40+ rose bushes..... unknown varieties

monben(z3/4 CO)October 20, 2013

I just bought a home where one or more of the previous owners must have enjoyed roses, because they are EVERYWHERE. I don't have a lot of experience with roses, but I do enjoy them when they are healthy. With the tress now quite mature, the majority of these are now in full to part shade, and receive little water. Only two are doing well in the main front bed with plenty of sun and a drip system..... one of which is sprawling, around 8' in diameter, with many small to medium sized white blooms. The other is a bit smaller with larger peach blooms. (I will try to post photos.) My problem is with the 30 plus rangy, stalky, non blooming and ill-shaped varieties all around the rest of the property. What to do with them? They are a variety in size and color. My first inclination is to find a good sunny spot on our 3 acres, further away from the house (and pool), mound and amend the soil well, and transplant 99% of them to one single, large spot, with hopes of bringing automatic irrigation out there within the year. Some thoughts are: along the outside of a split rail perimeter fence, on the back side of the barn, or just a corner bed in the yard. I'm imagining with better placement and care, some may grow quite large and need to be moved again. Any way of knowing ahead of time how big they will get/what type and habit they will be? Any suggestions?

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roseseek

First, check around the bases of the plants to determine if there are labels attached to any of the canes. If they were "commercial plants" as opposed to specialist products, they may well have name plates attached.

You might, if possible, attempt to contact the previous owners to see if there might be information available to you about their identities. You might also strike up conversations with the neighbors to see if any of them might have information/knowledge about what's planted in your yard.

Barring any of those possibilities, unless you take good, clear photos of the flowers and plants when they bloom, any suggestions are pretty much going to be a shot in the dark, unless they're something really distinctive such as Rugosas or other types which don't fit the general "rose bush" description. Good luck. Kim

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 2:26PM
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Maude80

I would definitely second trying to contact the previous owners. If you can get in touch with them, they would probably be thrilled to advise you on caring for their roses:) Also, you might be surprised how a good spring pruning can bring life back to a tall and stalk-like rose bush:)
Maude

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 3:21PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Without knowing what the roses are it's impossible to say how big they can be expected to get. And moving them will change that estimate. Sometimes in shade a rose will grow out octopus arms searching for more sun. You may be seeing yours all leaning one way searching for light too. But in more sun the entire plant may get bigger as well simply because it's healthier and happier. Any of your proposed suggestions for moving them into more sun will improve their health. Roses need sun, at least 6 hours and 8 is better.

You might want to contact a local rose society. They may be familiar with the roses that grow best in your area and may be better able to give you IDs and advice on them. You can find a local rose society by going to the American Rose Society web site.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Rose Society

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 7:23PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

There are many different kinds of roses, some of which will do all right with less than 6 hours of sun, and several of which are naturally "rangy and ill-shaped." If the trees are deciduous, some of the spring-only bloomers will be fine partial shade, since they get enough sun for their blooming period. Someone with 40+ roses may very well have collected many different classes, ie, gallicas, hybrid musks, rugosas, as well as your local nursery hybrid teas and floribundas. When you say one has an 8' spread with lots of small white flowers, it sounds like a hybrid musk or a noisette, both of which require different kinds of pruning than hybrid teas.

So, before you jump into anything, if you cant contact the previous owners, try to find someone to help you identify what you have. Or at least post some photos here so we can give you some idea of what you have.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 11:00PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Considering your location in a cold climate, it's also very possible that at least some of the "the 30 plus rangy, stalky, non blooming and ill-shaped varieties all around the rest of the property" are rootstocks which have ditched their grafts and grew from the roots. If I was in your situation, I'd wait until next year, when they bloom, to figure out what they are and whether or not you want to keep them.

:-)

~Christopher

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 12:10AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

Thanks so much for all of the suggestions, advice, and info! Something I left out.... We are the fourth owners of this home. The person who planted them was either the first or second, so I have no way of getting details other than from neighbors, which I will be sure to try and do. However, the subdivision is made up of 3 acres plots, so it will require some legwork (and luck), I think. I have actually always been a bit intimidated by roses, but having two large, healthy (shrub?) rose plants in the main bed, I'm excited about landscaping with them. I'll post photos of the ones still in bloom and wait for next spring on the others. Would a hybrid tea grow in more of an upright, linear pattern? If so, I think there is an area with several of those clumped together. And I know I have some smaller, ground cover types as well.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 1:18AM
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kittymoonbeam

My suggestion is that if you are not going to remove or severely thin trees, you will need to move the roses. When you move them, you might find name tags and with the big pruning that you will give them before the move, you will be giving them a chance to regrow in a better shape than before.

Now there may be some that might just need TLC, but I think most roses will want to get out of the shade and start feeling like healthy blooming roses again. Find a great spot and fix up the soil and get rid of weeds. Then you can evaluate what you have while they grow in big pots and decide what it is and if you want it.

