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What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

Posted by farmerduck NJ (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 12, 13 at 20:15

I have a number of Kordes Fairy Tale roses, and like them all very much. However, I am having trouble controlling the size (or rather the height) of two of them: Golden Fairy Tale and Red Riding Hood Fairy Tale. Both are grafted on multiflora.

Golden FT: this is its first year in my garden. It is extremely vigorous and blackspot resistant. However, one cane just shoot straight up to 8 feet high, which was pruned earlier today. Relying on the description on helpmefind, I put it in the front of my bed as I thought it would be a medium-sized bush.

It is the same with Red Riding Hood. It now has two stiff, thick canes of about 8 feet tall as well.

I cannot let them grow this tall right now because where they are located. But am I better off with moving both to the back of the garden? If these canes are the norm rather the exception, I would prefer to allow them do the things they want to do and grow into giantresses.

BTW, these canes are quite different than the octopuses that some of Austins throw from time time. Rather, these are like flag poles: thick and shooting straight up.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

First thing is to check and make sure that you don't have multiflora rootstocks sending up a cane.

Do the leaves look like the leaves you know are right for the plant?


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

Thanks, Ann. Fortunately, they are not multiflora canes. The leaves and thorns are the same as the grafted plants. For Red Riding Hood, those two canes also came with flowers so I know for certain they are not multiflora taking over. Also, I have a lot of multiflora here, and my impression is that their canes are not that as stiff as these flagpole canes. Nor are they infected with RRD.


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

I had a similar experience with Lion's Fairy Tale that I mistakenly put at the front of the bed thinking it would be 3-4 feet at most. Like yours, this one sent out 6-8 feet canes that bloomed at the ends, and I'm way too lazy to move roses unless I really have to. In that case, I waited a year or two until I was sure the rose was well-established then whacked it off mercilessly at around 2.5 feet all around. It sent off these lovely well-branched canes from that point that still would rather be tall but can be kept to 4-5 feet with deep deadheading (pruning each spent branch back to around 2.5 feet after blooming). Now I have a bushy rose that blooms from 4.5 feet all the way down the cane to the shorter branches I prune more heavily, and it works OK at the front of the bed now that the bushes behind are more substantial.

I have Golden Fairy Tale and Red Riding Hood too, and they both want to do the exact same thing. Golden Fairy Tale can get taller where I have it, so I don't prune it as much, but I'm sure I'll have to do the same treatment to Red Riding Hood in a year or so. For now, I let the canes droop horizontally along the ground for RRH now, and I'll prune it back to let it bush up in the spring.

It's your choice to move them or prune them back like this, but they're not a naturally short bush in the way something like Pretty Jessica or Sharifa Asma is. If you really want to keep them below 4 feet it'll take a lot of training, and you're liable to prune out some bloom cycles.

Cynthia


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

This is like many of the Austin roses that respond to the heat and strong sunlight of North American summers by growing much more vigorously than they do in northern Europe. Most of the Fairy Tales are vigorous shrubs for us rather than the floribundas they apparently are in Kordes test gardens.

Kate describes how to deal with vigorous shrubs--keep cutting them back but preserve the branchings that result from pruning so you get more and more stems over time. Eventually the plant will produce fewer of the rogue broomstick canes. It takes a few seasons to beat these shrubs into line.

Lacking direct experience with a particular variety, it looks like the Fairy Tales should be spaced 4'-5' in zones 6-8. Does anybody have one that stays small?


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

I have three Sisters Fairy Tale (also known as Home and Garden) roses that were supposed to remain small, and that is why I got them. They are at least five years old. They do stay small and close to the ground in a fairly homely growth habit until September when they send up thick, stiff canes of six feet or so in all directions, not straight up, but at an angle. Then they produce buds at the very end of these ugly canes. They look awful. I do cut them back, but I hate to remove all those buds and blooms. This happens every year, rain or shine. I am just not impressed with the vaunted Fairy Tale series in this climate. This year one of the canes was so long, it stuck out over the driveway, and we would hit the darn thing when backing out. The deer came by a while back and pruned off the buds and blooms on the cane ends, so I have begun cutting them back. I should have done this weeks ago.
Next spring, Sisters FT will start out small, as usual, I'm sure, and end up looking like a spider when September rolls around. Maybe it's "dressing up" for Halloween. Diane


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

Thank you, Cythia, Michael and Diane! I now know what I should do. I still have one spot in the back of my bed that I can move Golden to next spring. For Red Riding Hood, it will be heavy pruning next spring.


