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Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Posted by grocco none (My Page) on
Thu, May 19, 11 at 19:47

I've been looking for a specific rose bush for my wife for some time. I'm not sure what the official name of the rose is, but she always called them Sterlings. They're sort of a pastel lavender color with a very strong scent. The only time I have ever seen them is when I used to buy them for her from a local florist. I've never been able to find one at any garden stores/nurseries, or online. Any suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

What you're seeking is Sterling Silver. There is/was a florist version as well as the garden version. I found, propagated and provided to Vintage Gardens the florist version which they promoted in their catalog for many years as an improved form of the rose.

It's too bad Vintage doesn't list theirs as being available this year as theirs is Virus Indexed, meaning it has been heat treated to kill any virus infection so, theoretically, it should be a stronger, more vigorous grower. Other sources of Sterling Silver are around. It's been such a popular rose for over half of a century, you're very likely to find it in the cramped cans at home improvement centers, though theirs are very likely not as good as what you'd get from the Vintage plant. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Vintage Sterling Silver


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Sterling Silver is currently available at the top local nursery in this area. Their roses are the best, so I think this indicates that more than big box stores are now carrying Sterling Silver. Check around at your better nurseries and garden centers. You might be pleasantly surprised. Good luck. Diane


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

grocco -- Where are you located??

Jeri


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

I have yet to see Sterling Silver at a Big Box store. I have seen it in a number of nurseries, as well as it's "new and improved" version - Stainless Steel. I can tell you from what I've seen and read, the latter appears to be a much healthier and consistent rose, with an improved visual appearance as well as a heavenly fragrance.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

It is available bagged here, our local nurseries don't carry it.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

I lucked out and found the latter the Stainless Steel just sitting in a corner of a garden center here in Tyler Texas. She looked so lonesome I had to take her home I have had her for a year potted and have had no problems it has produced many beautifull blooms for me.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Grocco -- With apologies to the very knowledgeable Kim (roseseek), I would discourage you from purchasing an own-root 'Sterling Silver' -- especially a small own-root band like those supplied by Vintage. In especially rose-friendly environments (like much of CA), perhaps SS on its own roots does well, but in much of the rest of the country it will struggle to survive. In my experience, SS plants on their own roots (including the Vintage selection) are exceedingly slow to develop good root systems. Consequently, they require very careful, patient cultivation & LOTS of winter protection. Even with the extra attention, they did not thrive for me.

My advice to you is to wait until late next winter or early spring and order SS from a reputable source that sells the variety as a grafted plant. S&W Greenhouse, Regan Nurseries, Garden Valley Ranch are reliable vendors that have listed grafted SS plants in the recent past. My plant from S&W, altho temperamental, has performed well in my garden. My biggest complaint is that repeat is slow & the blooms don't last long on the bush when temps are high (which is most of the time in my zone). I've noticed no sign of virus in the several years that I've grown my plant.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Real friends don't let friends grow Sterling Silver.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Some folks (perhaps even most folks) just don't know how to grow 'Sterling Silver'. But then, Amanda, aren't you the rose fancier who once declared that no rose sport EVER outlived its sport parent in commerce? I think it was 'Nantucket' and a few others that proved you wrong, right?


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Jaxonel, If I wanted to read unpleasant responses, I'd go to Yahoo. Amanda is correct--it is very difficult to grow Sterling Silver and she said it in a charming way. We all got it.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

My sister insisted on planting Sterling Silver, attesting that our Grandmother grew it.
In vain, I pointed out to her that our Grandmother did NOT grow it, and said it was a ...piece of ...

She went and bought it, and planted it, and got a rose that is 6 ft. tall, and covered with bloom and she's never let me forget it.
OTOH, I'm pretty sure that what she has is Blue Girl . . .

Friends really DO discourage friends from growing 'Sterling Silver.'

Jeri


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Jaxondel, not me. You got the wrong info. It's easy to find proof to the refute a simplistic general statement like that.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Sterling Silver made "Roses for Dummies" top ten roses to avoid.

I wonder how difficulty to grow affects judging in rose exhibitions--I heard that an excellent stem of JFK got passed over for being "overgrown"--so the rule book was revised. Could someone's frustration with growing it have affected their judgement?


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

We've grown Sterling Silver is 2 different gardens with good results. We lost it after about 5 years in one garden due to a bad winter This was before we learned to plant the graft below ground. It grew beautifully in another garden we had, lots of lovely blooms & a good size bush. I love this rose & prefer it to Stainless Steel. The color on Stainless Steel is too washed out.
Don't be afraid of Sterling Silver. If you plant it properly & care for it right, it's an amazingly lovely bush.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Well, I have had a Sterling Silver in a container for the past two years. Lovely blooms, fragrant and no disease. Well, I do bring it indoors for the winter... still, this rose hasn't given me any trouble to date.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Any suggestions on how to grow this properly? Does it mind hard pruning, or does it sulk when cut to the ground?


