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Excited! Going to K&M for my first Fortuniana roses on Saturday!

Posted by jockewing 9a SE Louisiana (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 16:39

I live in the New Orleans area and I am in the process of creating a large rose bed in my back yard. Through much research, it seems to me that roses on fortuniana do much better in the Gulf South than any other rootstock available. I want to grow beautiful hybrid teas, including the old fashioned varieties like Peace, Double Delight, etc, and I am also interested in some of the exhibitioners' favorites I have been reading about like Hot Princess, Gemini, St. Patrick, etc.

I am creating a square-shaped large bed, about 30x20 that will be separated into 4 separate sections by a path that will bisect the bed at the halfway point of each side. I have access to copious amounts of horse manure and am building high raised beds with the manure and as much organic matter as I can get a hold of. I am going to have a soil test so that I can adjust the pH and nutrients now. I plan on holding the plants in pots all through the summer to let the organic matter break down and settle in the bed and will plant out when it cools off in the fall. And yes, I will spray with fungicide. I know that spraying is pretty much a requirement in my area (just north of N. Orleans) to grow hybrid teas.

I have set up an appointment to go visit Mr. Mills at K&M on Saturday and I plan on buying as many as 8 - 10 plants. I know I could just wait, but I am too excited and he says he has in stock most of the varieties that I want now. It's about 2 hours away from my house so it will be a nice day trip and something to do.

Here is what I plan on getting. Anyone that has bought from K&M or is a hybrid tea grower that has any recommendations on great varieties to try, please let me know:

Hot Princess
St Patrick
Just Joey
Double Delight
Fragrant Cloud

I would love to have some Austins on Fortuniana but I'm not sure if K&M carries these.

I am also intrigued by some special collections they carry called Eddie Edwards, Fred Wright, and Florists varities, but am unfamiliar with these.

If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Excited! Going to K&M for my first Fortuniana roses on Satur

I live in the SFO Delta area. It is much warmer and some colder at times.

So what I have to say may not be important to you. But I have a year old Gemini. I don't like 2 toned roses, but I will forgive her because she has a beautiful blossom shape, nice shaped bush, great foliage, and blooms quite a lot. She also lasts quite a while as a cut flower. St. Patrick, I just planted one month ago. But the plant seems to flower a lot, has nice foliage and the shape of the blossom is very nice. I bought this rose because of his relation to Brandy, one of the longest lasting, on plant, blossoms there is. This rose lasts, for me, 8 to 10 days on the bush. And as I have said before, she is the Audrey Hepburn of roses. It is drop dead gorgeous for the whole time. She is just as beautiful when fully opened as she is as a bud.

My input from Ca.


RE: Excited! Going to K&M for my first Fortuniana roses on Satur

I'm a BIG fan of K&M. Have loaded my gardens over the yrs with their roses. You have a good list started. Make sure you get Peace. A couple of others that will do very well for you are, Louise Estes, Crystalline, Black Magic, Snuffy, Uncle Joe, Brides Dream, Granada, Voodoo, Vet. Honor. All of these do exceptionally well on fortuniana rootstock. Also trying to get you a good spred of color and fragrance.

RE: Excited! Going to K&M for my first Fortuniana roses on Satur

No one I know of sells Austin's commercially on fortuniana rootstock.

BUT, since you are going to see Jim, at K & M, might I suggest you take along a few sticks of budwood of any Austin you might be craving (just pick a stem of about 1/4 to 3/8 inch in diameter that has already bloomed and where the itty bitty sprouts at the base of each leaflet have not yet started to grow into new branches -- that is budwood). Ya just never know, he might make you a plant of it.

RE: Excited! Going to K&M for my first Fortuniana roses on Satur

I'm excited for you! You chose some really fantastic roses too. All exhibition quality from what i can tell. Those colors will look great together also.
Yup- I'm jealous! Keep us posted and take lots of pics for us to droll over.

( i heard that stock does best in your climate too)

RE: Excited! Going to K&M for my first Fortuniana roses on Satur

All seven of your choices do extremely well in my part of Southern California.
(And they are gorgeous, to boot!)

Best of luck!

RE: Excited! Going to K&M for my first Fortuniana roses on Satur

Well I went to visit Mr. Mills at K&M today. He was a very friendly man and patiently showed me all of his different roses. He has several huge rows of all the different plants he sells. Almost every bush was close to or taller than 6 feet, and none of them looked like sticks with a bloom on the end. They all had plenty of leaves and were very full. Even in July, almost all of them were covered in blooms. He had a small greenhouse where he has special varieties in large pots that he said his wife will be using for cut flowers. He also showed me his small greenhouse with all of his fortuniana stock. He showed me some small pots of some cuttings he said
he started only a month ago, and you could already see the white roots growing out of the bottom of the pot.

I don't know why it completely slipped my mind to take pictures! I was so busy trying to figure out which plants I wanted. I ended up not really getting much in the way of the old fashioned varieties, but went with his recommendations for plants that he liked the best and said performed the best. This is what I ended up buying:

Bronze Star (AMAZING strong fragrance, beautiful color on a very large thick plant. This was in a 5 gallon but he gave it to me for the 2 gallon price)
St. Patrick
Elina (a creamy yellow--the best looking of all of his bushes in my opinion. Was the best looking as far as foliage and bush shape--I got 2 of these)
Marlon's Day (a pinker sport of Moonstone)
Hot Princess
Heart of Gold
Carolina Pride

There were so many beautiful plants, it was almost impossible to choose. I really would love to have a Peace on fortuniana, but he said he really doesn't grow those anymore because they just don't perform well. He also said he coming to an agreement with David Austin and will probably have them available next season, so I'm really looking forward to that.

Mr. Mills said the difference between fortuniana and any other rootstock in the South is like night and day. I am really excited to see how it works for me. All the plants I got were covered in new growth with NO blackspot or any other blemishes. Several had blooms and buds. Even the couple of 1 gallon plants were quite large. It was interesting to see how much smaller the fortuniana stock is compared to the much thicker and knobby stocks like Dr. Huey. I can see why it is recommended to stake.

Anyway, now I am really motivated to get my bed ready and am counting the days to plant out in the fall. That way I'll have almost 6 months of growth before next spring's first flush.

RE: Excited! Going to K&M for my first Fortuniana roses on Satur

I kinda figured you'd be a little (?) overwhelmed by all the roses. It's almost impossable to go to his place and stick with you're original list. I like what you brought home. Neptune will "wow" you. You will probably want another Marlons Day before too long. Elina speaks for itself. I'm glad you got two. It makes a great cut flower and with two bush's you'll have plenty for the house. Have fun and enjoy your new garden.

RE: Excited! Going to K&M for my first Fortuniana roses on Satur

Thanks for the list of what you chose!
I don't live in that area or even in the south, but just having the chance to go a famous nursery is grand! Glad you got to go.

RE: Excited! Going to K&M for my first Fortuniana roses on Satur

I have mail ordered from K&M and they are great. I ordered several Papa Meillands. I don't necessarily recommend that rose because it can be tough to grow but in NorCal it has soared on fortuniana and is the best it can be. What a great opportunity to visit their nursery. Mary

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