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What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

Posted by Sara-Ann z6b OK (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 20:39

I am wondering what I can expect with my old garden roses next spring. I planted 4 varieties this spring, Rose de Rescht, Reine des Violettes, Zephirine Drouhin and Mme. Isaac Pereire. With the exception of Rose de Rescht I've had just a few blooms, that's OK I just don't want to wait forever to have a decent flush. What can I expect next spring? I love these roses, I know I want more, just want to know if this is typical. I have given them the same care as my hybrid teas and floribundas. They are all own-root, if that makes any difference. Pictured is the 3rd bloom of Reine des Violettes


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RE: What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

Sara-Ann -- the fact that your roses are on their own roots does, indeed, make an immense difference.

You know, when you buy a #1-Grade budded HT, FL, etc., you are buying a rose that has been growing in the field for maybe 3 years. That gives it a 3-Year head-start on your smaller own-root plant.

So, when we plant a rose like that, we are ready to cut it some slack for the first few years of its life. It may not be a blooming powerhouse until it has had time to establish a strong, mature root system. And with many of them, the whole habit and look of the plant alters greatly as it begins to approach maturity.

(Your roses may do that more quickly than mine do, here, where we have far fewer sunny days.)

If you want to encourage more growth, you might practice some dis-budding for a year. Remove buds, rather than allowing them to develop and open -- that forces the plant to put its energy into the production of roots -- the most essential growth of all.

I never expect own-root plants to show real maturity until they're a good 5 years old. (May not take that long for you.) That would worry me, if I were in my 90's -- but I'm not there yet. I've still got time and patience for little rose plants to grow up, and puppies to turn into wonderful dogs.

Jeri


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RE: What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

Jeri - Thank you so much for explaining the difference, really appreciate it.


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RE: What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

What jeri said. And, re your comment that you give these the same care as your HTs, that could be a disaster if you prune them the same way. Own root OGRs should not be pruned at all (except for removing dead wood and keeping them off paths & people) until they have been able to grow for several years.

Once they have grown up, I do not prune them hard like HTs at all - just gently, to shape the bush. Some OGRs will resent hard pruning so much that they will die.

Jackie


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RE: What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

Thanks Jackie - I should have made myself more clear on the care part, I need to think things through better before I make a statement like that, wasn't talking about pruning, I hadn't even thought about that part yet. I would never prune those types of roses like I do my hybrid teas.


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RE: What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

You can expect really wonderful things if you just let them grow un cut for 3 or 4 years. First comes the young growth to feed the big root buildup that is going on under the ground. Give plenty of water and a good layer of mulch to keep the soil cool and moist. Pick any weed that is there to steal water or food from your roses. If any stems get in the way, tie them out of the way to a bamboo pole or something like that.

A few years later the young plants have a nice set of roots. They are ready to grow some thick sturdy stems and begin to take on a mature shape that they will build on for the rest of their life. Flowers are bigger and more numerous and repeat blooming improves with age. Fragrance and color improves too.
But you need to let them get the roots going to see any of this. If the water flows away, build a ring of soil or rock to make sure the roots get enough to drink. The same good care you give all your other roses. Remember they will get big and beautiful, so be sure you have given them enough space so that you won't feel like you have to be trimming them all the time. It's better to fix this when they are small if you need to.


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RE: What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

Thanks Kitty - Appreciate the advice, you explain things so well.


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RE: What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

  • Posted by kousa Zone 6 (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 22:21

Though I am just a beginner, I have found that the own root roses love seaweed feedings. I have read that there is something in the seaweed that helps to stimulate root growth. I give seaweed feedings to my new roses and they seem to just take off. Hope this helps.


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RE: What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

I remember my first antique roses. I was always wondering what I did wrong. Why wouldnt they grow into big full bushes? Where were all the giant fragrant flowers? Why were there just a few small flowers in the spring. But I loved the flowers even if they were small because I thought they were precious. The only roses I had ever seen were HTs and Floribundas. Nobody was around to tell me that the young plants are different than the mature plants. Then SURPRISE! They became big lovely plants with big wonderful flowers. I'm ashamed to say that I gave a few away before I saw what they might be. I thought they just didn't like my garden. Last year, I was wondering if I had the correct rose because it didn't ever rebloom. This year, its blooming off and on through the year. It just needed time to get comfortable. Some will do it sooner than others. Give them your best and let them do the rest.


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RE: What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

My experience has mostly been with grafted hybrid teas and floribundas, I know I have to get used to the idea that OGR do differently than those types. Several years ago I did have a Zephirine Drouhin that I purposely got to plant on the north side of my house. It bloomed every year some and probably by about its 4th year I could tell it was really going to start blooming heavily. In the spot where I had it planted a volunteer tree had come up and my "well-meaning" neighbor told me he would get rid of the tree for me. Instead of killing the tree, he killed the rose bush! He never apologized or anything. You might think he was only trying to help, but you don't know my neighbor! As long as he lives there I won't plant anything on that side of my house. Anyway I know I have to get use to the fact that old garden roses do not mature in the same way as modern roses. I think they are so very lovely and I love that most of them are so wonderfully fragrant! I just wish I had taken an interest in them sooner.


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RE: What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

But keep in mind -- it's not because they're old roses that they take longer to mature. It's because they are on their own roots, rather than on 3-year-old rootstock.

Jeri


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RE: What can I expect with my Old Garden Roses?

Thank You for reminding me, Jeri - I will keep that in mind!


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