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Sterling Silver is a seedling of Peace. Like its parent, it requires a lot of older wood and much foliage to perform well. Nope, don't whack it (or Peace) if at all possible. Giving new plants of both varieties the same disbudding treatment discussed on the OGR forum under "Forcing Teas" will improve the plants and performance of both. Give both the best of cultural practices for your area, the best soil, position, feeding, etc. and pretty much just snap off spent flowers at the point of abscision on the peduncle so you allow all foliage to remain on the plant to feed it and you may have decent results for your area. Any dog legs or other offensive growth patterns can be cleaned up at pruning time, but neither "enjoys" hard pruning. Treat them like old Teas, permitting them all the good canes and foliage they can make and keep and your experience with them will be better than "average". Kim


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

I'll echo Kim (roseseek). I have not pruned my sterling silver at all, and the first till about mid-July, I nipped off all buds to allow the roots to develop. Ideally I should have allowed the entire season for root development, but I was greedy for a few blooms. I fertilize my Sterling Silver same as my other HTs. The blooms I find are the slowest to open and the longest lasting of all my HTs. The plant itself is also a slow grower, but the foliage is healthy. It is not a difficult plant to grow, just requires a little patience, sun and good aeration.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Wow, thanks for all the great responses, gives me a few places to look. For those who asked, I'm in the Northern California Bay Area, and we have generally mild weather.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

I wish this thread would have started a few weeks ago, before I bought my Sterling at a local nursery. I wanted to get a lavander / mauve / violet rose for awhile. This place had 2, Sterling Silver and Enchanted Evening.

I chose Sterling, and it is doing the worst hands down of all the roses I planted this year; in probably the most sun-filled spot in my yard to boot. Has hardly grown at all, the few buds it has open and seem to wilt or get brown edges on them. And it got blackspot already after only 3 weeks planted.

Now this is the only rose I've ever bought from this particular nursery so I have no experience with their roses so perhaps that's a factor as well.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Grocco - if you are anywhere near Regan Nursery (Fremont) - you may want to check with them. They are an awesome.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

David, nope. Don't blame the nursery! A newly planted PLANT of any kind, is going to be far more susceptible to all diseases and water stress than anything which has been in place for a season or two. "The most sun filled spot in the yard" is also very likely the HOTTEST spot there with the highest water needs. Of course the buds wither and brown around the edges. A newly planted rose from a can has a restricted root mass, formed by the can it came out of. No matter how much you water the bed, those roots are only going to take up what is around their perimeter. That bush IS water stressed when it is hot and sunny. Black spot at three weeks planted? Yup! Again, a plant dealing with the hottest spot in the yard and a dwarf, restricted root mass, unable to utilize all the soil surface around it for oxygen, water, food, so it's also malnourished. A plant, just like a human, dog, horse, etc., which is malnourished has as inhibited an immune system as YOU would if you were suffering such a malady. Give it some time to put out feeder roots, absorb the resources it needs to be the best it can be and I think you'll be surprised how much better it will become. Now, it's immature. Give it time to "grow up". Not that you won't have BS problems, as you very likely will from that variety. They probably won't be AS bad as you've experienced this year, both because the plant should be more mature with a healthier immune system AND (hopefully) next year won't be AS bad a disease year as this one has turned out to be.

Sterling Silver isn't as vigorous a bush as many others available now, in that color range or others. It was chosen for release in 1957 and was a "break through" at the time. There weren't any lavender HTs (or other types) which grew as well as it did. Every decade, the bar is raised for health, vigor, floriferousness, all performance marks. You're looking at five and a half decades lack of development. It IS a museum piece and won't ever be as much of a plant as newer ones should. Plus, as I've suggested, it's stressed from heat, sun, lack of root development, bad disease year, etc.

Believe me, you would more than likely have nearly identical results from a Sterling Silver from another source as you did this one. They must have grown decent plants or you wouldn't have bought the thing from them in the first place.


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The last one was sold at Regan

I was thinking of getting one also. I had one at the old house. They do well it san francisco because they don't like a lot of hot. You have to spray for fungal just like any other hybrid tea. But, when I called Regan they sold the last one, but will have more in the Spring bare root. Mine did great, but when we moved I did not take the roses with me. I wish I had. I was surprised to find out it has a low rating.

