joshtx

Marechal Niel in Texas?

joshtx
August 23, 2013

I would appreciate if anyone has experience growing this rose in Texas. From what I read on the forums, it is a finicky sort. If at all possible I would like to avoid a potential dud. Any info is appreciated!

Thanks!

Josh

Comments (58)

  • joshtx

    Mr. Manners,

    If it is not too forward of me to ask, I would be interested in one of your grafted versions should one be available and it would be convenient for you. I have a shed that is begging to be eaten by this beautiful rose!

    Mrs. Jennings,

    How long did your plant take to become established and reach maturity? Does it bloom reliably on its own roots?

    Josh

  • hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

    See if K&M will bud one for you. You might have to provide them with an MN plant to use, but then perhaps they could offer it commercially as well. Win-win?

    Here is a link that might be useful: K&M roses on fortuniana

  • alameda/zone 8/East Texas

    Josh, there was an older lady with a very interesting nursery here in town - am sure she has long since passed away, her nursery site is now our post office. I started learning about roses from her. I recall she was looking for a Marechal Neil as it was one of her favorites. I found where it could be ordered. She said it required alot of coddling and was a very particular rose. Not sure if she ever got one but I think of her fondly when I hear about this rose. Have never tried to grow it myself due to it possibly being difficult. If you need something that doesnt need coddling to grow on a shed, Larmarque is beautiful, as is Rev d'Or. I want to try Juane Desprez, saw it at ARE and it was gorgeous. Even if you cant get it on Fortuniana, I would just order the rose and give it a try. It might do great for you!
    Judith

  • jaxondel

    Josh, Hoovb's K&M suggestion is worth investigating. Burling Leong used to accept scion material for special orders, so contacting her is certainly another possibility if you would be interested in a plant budded to Dr Huey.

    Pickering was once a source for MN on multiflora. Only a very few were available each season. It was a struggle for them to maintain the variety under their growing conditions, and they struck it from their list when they moved the operation from Pickering to Port Hope. In my garden (with attention to soil enrichment and pH levels), I found that MN performed well on multiflora -- certainly MUCH better than it did for me on its own roots.

    If you're successful in acquiring a plant that thrives in your environment, plan ahead. Provide lots of space and a strong support. And if you should ever determine that your plant requires pruning, approach that task with great restraint and trepidation (ie, fear and trembling).

    Early one spring, my 5-6 yr old MN entered what appeared to be a death spiral. I called a consulting rosarian in another state who was especially knowledgeable about OGRs. Her first question: "Did you recently prune the plant?" My answer: "Yes." Her response: "Well, you REALLY need to know what you're doing before you start pruning THAT rose." My plant struggled on, but never really rebounded. It's now gone. Perhaps MN isn't as finicky if it has the additional vigor that Fortuniana roots can provide.

  • ms. violet grey

    For those in the know, what exactly is own-root Marechal Niel picky about?

    Soil, heat, cold, or unknown?

    I am an own-root snob, lol :)

  • joshtx

    Mauvegirl8,

    My suspicions are simply that it does not develop roots which are as efficient as other cultivars. Ideally roses will grow a root system which can support its future growth before the growth occurs. The roots form, adequate nutrients are taken up and stored in the canes, and those nutrients are then used to push growth. That growth is maintained because the root system provides a consistent renewal of energy stores proportional to the growth and new energy storing capacity.

    However since the root growth and efficiency system on MN is weak, it takes a while to build up this growing momentum, meaning the stores of energy in the plant are delicately balanced throughout the plant's life. As such, careful pruning must be used because removal of canes, which store energy, throws off this delicate balance. And without a strongly performing root system, the plant may rapidly decline as it lacks the ability to recover those nutrients in enough time to sustain the plant as a whole once it gets large.

    The reason it performs so well grafted is due to replacing this poor root system with an artificial model which is much more efficient as uptake, recovery, and growth. I like you am an own root enthusiast, due to a hellacious and ongoing war with an incredibly invasive Dr. Huey, but in this case it would be prudent to graft this rose. While it seems this rose may contain the genetics to produce a beautiful plant, it may also lack the genetics to produce an adequate root system.

    However, I by no means have any grounds for this claim and I do not even own this plant. Therefore, I would highly discourage anyone to take this post as authoritative or scientifically sound in any manner. Perhaps someone with much greater experience and knowledge may be able to confirm my hypothesis or reject it, but I will be the first to say that this post was merely "thinking out loud" based on my knowledge of plant biology.

