Dr Huey rootstock

bigtruckerdave(7 NC)April 7, 2013

I know that many of you are passionate about not growing roses which have been grafted. Talking about grafted roses with others who grow roses is like smoking while pumping gas. Someone's gonna get hurt so I don't wanna go there. I've grown roses since 2004 and have never had a bush revert to the rootstock. I've never even had a sucker which originates from below the graft. However, I've had a huge number of suckers which pop up about 2 to 3 feet from the bush. I remove them by pushing aside the mulch and soil and with a gloved hand I rip the sucker out. This ususally removes some of the root which is growing parallel to the ground and radiating out from the bush. Today I found enormous suckers growing about 3 feet from where I removed 2 Alba Maximas in the spring of 2012. And they were grafted on Dr Huey. Does any one else have this problem? I can't find anything in the literature about this. Only references to suckers originating from below the graft. Almost all my roses are grafted, even the Albas, Gallicas, and Hybrid Rugosas. Is it possible that growers will advertise Dr Huey as the rootstock and then use other types and hope no one notices? Or is this habit of suckering like a Gallica rose also a behavior possessed by Hybrid Wichurana's? I'm concerned because I have about a dozen Hybrid Wichurana I plan to incorporate into the yard this year and I don't want them suckering all over the place. Any thoughts?

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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

It sounds like the running roses have gone own-root, and started to run around. They do that if the bud union is buried.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:52PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I haven't had Dr. Huey sucker in quite that manner -- but I have seen Dr. Huey suckers pop up about 6 ins. out from the bud union.

(Mind, we don't normally bury the bud union here, unless we're hoping to get the rose to take off own-root.)

What I HAVE had sucker that far away from the plant is Multiflora rootstock. Of course, it's the wrong rootstock for here, but back in the late 80's/early 90's, we were ordering Austin roses from Hortico, prior to their U.S. release -- and they came on Multiflora.

Those ALL suckered rampantly here -- which is funny, considering that the plants on that rootstock were all chlorotic in our conditions.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:08PM
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bigtruckerdave(7 NC)

Thanks for the responses. I find this problem to be interesting rather than a headache. I should clarify that most of the suckers are thin and wiry and appear in late fall through the winter and usually become 10 to 12 inches tall before I see them. And these suckers become more numerous after I have shovel pruned the rose. And other than the suckers I saw today from the removed Alba Maxima's, all have come from hybrid teas which the vendors have advertised as being grafted on Dr Huey.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:35PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

A few years ago I dug up and moved some HTs that had been in the ground a few years. They were grafted on Dr. Huey. The bed is in hard Georgia clay. I had one rose that had a root that was at least 8 feet long, not that far under the soil. I think because of the hard soil and the drought conditions we've had some years the roses didn't root too far down, but out. So it's possible that you can have a Dr. Huey sucker a few feet away from where the rose was planted.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Deeper watering will encourage larger roots to grow deeper into the soil, which will help prevent some of the suckering. In these parts, "gardeners" love to "cultivate" the rose beds, which breaks roots and always leads to groves of Huey springing up from the broken roots. If that's your practice, you would do well to stop it because of the root damage. It's also possible there were Huey roots where you dug something up. Huey will enthusiastically sprout from a severed root. Having it spring from the soil from roots remaining from a removed plant is common and should always pretty much be expected.

The hybrid Wichuranas you have coming will very likely produce the same types of suckers from any roots damaged by cultivation or digging other holes in their root zones. They are also very well known for layering themselves when their canes lay directly on damp soil or damp mulch. It's just what they do and what makes them such persistent roses, and why they frequently are very good root stocks. Kim

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:51PM
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I was given some HTs which I planted and eventually SP'd because of horrible blackspot. Years later I got a Dr Huey, which I believe came from one of them. Unless, of course, it came from my Abe Darby which is close by, has been in the ground for about 30 years. Who knows...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:56PM
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bigtruckerdave(7 NC)

This is fascinating. I've gardened all my life, and grown roses since 2004 and I like to think I'm pretty knowledgeable but I have a lot to learn. I may re-think the grafted roses approach in the future. The suckers I found yesterday from the shovel pruned Alba Maximas were very large. Thicker than a pencil and very deep. I purchased these plants several years ago from David Austin Roses. Grafted onto Dr Huey, they were simply enormous in size and grew with great vigor. I think I can expect a lot more of these things in the future. Thanks everyone for your responses.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:10AM
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