Now, that I discovered banner maxx, I feel more confident. John Keats has really improved. I also had to use Daconil for the Botrytis. Provided you are on a regular fungal program, I don't see Sterling silver as a bad choice for the bay area. I was very unhappy with blue girl, but I got it at discount place on clearance. It had a cane disease. I would trust a good place like Regan for Roses. Blue girl looks like sterling silver but the flower have more red tones in them. Some people might want to try it as a challenge, and the flowers are show stoppers, and very good as cut flowers to bring in the house. The flowers don't fall apart fast.

Here is a link that might be useful: Regan website


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Regan website

It looks like Regan is not getting Sterling Silver in this years. It is getting stainless steal. I looked up the parentage of stainless steal on find me a rose. It is Blue Nile x Silverado. It is not related to sterling silver. It is not an improved sterling silver. Sterling Silver is Morning Mist (hybrid tea, Fisher, 1950) � Peace (hybrid tea, Meilland 1942), But, I found haters of Sterling Silver that are trying to force people to take Stainless Steal instead by insisting that Stainless Steal is an improved Sterling Silver. So, I guess Regan jumped on that band wagon. I had good results with Sterling Silver over 20 years ago in San Francisco, but I did not take it with me when I moved. It likes San Francisco cool weather, but you have to spray it. If you have hot weather Stainless Steal will be better. I don't know how the color compares, because the photos on the web are not true to color.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

tropical thought, I grew Sterling Silver for many years in a much different climate. At the same time, I also grew Stainless Steel, so I can give you a comparison appropriate to a more mid desert climate. I've had both budded (Huey) SS and own root "Florist Sterling Silver" which I rooted and shared with Vintage. They sold it for many years, stating it appeared to be an "improved form".

SS is a significantly less vigorous plant compared to Stainless Steel. It has smaller flowers of a much more traditional lavender, with fewer petals. SS performed more like a floribunda (both versions) and required disbudding to produce one flower to a stem. In that arid climate, SS was rather healthy without spray. Stainless was completely acceptably healthy, but did show a bit more black spot when conditions were right. Stainless had much longer stems; more single flower to a stem performance; on a taller, much better foliated plant. The flowers demonstrated much more of the traditional HT form; were easily twice the size of the average SS flower. Both were quite fragrant with SS being more of a musty-sweet scent. Stainless had a sharper scent, more citrus zest to my nose, but both were "very fragrant" to my nose. Stainless was more of a pastel lavender, almost appearing a grayed tone, particularly after a day of brilliant sun and definitely after a day of high heat.

The best SS could muster, even without pruning, was about three by two feet. Stainless Steel was usually four to five feet by three to four feet. I never practice "hard pruning", preferring more flowers of smaller size and shorter stems than "exhibition" pruning.

Which would I grow? Given room and other resources necessary, both. If you HAVE to have Sterling Silver, hold out for it. Either have Vintage custom root one for you, or contact Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis and order a bundle of VI cuttings. You can try rooting them yourself or you can contact some of the sources here on line, particularly Burlington Roses (listed on HMF) to see if any of them would be willing to propagate them for you. Expect to be charged for propagation, but at least it's an alternative. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Foundation Plant Services rose list


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Just don't prune Stirling Silver hardly at all for 3 yrs so you can get a good bush. It takes a little work but the blooms are outstanding. On the other hand, Stainless Steel grows like a weed right off the bat. Bigger bush, easy to grow and with afternoon shade the blooms are flat out beautiful on long stems full of foliage. Just my 2 cents worth. :)


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

About 15 years ago, someone stole rosebushes from the Morcom Amphiteatre , which was formerly named the Oakland Rose Garden, by digging up and stealing all the Sterling Silver' roses in a bed. Only a couple of visitors saw her do this and though they reported it later, didn't want to get involved at the time.
all I could think of when I heard this was "not the beautiful and comparitvely rare plant of 'Comtesse Emmeline de Guigne?" which was very rarely in commerce then? and why take all five plants? That shows some obsession.
I do meet more folks who think "Sterling Silver' is an Old Garden Rose of special worth and rarity than any other modern rose. Perhaps because the cultivar name is that of a noble metal has something to do with it, I wonder if the same rose were sold as "Lovely Lavender' would be as sought after?
Lux.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

It just shows the value of marketing/advertising, Lux. There were previous mauve modern roses before Sterling Silver, but none had the hype for as long as Sterling Silver has. Lavender HTs came and went in the endless J&P catalogs, but Sterling Silver seemed eternal. That name became immortal, like "American Beauty" and "Baccara". Years ago, I took a vase of over forty different lavender HTs and floribundas to work. People would walk by and exclaim, "LOOK at all the Sterling Silvers!", though there were NO Sterling Silver roses in the bunch. Baccara was such a hyped, popular florist rose that decades after it had been dropped from commercial production, people continued demanding a dozen Baccara. It was a strong enough name that Meilland has reissued it several times. Kim


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Interesting thread.