The best thing would be to have someone who knows roses well come by and see if you have some big beauties that would take forever to regrow ( slow growing antiques ) these are probably not going to like being moved.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 4:55PM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

Thanks again for the generous replies. The white rose bush doesn't have SMALL blooms, but rather just smaller than the peach variety I have. I think it is a shrub rose or floribunda, possibly? There is no possibility of talking with the owner who planted these plants, as it was several owners back. Thanks for the ideas. I'll keep you posted.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 10:05PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Your being in zone 3/4 pretty much precludes any of your roses being "modern" that is modern floribundas and or Hybrid Teas that folks in warmer winters have survive from year to year.

There are several rose gardens near Denver that (at least when I visited) were well marked. Near Golden at the foot of the hill in front of the police department there was a great collection of cold hardy roses. IF that's convenient for you, you could at least learn what kinds of stems and leaves some of the coldest hardy roses have in your part of the world.

The folks at High Country Roses were in Denver, then moved to Utah and are now back in Denver. They can be a major resource for you in naming roses as they may be the source of some of your roses.

Not just any rose is going to have survived four changes of ownership in zone 3/4. Cold hardy roses that were hybridized in Canada (Morden Manitoba) come to mind as well as some from Roy Shepard (northern Ohio) and the Buck roses from Iowa are just some possibilities.

Modern roses .....no so much. Shrub roses by people looking for cold hardiness are more likely.

Good luck, it can be a fun search to find out what survivors you have.

Here is a link that might be useful: High Country Roses

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 8:16AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

I tried to change my zone to 4/5 when I posted this, I guess it didn't go through. My current home is in 4, my new home (with rose bushes) is in 4/5. Not sure if that changes things. When they all bloom again in the Spring I'll take some photos.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 11:35AM
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Toolbelt68(7)

I would wait until you see the Spring bloom as your yard may just blow you away. After you see and take pictures of each then decide what you want to do.

In the mean time plan on various ways of displaying them. Biltmore castle down in Asheville Tennessee has most of their roses in a big garden, row after row. It looks okay but nothing to write home about.

What I would do is build me a Secret garden. Once inside you would be in something like a Stonehenge area with a patio/swing/fire pit in the center, maybe just that 8' one in the center.
The roses that really pop would be at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock in the inner edge of the circle. If you would worry about someone getting stuck by the thorns a nice smelling climber called Zephirine Drouhin would be a good choice since it's thornless.

To form the circle I would have some 1 1/2 inch steel pipe bent to form an arc which would sit on two vertical pipes set in concrete. Make the arc at least 4 feet wide so you can walk between the pipes.
(4x4 pressure treated post connected together at the top will also work)

Place the arcs at each hour of a clock(use your own judgement here), leaving one out for the entrance. Use that one to form a trellis type entrance. Plant the roses around the outer circle with climbers at each outer AND inner post. Train them up and over.

You could also add a railing around the circle to add sideway strength to the pipes. Maybe a pipe from the center of one arc to the center of the next arc.

A drip line could be attached to that railing with 1/4" hoses running down to the plants with a dripper at the end. That would allow you to move the droppers where it does the most good without digging in the mulch to find them.

Just make sure you take into account the sizes of the roses when fully grown and make the circle large enough. I would center it in my yard so the neighbors on all sides would wonder whats going on over there at night when they see a fire flickering at night from my fire pitâ¦..

For the drip line just run the feed line along the present fence line until it gets close to the circle then hang a 90 degree turn to the circle. Just lay the line on the ground and let the grass grow over top of it. Or dig a 2 inch deep trench. Come the Fall hook up an air line and blow it empty.

Anyhowâ¦.. that's what I would doâ¦. lol

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 4:01PM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

Here is a close up of some blooms on the large sprawling white rose bush.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:06AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

And here is another. Better shot, same bush. Any thoughts? Next I will back up and get a shot of the whole bush.....

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:08AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

It is planted a foot or two from the house, and was cut way back in early spring. This growth is new for this season. the branches have filled out, but also have laid down sprawling canes into the flower bed and up the wall behind. I would say the diameter is 7 feet???

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:11AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

Here is the peach bloom bush, smaller than the white and a rounder habit, I think.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:13AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

And further away.... there are actually two of these, I think. There is a smaller, less full bush to the right. Similar bloom.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:15AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

Now, it is the end of the season, so this is all I was able to capture.....

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:17AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

This is one of several. All under an evergreen tree

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:20AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

Sorry for redundancy....

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:21AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

another

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:23AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

another

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:24AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

One of many scattered bushes around the property. I'm taking pictures of the healthier ones, in bloom.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 11:11AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

Here is an example of several less happy plants

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 11:13AM
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monben(z3/4 CO)

And finally, a couple of the bushes in part shade under evergreens have these black spots......

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 11:14AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

If it was my place, I would weed really good around the roses and wait for spring to see what happens and then document the roses as they start blooming. Kind of looks like there might be a fun rose treasure hunt out there.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 11:16AM
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