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My first Austin...I'm nervous!

Posted by adanielo 6a (My Page) on
Mon, May 9, 11 at 21:11

Hello to all. I am a newcomer to rose gardening and just got my first Austin, Heritage. I am so excited but have a few questions!

I am a little perplexed about the transplanting from the pot (bought at a large local garden center). Do I plant with the bud union under the soil, at level, or above? From what I could tell from researching, I put the union just under the soil and piled loose compost and mulch over the crown.

I left the pot outside overnight and it rained. It was very wet when I took it out, and most of the potted soil fell apart, leaving the root exposed. One of the roots broke off (panic!). Is this detrimental?

I planted this near another climber in my yard, facing west. This was here when we bought the house and I have no idea what it is, but it grows like crazy and has tons of suckers. It gets about 4-6 hours of sun a day (noon afternoon). Would that be too much for Heritage?

Lastly, I planted on a cloudy day in the rain. I watered in well. Today (dry, partly sunny, but cool, 60s) the rose looks a little droopy. Should I be watering more, or leave it be? It supposed to be quite cool all week here, partly sunny.

Sorry for so many (naive) questions. Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: My first Austin...I'm nervous!

LOL just chill. Heritage will do fine there. You could probably run Heritage over with your lawnmower and it would still grow back if it's an own root. I typically bury the rose crown just under the soil to protect it from winter and the mulch fills over the rest. A lot of roses get droopy when you first plant them either due to shock or some of the broken roots. It should recover well. Keep it watered, but as long as the soil is moist, you shouldn't have any issues with it getting started. By this time next week, it will look better and it should be up up and away from there on out. Some people place some compost, manure, or in my case Rose-Tone fertilizer around the roses when they plant it. At any rate, it helps to use really docile fertilizer that is low in nitrogen but just enough of a "kick" to get going especially if the soil isn't the greatest....not a necessity though.

RE: My first Austin...I'm nervous!

Heritage is a great rose - my husband's favorite of all. Fragrant, robust, and a wonderful re-bloomer. It does get a bit of blackspot, but will grow right through it even if you don't spray. Be careful the neighboring rose doesn't send too many suckers Heritage's way - it could compete for food, water and sun.

RE: My first Austin...I'm nervous!

Welcome to the world of roses. Good for you for doing your research! Planting the graft just below the surface helps the rose survive cold winters and also helps prevent suckering from the rootstock.

The soil should not have fallen apart when you took the rose out of the pot. It means that the rose was not rooted, that it was still a new bareroot rose that the garden center has probably just potted up in the last few weeks. The growth on the rose is from stored energy and heavy fertilizing and has not been drawn from the roots--sort of like living off your own fat supplemented with candy bars. However, as Jeffcat says, Heritage is tough and it should recover.

Keep the soil moist but not wet, about like a well-wrung washcloth. If your soil is descent, don't add fertilizer. Roses prefer about 6 hours a day of full sun.

If your older, existing rose has simple red flowers and blooms only once a year, it is Dr. Huey, a rootstock, and is probably left over from another rose that has long since died. Feel free to dig it out. Get as many of those suckers as you can. Dr. Huey can live forever.

Finally, try to buy your roses from rose dealers, not garden centers. Roses Unlimited in SC, Chamblee's in TX, and of course, Vintage Gardens in CA all have good selections of Austins and are quality dealers.

RE: My first Austin...I'm nervous!

Thanks so much. I knew I just needed to calm down : ) Today the leaves look less droopy. My older rose blooms once a year but it's a blush/cream color, very pretty. Some years the leaves have been encrusted with what looks like rusty light brown dry spots, but it doesn't affect the blooms. I've hacked it back to nothing but stopped short of digging it out. I will look into those dealers as well.

RE: My first Austin...I'm nervous!

I've grown it for 20yrs and it's almost bullet proof, so relax.

RE: My first Austin...I'm nervous!

I think your new rose is going to do fine. One note though. When you planted the rose did you pat the earth down firmly around the rose? that is necessary. If it is too loose in the soil it will rock around and not take a firm grip and it will fail. I know this from experience, LOL. I usually try to mound some earth around the newly planted rose, about 6 or 7 inches away from the plant and make a rim to hold water, that way when it rains or when you water your rose you know it is getting a good drink.

Good luck and happy rosing.


RE: My first Austin...I'm nervous!

While jeffcat may have joked that you can run over Heritage with a mower and it would be fine, I can tell you it is totally true. We were doing some major renovation 2 yrs ago and poor little Heritage (a gallon from Chamblees)was unearthed by the big Caterpillar machine and MOVED accidentally to a different location. Then, she was left in the blazing sun with construction debris around her. The fool thing was BLOOMING when I went and discovered what had happened :D

Your Heritage will be just fine :)

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