What's the secret to growing SECRET?

sara_ann-z6bokJune 29, 2014

During the time I have been growing roses, I have tried to grow the hybrid tea Secret, with no success. The few blooms I have gotten were not attractive at all and the bush seemed weak both times. Is this a difficult rose, or have I just had bad luck with it? I love the pictures, but mine haven't even come close to being that pretty. Maybe it doesn't do good in my area. I would love to give it another try. Seems like I saw a comment that this rose can do really well for some. Any input and your pictures would be appreciated.

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jerijen(Zone 10)

In my coastal Southern California garden, 'Secret' was a really good rose. We had 3 plants, at one time, and it was among the last modern HTs to depart.

I wouldn't at all mind growing it again, but I sure wish I thought there was at least a possibility of getting one that wasn't afflicted with every possible sort of virus. That sure didn't help it any.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 5:36PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Get a plant that doesn't have (assorted) Rose Mosaic Viruses added to it.

Mine with RMV was never the size of the other HTs in its bed; same care couldn't offset the RMVs it came with. It was more cold weather tender as well.

Which might explain why warmer weather is its friend.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 6:17PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

It prefers mild summers. Best flowers produced in daytime temps of 65-75F

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 11:41PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I think Ann's right. It was one of the most-virused roses I've ever owned. Beautiful bloom. Good fragrance. Good in a vase. Pretty foliage, where not marred by virus. But OH LORD, it was virused.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 11:40AM
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I grew Secret in Fl. for a bunch of years. It was on fortuniana root stock. Big healthy bush that pumped out tons of beautiful blooms. I'm thinking REAL hard about trying it up here in N. GA. I really liked it a lot. I'll just make sure I winter protect it real well. Now, I have never grown it on anything but fortuniana rootstock. To me it sounds like the rootstock is the trick to this rose.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 11:51AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Maybe -- But unless the supplier has grafted VI Secret onto VI Fortuniana, you will still deal with all of the different viruses it was infected with, from the git-go.

I have an HT here that hasn't been much in commerce for some years. It grows like crazy on its own roots. It doesn't like to be pruned. Wants to carry a lot of canes. Blooms generously, and doesn't have problems with any diseases we get here.

I wish to God it had never been budded. It didn't NEED to be budded. All budding did for 'Gardens Of The World' was to infect it with viruses. :-(

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 12:58PM
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Would an own root of this variety be likely to be infected also?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 8:27PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Yes, Sara. Unless it is Virus-indexed.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 9:05PM
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Thank you Jeri, and everyone..

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:38PM
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I've grown Secret (first year bare root) and I grow Secret's Out, the white sport of Secret. Neither have ever demonstrated any symptoms of RMV, though I know that doesn't mean they aren't infected, they just haven't shown symptoms. Both have been great roses in high heat with not terribly hard winters. I understand from friends who tried growing it in Ohio that it is not terribly winter hardy for harsher climates. I can verify this rose LOVES water! It flourishes where it can be drowned regularly. When Secret's Out hesitates flowering, I bump up the water and it responds with many buds. It demands much more water than any of the surrounding roses. You'll have best form and color if you can protect it from the harshest afternoon sun. Keep it far away from hardscape, no side walks or walls/fences. Increased heat increases its thirst for even MORE water. Kim

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 2:21AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Kim -- Back when 'Secret' was new, we had 3 of it.

One came from J&P, one from Weeks, and the third, I think, was Coiner-grown.

ALL of them at one time or another, demonstrated minor evidence of virus. The Coiner rose, in some years, broke out so it looked like a very lively paisley scarf.

And YET . . . The Coiner plant, despite that, was by far the more vigorous of the 3, and so remained here for years after removal of HTs began.

FWIW . . .

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 11:55AM
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