My experience with Sterling Silver is that the few blooms it produced were pretty and fragrant, but the foliage was extremely susceptible to fungus diseases.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

STERLING SILVER was the first rose I ever planted ... and the first to die on me. I've tried to grow the rose since then in different soils and climate. They all died. Unfortunately, a well grown SS can produce the kind of the blooms that rosarians dream about with an orgasmic fragrance to match. Since you live in California I say go for it. If she does well for you take comfort in knowing the rest of us are positively green with envy.


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Tips for find Sterling Silver right now

I did get a sterling silver from a mail order source, that is already sold out. It came today and I planted it in a pot, since I am going to baby it along. There were two sterling silvers left at Garden Valley in Petaluma, but they looked like they were about to die, so I did not get one of those.

I did contact Vintage gardens in Oct., and asked them for a sterling silver own roots which I would have been able to drive and pick up, but they never replied to my email. I now understand they can create one for me, but I did not know that I just assumed they are sold out of sterling silver. Vintage gardens is going out of business. I wanted to visit them for years, but did not know how to do that. Vintage Gardens is not open to the public anymore.

This sterling silver I have is not own roots. It would have been fun to try an own roots, because small is good for me, and I have never had an own roots rose. It would be fun to try to grow one. I don't know if this sterling silver is going to make it or not. It was all dried out when it arrived. Even roses unlimited does not have sterling silver. Since Weeks is going out of business, I don't know if sterling silver is still under a patent to Weeks. There are still some on eBay item number 320828157635. I did not get the eBay one, because I enquired, did not hear back right away, so I got this other one from Bay Laurel Nursery. That was the one that arrived dried out, since they did not send me the tracking number or tell me when the rose was coming. Maybe I should have gotten the eBay one. Bay Laurel is already sold out. I thought I was getting a better deal from Bay Laurel then eBay, but mine ended up costing more than the eBay one with the shipping and taxes and extra fees and so on.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

tropical thought, Sterling Silver came out in the late fifties and it's patent expired over thirty years ago.

If you have some cardboard from an old largish box, make a strip long enough to roll into a cylinder just a smidge narrower than the circumference of your pot, with quite a bit of overlap so it will seal against water and soil leaking out and staple the ends together to hold them securely. Or, you can roll it and tie it well with string or plant tape. Remove a bit of soil from the pot so the cylinder will slip into the pot and the pot rim will hold it in place. Fill the cylinder with your potting soil nearly to the top and water it in well. The soil will compress and settle as you water. Hopefully, if you've sealed the opening well enough, all the water will flow down through the soil instead of leaking out of the cylinder.

When you water, just do it from the top so you wet the soil around the canes, too. You want the top few (two or three perhaps) inches of the canes to stick up out of the soil. You may put the pot in the sun, just water it if it appears to be getting dry. After a few weeks, you should see new growth buds beginning to push from the canes. Once they do, you may begin gradually removing the soil in the cylinder until you can remove it and level the soil in the pot. You want to gradually increase the surfaces of the canes exposed to the elements so the plant doesn't dry out excessively. If you go into a period of extended rain, a week or longer, you can remove the cylinder as the constant water bath, reduced sun and cooler temperatures will accomplish the same thing.

If you're receiving regular rain and the humidity is remaining high, you probably don't need to use the cylinder and soil to keep the canes cool, dark and damp, but we've had Santa Ana winds with single digit humidity, brilliant sun and temps to the mid eighties here in LA. Trying to plant a bare root or newly propagated cuttings without protection here now is a guaranty for failure. I realize you're around San Francisco, but if it's sunny, warm and dry, you want to do what you can to keep the canes dark, cool and damp until you see new growth starting. Leaving them exposed to warm sun and air causes them to want to spring into growth...whether there are roots or not. Forcing them to remain dark, cool and damp hydrates the plant and encourages it to form roots before beginning to push top growth. That will significantly improve your chances of success.

Believe me, you WANT SS budded instead of own root. Even budded, it is not a "vigorous rose". Perhaps it was (either to mid century eyes or as originally released) 55 years ago when it was introduced, but what's come down to us today is nothing which, in 21st Century eyes, could be considered "vigorous". Good luck and congratulations! Kim


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

Kim thanks for posting that. Just by coincidence I came back here to post that the only way I could get an interesting sterling silver "own roots" would be grow one from a seed or a cutting. I looked up both ways and cuttings would be easier then seeds. It would fun to try to root one just to see what happens. I was discouraged to read that miniature roses are grown on own roots. I bought a few of those years ago. They did not do very well.


