To shovel-prune or not to shovel-prune...that is the question!

zaphod42August 20, 2013

That time of the year again.

I'm contemplating next year's purchase, evaluating space available, and considering the performances of my current specimens.

I am debating taking out two next spring and replacing them. Milwaukee's Calatrava will most likely get yanked. Its gotten a couple second chances. It has a good scent, but I've been holding out hope for improvements in bloom, vigor, etc.

I'm also strongly considering taking out Hot Cocoa. Like the spring flush, but it looks super ratty this time of year and it is in the middle of my front porch garden area. It has other issues that have been bugging me lately too.

What roses are you looking over and considering giving the ol' heave-ho?

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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

The heave-ho is due for a turkey (for me) called Party Dress from Kordes. It's a former florist rose, I believe (never grow a florist rose in a desert). I know it can produce some spectacular blooms--like for Dark Lady in Virginia, but not for me. Over four seasons, this rose has come up with about three decent blooms that actually opened and didn't ball (not to mention its annual terminal thrips infestation). I didn't even get to enjoy last year's best bloom since the blasted deer got it shortly after the bloom opened. Anyway, this spring Party Dress was covered with big, fat buds, but the heat hit before they opened and not a single bud unfurled--not even one. Plus the petals that did show had brown edges from the thrips. So, after I see what September brings in the way of PDs blooming, out it goes. Diane

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 6:37PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

I'll be shovel pruning Pretty Jessica. I've given her 3 years to grow and bloom. I know she is small anyways, but she's still like 1 ft by 1 ft and has only given me 5 blooms total in the 3 years I've had her! She is a lovely rose when she does give me one or two blooms and smells great but time to move on and find something that will flower sometimes

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 7:38PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I'll be SP-ing a few Sunrise at Heirloom rose bushes due
to blackspot problems.
And Mister Lincoln will be getting moved...

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:29PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Kenstar - I've just planted Pretty Jessica as a bare root this spring. My PJ has about 11 flowers on it and more buds. So yours must have been a dud. Although the flowers all hang down, but I think that will improve with age (hopefully).

My turkeys are:

1. Royal Amethyst - blackspot through the entire rose. We just don't get that here. So this rose is already shovel pruned. Buh-bye. :)

2. Blue Girl - another one with blackspot and just a few blooms. I won't keep anything that gets bs. Why when bs isn't an issue here. Buh-bye :)

3. Royal Dane/Troika - new bare root rose. The orange flowers fade to a mottled pink. I can't stand that color change. Later gater.

On the hot seat for next year if they don't get any better:

a) New Zealand - 2nd year plant that just has a few blooms. Poor fragrance too.

b) A Shropshire Lad - pretty, but needs more oomph.

On the other hand these roses on my death row watch have been heroes this year:

-Charles Austin
-Perfume Delight
- Rock & Roll
- Julio Iglesias
- Peter Mayle
- Evelyn
- Nicole Carol Miller


    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 1:08AM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

Another problem with my pretty Jessica is that the blooms are so heavy when she does give me one that if it rains or is windy the whole flower just falls off! Not just petals but the whole flower! Weird

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:33AM
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Kentstar - It was a weird year for Pretty Jessica for me as well. She was awesome last year. This year's spring flush was fantastic...then she got blackspot and most of her leaves fell off. She didn't get any last year. It was admittedly wetter this year than last, but she was fine until late July. She's worth a couple second chances for me.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 11:58AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I also think that Pretty Jessica deserves one more year. She is admittedly a slow developer, but once she starts, she is a steady and reliable bloomer, although perhaps a bit slow on the re-bloom.

I know what you mean about having more rain this year than normal and a number of my roses that rarely have leaf problems suddenly developing a number of leaf problems--not just blackspot, but other kinds of leaf problems also (cerospora, etc.--which a lot of people confuse with blackspot). I'm assuming my summers in future years will go back to the same hot, dry July-August like they have done for the past 25 years--so all those leaf problems should disappear again.