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

I moved a Pomponella and had to cut it back when I did. It bloomed fine after cutting back so thats what I do now. As Michealg said, I try to save as much branching wood as I can. I am letting my Lion's rose get large. He is doing very well but as everyone says, he throws out long angled canes. I have a Larissa in a 15 gallon can that is staying smaller ( maybe the pot is dwarfing it? ) It's a good bloomer but I don't get the pretty darker centered flowers- they are all light pink all over. I really wanted the color contrast and I think its too warm here for it to happen. I'll probably give Larissa away.


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

Glad the collective advice helped, farmer duck - at the least, you know you're not alone!

Michael, you'd asked about a Fairy Tale rose that actually stays short. For me, so far (in its second year), Kosmos Fairy Tale has stayed around 3 feet and it's in prime sun in at least one location. Elegant Fairy Tale has stayed 3-4 feet so far in partial shade, but the jury's still out. Floral Fairy Tale took a while to get up to the kind of leggy height the others are showing, but it doesn't look to be actually short.

Just my two cents. There are other Kordes roses that do stay short, but for the most part, don't expect it of the fairy tale series.
Cynthia


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

Farmer Duck, you and I have been having the same thoughts!
I'm glad to see this advice on pruning. But I still don't understand how to prune 12 ft canes to get a branching bush...can anyone really dumb it down for me?
My canes on Kosmos and Golden Fairy Tale are 15 feet long and very dangerous! Thick and stiff, just as you described. I tried to drape them a bit to get some laterals but thus far, nothing. Both of mine were bare root on MF this spring.
I have no idea how to prune this rose but I'm definitely going to have to move it.
It's good to know that Kordes roses are larger than estimated.
I find the same of Geschwind roses. They are HUGE. It's busting out the laterals and thanks to MichaelG I'm making sublaterals too. I cannot wait to see it bloom.
Also my Fairy Tale roses have only put out a few blooms each.
Susan


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

Caramel FT and Floral FT have very different growing patterns for me. Caramel wants to be a small climber. I just let it arch over for the first flush (it would do well by being pegged), and cut it back a lot after the flush was over. It came back nicely, rebloomed well. Floral has stayed relatively small (3') with a good shape. Caramel blooms better for me than Floral.


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

Caramel is so dang STIFF and THICK. Im curious if it is growing at the expense of flowering as I didn't have hardly any blooms this year....
Thanks!
Susan


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

Susan, whack the rogue canes back to 3". You can let them bloom first or not. Then the cane makes 2 or 3 laterals; cut these back to 2 or 3 leaves each and you get more branches. Etc.

Or, if the canes are flexible and 4-7' long, bend the cane in a hoop and tie it to its own base ("self-pegging"). It will make 3 or 4 laterals at the top of the arch. You can cut off the outer/downward section later if you want.

Or, something that works with some varieties not others is to pinch out the growth tips of strong basals when they are about 14" long. Be sure you get the fleshy growth tip, not just leaves. Some roses will branch in response, others will make just one shoot and keep going up.

Most shrub roses have an awkward adolescence. You have to be patient and work with them for a few years, just as you know your daughter won't be 13 forever.


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RE: What's with these two Fairy Tale roses?

What Michael said. All I'd add is that you want to whack the cane back lower than what you want it to end up being, since the rose will usually sprout more than one cane out from the cut place - that's where the branching comes from. So if you want to keep the rose around 4 feet, cut lower than 3 feet so you have room for it to grow up and branch, then keep trimming those later branches like Michael says.

If you want to keep any of these roses below 4-5 feet, I don't think even this method would work, and you'd need to move them somewhere where they can grow.

Cynthia


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