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lol

San Francisco is never sunny warm and dry LOL. The weather is like London England here.


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Sorry I got that wrong

I misunderstood your directions for keeping the canes from drying out as how you can propagate by covering the canes with glass or plastic to make them more humid.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

tropical thought, were your minis potted or in the ground? The most often made mistake with minis is to keep them in pots where they dry out too quickly and suffer from rapid extremes of temperature. A 6" clay pot can cook an egg in short order on a very sunny day. Great if you're growing cactus but not plants which prefer cooler, moister root runs. Kim


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

I have the SS in a plastic pot, and I am babying it around. I take it inside at night I put it out in the sun if there is any sun. It is growing some buds. The mini roses, I picked up on impulse at a grocery store of all places, and of course they did very badly in the ground. That was many years ago, I would never do something so foolish now. Sterling Silver is so small and weak, I thought it would good for a container. I read on this site about growing roses in containers. The article mentioned Sterling Silver as a good pot candidate. I may put it in the ground when it gets better. I have problems because there is a large house on the south side of my house that blocks my sun part of the day. In a pot, I can move the rose around to the sun.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roses in pots from the rose file


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Update

The SS in a pot is doing great from the bareroot. I did not even spray it, but no fungal at all. I keep it in the house only letting it go outside on a sunny day, then back into the house at night to prevent dew forming. If the leaves don't get wet, I don't see how it can ever get fungal. If the leaves do get wet, you have to dry them at once by taking it inside, so the leaves don't sit wet.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

I'd watch out for spider mites moving it in and out. The plant definitely benefits from the humidity in the air, which doesn't exist inside. Mites love dry foliage, particularly if dusty. Is there a covered patio you might permit it to sleep on at night instead of indoors? If not, do as you feel necessary, just keep an eye out for other signs of issues which might result from being indoors. Good luck and congratulations! Kim


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 10, 12 at 19:08

I'm with Kim, roses really hate being in the house! Besides even on cloudy days the roses get better light outside than inside and roses need a lot of light to bloom well. Morning dew isn't usually a problem for fungal diseases anyway because as the sun comes up it dries quickly. And truthfully I don't think wet leaves has anything much to do with it. The spores are out there everywhere so even sitting outside on a sunny day it could still become infected with black spot.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

I have Vintage's sterling silver and so far it has been a good plant. It has taken a long time to grow it from a band into a bush. It is not as fast growing as a budded rose but my old budded sterling passed away from decline of virus. The flowers seem larger though on my one from Vintage.

Whatever flowers I get I am grateful for. There is no other rose that smells exactly like it or I expect people would grow that instead. I get visitors who rave on and on about the scent. This is with Chrysler Imperial, Pope John Paul II,Pink Peace, Papa M. and Scentimental in the same bed! Something about the fragrance is so remarkable. I wouldn't want to be without it. I don't even find the color that appealing- it's all about that scent for me. Some people think the decendant Angel Face is better. I say nice and fruity in a rosy way but not as mesmerizing like Sterling.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

I have had Sterling Silver for almost 25 years and it is still going strong. It has done a lot better a lot of other lavender roses I have had like Angel Face, Blue Ribbon, Maggie, Magenta, Paradise and Purple Passion.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

  • Posted by jenn SoCal 9/19 (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 26, 12 at 12:45

I saw the photo of Sterling Silver at Vintage and considered ordering it, but thought I'd do a little research on it first. I found this thread (hmmmm.... maybe I won't get it after all!).... but what really got my attention was Kim's mention about proper pruning practice for Peace. We have Peace and I intend to treat it that way from now on. I'd never read or heard of that before. Thank you Kim!


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

You're welcome Jenn. I know you'll love the improvements that can make with it. Kim


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

  • Posted by jenn SoCal 9/19 (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 26, 12 at 13:53

Kim: Not to hijack this thread, just to add: The year I used alfalfa pellets around all our roses, I noticed Peace really perked up -- more foliage, more blooms, even a new cane I think. I've been here almost 20 years, and I know Peace was here long before that.


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RE: Trying to find a 'Sterling' rose bush

I can believe it Jenn. Alfalfa has a lot of really great things going for it. Types which really benefit from more generous feeding, Peace and Sterling Silver definitely fitting that description, show some pretty dramatic improvements from it and other such efforts. Kim


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