Pretty Jessica is worth it if you can get her past her adolescent problems. : )


    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 12:05PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I'm seriously looking to cut this year. If I want to get anything new I have to get rid of the dogs. I've already put together a list of 26 that are on the shovel prune list. I may not get rid of all of them but if I do I don't think I'll miss any of them. And there are others that could be on the line as well but they haven't made the list yet. The ones listed take up a lot of my time, energy and money in caring for them and don't give me much in return.

Roses to shovel prune

Always a Lady, not vigorous
Black Cherry, not enough blooms
Blaze, once bloomer would prefer repeater
Camelot (NOT), donâÂÂt know what it is
Constellation, not vigorous
Dr. Huey, want a better climber
Electron, hasnâÂÂt bloomed in two years
Fortune Cookie, dying back
Fragrant Cloud, blooms blow way too quick
Frankly Scarlet, not enough blooms
Hot Cocoa, ugly plant and slow repeat
Hot Romance, ugly plant and blooms ball
Intrigue, not enough blooms
Julie Link, dying back
Madeleine, blooms balls terribly
Memorial Day, one cane wonder for years
Memphis Blues, dying out slowly
Millie Walters, donâÂÂt care for the blooms
Montana, dying back
Oklahoma, weak necks and slow repeat
Queen Elizabeth, one cane wonder for years
Summer Fashion, terrible plant with no vigor
Sunny Delight, terrible plant with no vigor
Teddy Bear, donâÂÂt care for the blooms
Vavoom, donâÂÂt care for the blooms
Voluptuous, terrible repeat

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:40PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Oh no!, Seil!!!
Memorial Day is fantastic!!! (at least here). The fragrance is the best I've ever smelled. It always smells fantastic. Tons of blooms that last forever. Maybe you should stuff her in a pot. Mine grows in a pot. At least she'd get another chance to wow you. :)
I gave away Vavoom for the same reason - didn't care for the blooms.
I laughed when you said Electron hadn't bloomed in two years. I had the same experience with it.

Wow! A lot of people having problems with Pretty Jessica. Gulp. But, everyone wants to give her a 2nd chance, so she must be pretty good.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:47PM
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seil zone 6b MI

She was in a pot, Carol. She has slowly grown backward down to one cane and just stayed there. I'm tired of babying her for the one or two blooms she gives me a season. She's next to Julia Child who is in constant bloom!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 3:07PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

Well, I feel a little better now after reading about your problems with Memorial Day, seil, since mine is a dud, too, though after viewing your gorgeous photos of MD on HMF a while back, I am surprised it's not more of a winner. My plant has been in two different locations, grows ok, but produces nothing but homely blooms with lots of problems and not very many petals (not very many blooms, either). The blooms of the rose next to it, Evelyn, are fine, so I can't figure out what exactly is the problem, other than the awful heat. MD is also on my "watch list" of those roses that are running out of time in my garden. Diane

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 4:06PM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

Seil - the only one I'm particularly surprised about on your list is Black Cherry. It blooms prolifically and repeats pretty quickly for me, and is one of my go-to roses when I need something red for a bouquet. How old is yours? Mine gets part shade in the afternoon that may help, and I think mine is own root.

I'm totally with you on Memorial Day. I have one own root plant that has limped along for 5 years with one scraggly excuse for a cane about the width of a bamboo skewer. This year I decided it must have finally died, so I planted a grafted Memorial Day I found on sale grafted locally and figured I'd give it one more chance in a different location with more sun. Wouldn't you know the original Memorial Day not only survived, it's getting jealous and is a bushier and stronger plant than it has ever been. Not a vigorous rebloomer, but definitely more distinctly alive.