    This post was edited by JoshTx on Mon, Aug 26, 13 at 18:10

  • ms. violet grey

    Josh, "thinking out loud" is a good thing.
    I think you nailed the complexity & fragility of
    Marechal Niel. Just because...

  • malcolm_manners

    I think Josh's ideas on the reasons for MN's weakness are probably as good as any.

    For anyone wanting to graft it, It has been my experience, after more than 25 years of propagating it, that budding is not easy. Possible, but with a low success rate, and even the buds that live often don't make a nice clean union -- they'll have cracks or holes in them that will later rot out.

    The method that has worked well for us is to bench cleft graft them -- that is, graft with a 2-3-leaf scion (leaves still attached) with a V-shaped wedge at the base, grafted into an unrooted cutting of 'Fortuniana with a vertical slit in the top to accommodate the scion wedge. Leave at least 2, preferably 3 or 4 leaves on the 'Fortuniana' section as well. Wrap with grafting rubber strips or plastic tape (rubber works better for me). Wound and hormone-treat the base of the cutting, and root the whole thing under mist, as the graft heals, in full sun. Under those conditions, we approach 100% success, with nice clean unions forming. This is a very popular method with 'Fortuniana' for other scion varieties as well, but with most other roses, I normally prefer to chip bud them. I just have not had a lot of success with chip budding MN. (T-buds are difficult with 'Fortuniana', since the bark tends to splinter and shred).

  • windeaux

    Josh's ideas may "probably be as good as any", but they don't account for the fact that some own-root plants of 'Marechal Niel' grow and produce like gang-busters. A friend near Beaufort, SC (who, long ago, posted on these forums as VLakin) has a remarkable 'Marechal Niel' grown from a cutting she filched from a garden in Charleston. I rooted two cuttings from her plant -- I kept one and gave the other to my sister in Birmingham. Both were coddled and pampered as per VLakin's detailed instructions. Both amounted to ZERO.

    Maybe karma demanded that WE payed the price for V's larceny.

  • joshtx

    Windeaux,

    For the sake of science I would love to know what the soil composition, water regimen, sun exposure, and weather conditions surrounding VLakin's MN are. While there are the odd few MN which do perform like champs, I wonder if perhaps it is due to a variable we cannot control.

    Josh

  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Since I am here and reading this I guess I'll throw in my two cents worth of experience.

    I bought an own root Marechal Niel probably 15 years ago from a local nursery that got their inventory from Chamblees. It was planted in a raised bed with rich soil and while it didn't grow huge it did well. After a few years time some near by trees grew large and in their partial shade it declined. When transplanted with great care it died.

    Fairly recently I bought M.N. on fortuniana roots along with several other roses. They all did well except for M.N. Although I coddled it best I knew how it just sat there, grew very little and finally quietly passed away.

    A nursery in New Braunfels,Texas had a huge specimen that grew well for a long time. I'm guessing it was own root as this was in the days before roses on Fortuniana roots were readily available. Then one year it was gone. The nursery owner guessed it was because of the heat and drought we were experiencing at the time.

    It is among my very favorite roses and well worth a try especially if you find a grafted specimen.

  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    I wanted to add the fact that Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison was growing on the other side of the arbor from where Marechal Niel was planted. It survived.

    By the way, I'm in San Antonio.

  • thonotorose

    MY MN came from Way sides just before they began to fold. That was about 15 years ago. I assumed then that he was grafted on whatever they used.

    I planted it straight into Florida sand not knowing much about enriching soil. It was against a white house in the western sun with late shade. It just sat there for two years then sent out an eight foot cane which never bloomed or grew.

    In another two years, we moved to this place and I dug up MN, brought it here in a bucket and planted straight into swampy sand, with limestone and toxic rubble fill. (I knew better, but was stressed for time and energy.) I looked for, and noticed no graft at this time. So I believe mine is own root.

    It is shaded by a large oak and mostly gets sun in summer and fall. He took off, shooting canes all over and bloomed for the first time.

    Since then, he blooms twice a year and continues to show health and vigor. However, due to his horrific thorns, I decided to move him so that hopefully he would grow into a tree and have more sun.

    In preparation for that move, three years ago I pruned him back to one very long cane. Life intervened and he wasn't moved. He did recover and has once again leapt out in all directions.

    I still intend to move him at some point. Perhaps this winter...

    This is surely an unusual rose with a very unusual response to my butchery or perhaps I have a look-a-like instead. Duchesse d'Auerstadt maybe?

