.Ont4b

That is why the smaller rose specialty nurseries and rose hybridizers like Brad Jalbert are so important for those of us who love roses to support. We have lost many small nureries in the past few years due to the poor economy and declining market demand as discussed above. Those of us who love growing roses need support the ones that remain.

Nurseries like Select, Pickering, Palantine and yes Hortico in Canada; and Rogue Valley, Heirloom, Roses Unlimited and others in the U.S. amongst others act as keepers of the roses we like to grow. A couple of poor business years, an owner who retires, etc. and we loose yet another.

Pickering nursery had a serious problem this year when quarantine rules changed without warning last fall and they could not fill their US orders.. Please keep that in mind next year when you are ordering your roses and perhaps give them some support if they have roses you want.. It would be a huge loss to us all if any more specialty rose nurseries in North America go out of business.

Cheers, Rick

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 3:39PM
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donaldvancouver(cool wet z8)

I didn't mean to sound apocalyptic- and I will be the first to admit that the Knockout series could well be awarded the world's most average rose, aside from its very important fungal resistance. But look at what Kordes is accomplishing- or Paul Barden or any of the newer independent breeders. I just don't see beauty and health as mutually exclusive.
And yes, we certainly do need to match roses to their regions. But the big-box stores will never allow that approach into their one-size-fits-all schema.
A big agent of change here has been the banning of pesticides for domestic use in the last five years or so. I'm sure that's the cause of the wholesale rush to the ubiquitous Knockouts- stores need something to fill the gap, fast.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 9:29PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

@donaldvancouver - no, nor me, beauty and kordes style health seems at the moment to be, shall we say, elusive. I've looked up knockouts to see what they are, as they're always being discussed on here, they are not for me lol.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 11:48PM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

Nor for most of us, Caldonbeck. We are not rejoicing in Knockouts per se, but in the work that is leading to healthier rose *plants.* The general public will no longer buy a rose just for some all important blooms that need possibly dangerous chemicals in order to flourish.
And beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I, for one, am finding great beauty in some of the more disease resistant roses recently on the market. The rose 'Sunrise Sunset' by Ping Lim is as beautiful as any other shrub rose I've ever grown - and a lot less demanding of my time and energy to reach its potential. Star Roses' Hulthemia hybrids, i.e. the Eyeconic series are really pretty spectacular roses. I think what you are asking for, healthy roses with "at least moderate charm" is exactly what the hybridizers of today are working on. I am very excited to see what comes of this trend.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 8:33PM
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