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Question about rose 'grades' and growing dormant rose

Posted by orchid_123 z7 MD (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 31, 10 at 20:19

I just got a dormant rose plant that came in a bag. Its base is about 2" thick and it has about four stalks that are 9" high. One stalk is pretty thick. There are no leaves, and I don't see any hints of growth (no green buds or anything). I guess that's just because it's winter. Also, there's wax covering the stems.

My question is, should I plant it outside right now, or keep it in a pot indoors and plant it outside later?

Also, the label says it is "1.5 grade." Does this mean anything important? My guess is that it is not the highest grade. Does that make it harder to grow or something?

Thanks for any help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Question about rose 'grades' and growing dormant rose

On Grading, yes, 1.5 is a lesser grade than 1 (the highest). A grade 1 rose will have three or more strong main canes of relatively equal thickness emerging from the graft union (that big knot below the canes).

Your bagged rose is dormant, which is why it has no leaves. And it should not be actively growing. The wax coating is applied by some vendors to keep the rose hydrated. You shouldn't have to remove the wax, the rose will grow through the coating. These plants may have been harvested as much as 4 - 5 months ago and put into cold storage.

Your bagged rose will have had its roots severely chopped to fit into the bag.

OK, to me, it is early to plant roses in this part of Earth. But, many experienced rose growers say that if you can dig the soil (soil not frozen), then it can be planted. Take the rose out of the bag, rinse off whatever is on the canes, get a big bucket of water and put the rose in the water so that the roots are covered. These directions from Regan nursery are good. Make sure to cover the canes after planting to keep them from drying out before they break dormancy. You can rinse off the soil/compost once the plant starts actively growing, you'll see leaves coming through the soil, then you can gently rinse off the soil

Here is a link that might be useful: Info on bareroot rose grades

RE: Question about rose 'grades' and growing dormant rose

Or you can leave the soil hilled up over the canes after planting and let Mom Nature wash it off. The new canes and leaveswill grow through the hill of soil. To protect the bud union during unexpected (in your area) bitter cold, plant the graft 2-4 inches below the soil surface then hill the soil over the canes above that.
I'm one who advises planting as soon as you can work the soil. Your dormant rose will stay dormant in the cold ground until the sun warms the soil, promoting roots and leaf out. Better to store it there than potted in a garage.
Even though it's cold, water it well. This settles the soil and prevents the canes from drying out. I soak mine in diluted fish emulsion, then pour it in the hole and on the bush when I plant.
Although the wax is suppose to prevent the canes from losing moisture, it's often colored green to make the bush look fresh and blemish free. Either way it'll melt off in the sun as the weather warms. You'll probably have some dieback due to harvest damage.
A grade 1 1/2 is suppose to have at least two canes 3/8 inch in diameter or larger. It can have more. Because you bought yours so early it sounds as if you may have gotten a pretty nice grade 1 1/2, depending on how the roots look. Most bagged roses I've ever got had roots no more than a couple of inches long. That's one reason it's a 1 1/2 grade and hidden in a bag.

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