    My rose:

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ

    Four things:

    1) I think another issue with this rose is that it probably has acquired a bunch of viruses over the years of being grown primarily budded (not necessarily RMV, but other little buggers that simply interfere with vigor). The variability with clones might have to do with their respective viral loads.

    2) Another possibility is that there are two roses being grown under this name, which could account for the discrepancies with regards to vigor. One of the old references listed on HelpMeFind discusses that:
    http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=2.4102&tab=7&qn=5&qc=b
    Look at the "Journal of Horticulture, Cottage Gardener and Country Gentlemen" reference from 1867.

    3) If you do decide to go with own-root, I highly recommend trying my potting method. It's what I did for bands I got this Spring, and I'm astounded at how much almost all of them grew (a few that arrived REALLY tiny took longer). The medium was equal parts by volume of peat moss, Bovung dehydrated manure (from Home Depot, in the yellow bag), and hardwood mulch. If it comes really tiny, use a 1-gal pot. If it's got a little size, use a 2-gal. Sprinkle Jobe's Organic Knock-Out fertilizer in layers as you fill (1/2 cup for 1-gal, 1 cup for 2-gal). When filled, give a first-soaking with a fish/seaweed emulsion diluted at half the recommended strength (I used 1 tablespoon per gallon of water). The liquid gave a fast non-burning feed, the cow manure kicked in after, followed by the organic granular (based on how long they take to break down). The wood mulch in the mix allowed for air space but also held water like little sponges when it rained. I kept hearing how 'Jaune Desprez' would be very slow-growing, but mine really took off with this potting mix. I planted it at the base of my Japanese maple and fanned out its canes around the trunk. Laterals are shooting up all along them now, and it's blooming again (I decided to stop pinching flower buds for the rest of the year). I made a thread showing how some of mine were growing so fast:
    http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/rosesant/msg0611414417374.html

    4) If you want a rose that is somewhat similar to 'Marechal Niel', consider 'Ley's Perpetual', which is offered by Rogue Valley Roses. See links below, as well as its description at Vintage Gardens under the Tea-Noisettes:
    http://www.helpmefind.com/gardening/l.php?l=2.17284
    https://www.roguevalleyroses.com/rose/leys-perpetual

    I almost got 'Marechal Niel' myself, just to try and see if I could luck out with getting it to grow. Then I realized "Ok, what if I do? Where would I plant it?"

    :-)

    ~Christopher

    This post was edited by AquaEyes on Tue, Aug 27, 13 at 22:51

  • jaxondel

    You were very wise to have pondered the "where would I plant it" question, Christopher. In your locale, I think a greenhouse would be the only rational option.

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ

    Basically...

    :-)

    ~Christopher

  • malcolm_manners

    Christopher, While there surely must be virus-infected MN plants out there, ours tests clean of every known virus for which we or the UC Davis folks normally test. And it has been heat-treated AFTER all the testing, just to be sure. That still doesn't mean there are no viruses there; just not the common tested ones. And as I said, our plant on 'Fortuniana' is exceedingly vigorous. But exactly the same clone, grown own-root by others, is not vigorous. So again, while there may be other clones out there, that's not necessarily the case here.

    One other observation I've made about this rose is that it is less forgiving of hard pruning than any other rose I know. Even a moderate pruning can kill it outright. And it may sulk for months over a very light pruning. It's just a weird rose.

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ

    One of these days, when my landlord finally gets my enclosed back porch finished, I just may pester you (Malcolm) for a cutting of yours to try. The enclosed porch gets a lot of light, and I intended to use it for wintering-over any plants that couldn't survive outdoors. If yours went through heat treatment, at least that gets rid of one possible hurdle.

    Malcolm, isn't the one at Vintage Gardens from you? If theirs got to be big, I guess it must be possible. Maybe it's just too finicky to make it under "normal" own-root band rose care. I like the idea of challenging pets. Did I mention the 22yo male DYH amazon parrot who lives with me and has a history of attacking my former roommates? Did I mention I now live alone?

    :-)

    ~Christopher

  • malcolm_manners

    Yes, I suspect Vintage's plant may be from us, although they had a reasonably vigorous one before we did. And yes, there's the mystery -- a known clone that is weak for some people is strong elsewhere. So climate and soil must be involved.

    As Josh suggested, I tend to believe that this rose lives "on the edge" of carbon/energy balance more than do most, maintaining relatively little stored starch when on its own roots. That would be particularly stressful in hot climates (hence, Vintage should be able to grow it well on its own roots whereas we shouldn't). But that is likely not the full explanation, since there are known good and known very bad (dead) specimens in Texas, which of course is hot for part of the year.