As for my shovel prune list, I still haven't filled up my yard to the point where I have to shovel prune for space, and nothing is bugging me enough to need to yank it out. I've just been doing my summer inventory of roses that either gave up the ghost shortly after they leafed out in spring or never survived the summer planting, and that's always depressing enough to not need shovel pruning.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 6:02PM
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I have given Heirlooms Lexi many years to be impressive but the flowers are a bust. The plant itself just continues to grow out of control with long thin,twisty prickly canes. Sometimes there's a cluster of flowers but it's a far cry from the picture on the website. This spring the plant made a good attempt at a flush but every flower had proliferation and I really hate that in a rose. A whole spray of them was too much and I quickly snipped them off hoping for another quick repeat. Nope, I had to wait many months before they would reappear and then just one or two clusters that were undersized and not even that nicely colored. I think it wants cooler temps like it had in spring but then it proliferates so times up for this rose.

I have my mind set on a Lamarque for that spot now. I'm just waiting for the hot temps to pass before I start digging out the huge root system that rose has made.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:20PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Maybe Memorial Day likes cooler weather??
Oh roses - the agonies we suffer over you. Grow darn you, grow!! LOL

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 2:12AM
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sunflowersrus222(7a Pa)

Dr. Huey is getting on my last nerve. I shoveled one this year and have one left. Bugs me that it only blooms once and looks awful 99% of the rest of the time so the last dr. huey is getting the old heave ho soon.

My Peace rose had better stop with its nonsense or thats gonna meet with a wood chipper!! It gets massive thick canes that go straight up 10 feet and then at the very top of those canes it gets one long horizontal cane that will get buds that grow straight up about 2 feet with one bud on each. Looks hideous. This year it turned completely brown and didn't have a single bloom. I cut it all the way down and now it has some new growth. Looks like it did when I first bought it lol. If it can't keep leaves green and lush and get blooms next year its going to meet its maker. I'm tired of battling with the enormous thorns for nothing. Trimming it with long enormous clippers doesn't work either. These canes are so thick I have to use a saw dang it!! If anyone has a problem in their town with people breaking in I suggest planting one of these suckers outside your window. No way a burglar is getting past this thing..not without a lot of injury anyway. In other words my Peace rose looks like a gigantic capital letter T.

This post was edited by sunflowersrus222 on Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 14:00

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 1:57PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Wow!!! A huge capital T. Bizzare!
Talk about huge canes. Hard for me in the cold zone 3 to imagine. :)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 4:47PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Cynthia, I've had Black Cherry for 6 years. It's been potted, planted in one bed, moved to another bed and is now repotted. In all that time I've had ONE single, lone flower each year. It does not seem to like any place I put it.

Sunflower, I had a climbing Peace for six year. It gave me ONE bloom the first 10 feet tall...and never, EVER bloomed again. I dug it out 2 years ago and planted Candy Land which happily blooms it's head off all season! And this year it's even begun to climb a little.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:39PM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

Hmm, Seil - looks like you've tried a lot of solutions. On the other hand, any rose that can handle that many transitions has tenacity at least on its side, if not beauty. I checked and mine was grafted from a company whose roses nearly always die on me in their first summer, yet Black Cherry is in its fourth year. Maybe you could try another plant from whatever source is poorest for you and see if this is a hidden teenager of a rose who only responds to reverse psychology. Then again, maybe it doesn't bloom in humidity, as we've discussed.

Canadianrose - you mean there's not enough cool even in zone 3a for Memorial Day? Boy, I really am doomed in this rose, in that case!


