I learned a hard lesson!

sara_ann-z6bokJune 6, 2014

I failed to do something this year, that I should have taken the time to do and I learned a hard lesson. It is a step that when I plant roses I know I should do and sometimes I have, but not always. Usually it works out okay, but this year it didn't and while I am embarrassed, I feel like I should be honest. When I planted my bare roots I didn't mound them like you are supposed to until you begin seeing signs of growth. Most of them survived, but I can tell several of them aren't going to make it. I know better than to skip this step, but then I guess since most of the time it doesn't seem to make that much difference, I guess I thought it was okay to skip it, lesson learned. At first I blamed Edmunds, which were the first ones I planted, but when some of the others didn't make it, I knew what the culprit was, my own laziness. We've had some tremendous winds this spring, so that didn't help. There is no way I can justify skipping this step and I never will again! So for the ones that didn't make it, I will replace them next year and do it right!

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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Yeah, mound and water well and water some more, then water again. I mounded them this year with alfalfa pellets. It worked well.
I learned a lot about overwintering roses in the garage - but I lost a lot of roses in the learning the first year.
Carol :)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 1:36AM
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It may not be too late to save some of them, Sara-Ann. Mound them now as you would have earlier and see how they respond. Trevor Griffiths, the New Zealand rose nurseryman, wrote in one of his books how he took dried out bare roots customers returned, buried them in damp soil, then potted them to use as demonstrations in rose talks to show how the ill effects from what we do to bare roots can frequently be reversed.

Many years ago, in fact when Broadway was a brand new introduction, I bought two "damaged" bare roots which had been returned where I worked. Broadway was one which had been taken home and left to dry out in the package. Voodoo had been damaged either by someone being extremely rough with it, or during the harvest as the shank (root stock) was split from the bottom to the bud union as if someone had played, "make a wish" with it. I paid 50 cents each to experiment with them. I bound Voodoo's shank, planted and mounded it. Broadway was soaked in water over night, planted and mounded. Both grew beautifully. I did it because I read Mr. Griffith's book and wanted to prove it for myself. It worked! I think you might just be pleasantly surprised. Good luck! Kim

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 3:17AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I encourage you also, Sara, to continue to pamper those roses. Every so often we see a post here about someone who spaded a rose and dumped it on the compost pile or out by the alley -- only to discover some time later that, much to their surprise, the throw-away rooted itself and is growing fine. So you never know.

And if they all live, we will expect pics, of course. : )

Interesting experiment, Kim. Thanks for sharing that.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 8:55AM
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Thank you Carol, Kim and Kate for the encouraging words and thanks for the suggestion, which I will try.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:16AM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

It's also important to soak them in buckets overnight before planting, but I'm sure Sara-Annj knows that.

Instead of mounding, I have sprayed the canes of a batch or two with dormant-strength Wilt Pruf. That seemed to work fine in my climate, and saved some trouble. But with hot sun and low humidity, maximum coddling is in order, along with early planting.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:50AM
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You're welcome, Sara-Ann and Kate. Often, they'll surprise the dickens out of you. It's well worth a try! Kim

This post was edited by roseseek on Sat, Jun 7, 14 at 12:32

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:29PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I agree with the others. if there's any green left on them mound them now. It may not work but you have nothing to lose by trying. I've been amazed at how much some of my bare roots have managed to survive. I've left them in the packaging for days, soaking for weeks in a bucket and even forgotten to water them but in the end they all survived!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:31PM
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That was quite a surprise many years ago when I "discovered" how difficult it was to actually "kill" a rose, once I understood what they wanted and made sure I provided it as best I could. They want to live and Nature has endowed them with all they need, as long as you do your part. Kim

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 1:52PM
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Thank you again, Michael, Seil and Kim, really appreciate the advice. And yes, Michael I do soak them before planting. Sometimes I do think something like this has to happen so I'll learn to do it right.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 10:20PM
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You're welcome, Sara-Ann. It's these kinds of lessons we really learn from. If everything just worked so we never had to explore why they didn't, think about what we did and why it did or didn't work as expected, we'd never "learn" anything. Kim

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 11:01PM
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seil zone 6b MI

And by sharing those experiences here we all get to learn from each other!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 11:59AM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

What the heck is mounding a rose? In this hot, dry area, I've never done it, unless it means making kind of a shallow dirt bowl around the rose to hold the water better. I soak my bare roots and water plenty. I have never lost a one, and I've been planting them for twenty plus years. Diane

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 6:35PM
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Well, if it's what I do, it's simply "mounding" mulch up over the bud union, or even a few inches up onto the canes to keep the plant from losing moisture. I also have (in the past) saved many roses doing that. If I receive roses that have no swollen budeyes, it's a must-do for me, even in my warmer climate. If the budeyes are swollen and showing green or red, then I don't worry so much about mounding them. I know they are already starting to grow. I have only one rose so far this season that I've had to mound. It's a huge SIGNATURE from J&P. It's got no budeyes showing and it's looking really dry. I've been careful not to overwater tho, because sometimes that'll finish them off. I keep checking to see if anything looks like it's sprouting, but so far no go. In the past I've had to cut the entire upper growth off because it just dried up. But pull up that mulch, and there's new canes emerging from the bud union. We'll see if it works this time. Now I just hope the rest of my pending rose orders all come in already sprouting!!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 7:04PM
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The poor tiny band rose that got shaken out of its pot in the box managed to pull through as dry as it had been. There was no plastic bag or anything to protect it and it looked like all the roots were dried to death. The stem was still green so I did what Kim said and soaked it and then planted it in the best soil I had. It was slow to go and lost the smallest cane, but it lived and now is growing right along.

I've heard of trees with cones of mulch too high on the trunk getting rot and fungus and wondered will higher air temperatures do this to roses? Is it two different situations entirely?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2015 at 3:08AM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

I do mound my bare-root roses,but I had problems in the past one year with awful disease and fungus,so now I use pieces of styrofoam and wine corks to surround the baby canes, held in place with sticks, mulch,dirt,etc,in order that only in-organic material is in direct contact with the canes.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2015 at 4:49AM
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