    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 1:55AM
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sunflowersrus222(7a Pa)

seil: I've had this peace rose for about 5 or 7 years now and its always grown the same way... in a large T shape and always full of blooms along that top T line. This last year its been a real pain. I have had it tied up along a fence then moved it and tied it up along a flat straight up trellis attached to the side of our redwood shed. This year its been a real brat and not wanting to cooperate with me. Hopefully now that I've hacked it down to the stump and this new growth is taking off, it will look better. When I had it along the fence my neighbor would come out and cut it down level with the top of the fence. Every year I saw buds starting to form the next day I would come out and look to see the entire top level with the top of the fence. So my husband and I dug it up and moved it away from that fence where the neighbor couldn't reach it. ANYTHING that grows up above the top of that fence they hack right off. Yes I've asked them not to touch our things. Even balled my eyes out after they dug up my flowers from my front yard right before mothers day this year. I yelled at them through tears on mothers day... Would you PLEASE leave my yard alone!! Stop touching my things!! Mind your own property and leave ours alone!!

We still hold out hope that the peace rose is going to look better next year now that its out of the reach of our hacker happy neighbor.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 7:45AM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I have wanted to comment for a while on people who march brazenly into a neighbor's yard and start chopping things down. I would consider some legal relief. Small Claims Court comes to mind if you want to recover monetary damages. Or perhaps having criminal trespass charges brought against these miserable excuses for neighbors. Then again, you may just opt to keep the peace. What does your husband think of this outrageous activity? My sympathies to you. Diane

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 2:37PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

seil, dug up the flowers in your yard???? That's criminal trespass although I don't know the police would do much about it, but at least a citation should be given. But then there's always the problem of retaliation because you never know what such crazy idiots will do. I've often hoped that the stupid, mean people in the world would somehow magically vanish and give the rest of us some peace. I'm so sorry this happened to you, and on Mother's Day, no less. And what is SO terrible about pretty flowers peeking over your fence???? Sorry, I feel my blood pressure rising, I'm so mad at these hooligans.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 2:53PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Sunflower, the next time your neighbors dig something up CALL the POLICE!! They are both thieves and trespassers. You should not have to put up with that kind of behavior. Since you've already asked nicely the next step is to let the authorities know about it and let them deal with it. Perhaps they can put the fear of God in them. There is no point in trying to "keep the peace" with this kind of person. They don't get it and won't until it's forced upon them to do so. I have had neighbors cut off strays that have grown into their yards, and I don't have a problem with that, but to go into your yard and dig out plants is totally beyond acceptable behavior. It is a crime! What next? Will they come and help themselves to a pot or a table and chairs they fancy? I would feel violated and uneasy knowing these people just come into the yard any time they please and take things. You need to let the police know this is happening!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 4:35PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I think I am going to SP Pink Don Juan. It's an extremely ugly rose with beautiful flowers. I even won my Rose Groups Ugly Rose contest with it. It cannot stay clean, even with spraying. It's leafless most of the time. It has boitrytus. It has ugly scaly grey canes. I have a baby Pink Noisette that I am going to replace it with.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 7:51PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Cynthia - No, no, no, no :) I meant that Memorial Day does fantastic for me - so the reason it doesn't do fantastic for others is maybe that their zone isn't cool enough for MD. Maybe MD needs more moderate summer temperatures to do well. I adore this plant. It's superb. I grow it in a pot and overwinter it in the garage.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 12:18AM
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I'm also semi-seriously considering Francois Juranville. Like this rose a lot, but I think I underestimated how it would fit in the space. It is a beast and I don't think it will work for the area much longer. We'll see how it goes next year.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 3:45PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

Yes, I'm thinking Memorial Day does like it cooler, and being light pink, the thrips love MDay, too. I really need to do a better job of selecting roses that can take the heat, which we certainly have. Diane

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 6:54PM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

Canadianrose - ah, phew (smile)! I've had such bad luck with Memorial Day I was wondering if it likes truly extreme temperatures (maybe zone 2), but if it's happy with you it should do OK in part shade for me if I get a good cultivar and get it past its first year. Thanks for clarifying that one. Doesn't mean it'll like the dry here, but it might have a fighting chance!


    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 7:20PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Diane - no thrips on Memorial Day for me. Only one that gets thrips here is Betty White in the first flush.

Cynthia - I love this rose. The fragrance will sweep you away.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 2:49AM
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