  • alameda/zone 8/East Texas

    Christopher, this is probably a silly question but what kind of hardwood mulch do you use with your potting mixture? I am going to Home Depot today and plan to look for the dehydrated manure, would like to try your potting formula but not sure what kind of mulch you used. Does it have a brand name? Thanks.Judith

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ

    I didn't pick it because of anything other than that it was the cheapest I could find with a nice mix of particle sizes and shapes. I used the mulch to break-up the peat moss and manure mix. When the wood gets wet, it swells a little. As it releases moisture, it shrinks a little. This makes for small air spaces within the soil, but not so much that roots dry out. Basically any wood mulch would do, but here's what I got.

    :-)

    ~Christopher

  • ms. violet grey

    Marechal Niel - shrub or a climber?

  • malcolm_manners

    Mauvegirl8, A happy Marechal Niel is perhaps the most vigorous of all climbers. Not merely a house-eater; a city block eater in about 10 minutes!

  • jaxondel

    Malcolm Manners: Re your Marechal Niel, you state that it " . . . tests clean of every known virus for which we or the UC Davis folks normally test. And it has been heat-treated AFTER all the testing, just to be sure. THAT STILL DOESN'T MEAN THERE ARE NO VIRUSES THERE; just not the common tested ones."

    Could any of those not-tested-for viruses that might possibly remain in a treated/tested rose ever visibly manifest themselves? If so, might the evidence of their presence resemble other, tested-for viruses? Thanks.

  • daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

    I prune my Marechal Niel, but only enough to keep it on it's bower.
    It is grafted, but I don't know which rootstock was used.
    I sit under it a lot at the moment, as it provides the deepest shade.
    Strangely, it's perfume is stronger at this time of year than it was in early summer.
    This is the view from the bench underneath.

    {{gwi:301726}}

    ...and from the other side.

    {{gwi:301727}}

    The heat has flushed the outer petals. In early summer, they are just yellow.
    Daisy

  • malcolm_manners

    Jaxondel,
    No, these roses show no visible symptoms of any viral disease, ever. But roses, like many (most?) plants may contain "cryptic" viruses -- so-called specifically because they do not show any specific visible symptoms. Of course that doesn't mean they have no effect -- they may reduce vigor or longevity or affect some not-so-obvious factor.

  • joshtx

    Ahh Daisy....I am so envious....

  • floridarosez9 Morgan

    Daisy, that's just beautiful.

  • MaryAliceTX

    I transplanted my MN from my parents' yard in Southern Mississippi in 2009. The first year it just sat there, barely growing an inch or two, but the next year - WOW. Some days it grows so fast I swear I can see it. I finally mounted a wire sort of trellis on to the side of the house and grew to fill it in just one growing season. This year will be the first time it blooms on my wall and it's absolutely covered in blooms. I can't wait - they are just now starting to open.

  • portlandmysteryrose

    Do growers ever intentionally remove blooms from their Marechals? Given that Marechal could bloom itself to death when raised (back in the day) to produce florists roses, perhaps selective "flower pruning" could increase its vim and vigor. This wouldn't help young, non-flowering plants get a start, of course, but would it help more mature plants continue to thrive? I've been curious, so I thought I'd throw out this question here on this thread resurrected by Mary Alice. And congratulations on your MN success, Mary Alice! Carol

  • nikthegreek

    Daisy, if you have obtained your MN from a UK source it most probably is grafted on Laxa rootstock (R. canina 'Laxa').
    Nik

    Here is a link that might be useful: Laxa on HMF

  • daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

    My Marechal Niel had to spend it's first year in a pot as I was not ready to plant it. I did not remove buds, only dead headed it. When it was finally planted, it took off straight away. It blooms all through spring, summer and autumn. In the winter it is evergreen but does not bloom then. Possibly because it faces north and gets no sun at all in winter.
    Here it is this spring.

    {{gwi:301728}}

    {{gwi:249243}}

    Looking down on it from above.

    {{gwi:249242}}

    {{gwi:301729}}
    Daisy

  • portlandmysteryrose

    Daisy, your MN blooms next to orange blossoms, doesn't it? I think I remember that from another thread. Wow! Whatever it takes to please this persnickety rose, you've got it! How old is your plant? Carol

  • daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

    Carol, it has been planted in the garden 5 years now. It grows well. I have to hack it back now it covers the arbour, in late summer.
    Daisy

  • malcolm_manners

    Here's a shot of 'Marechal Niel' on 'Fortuniana' roots, starting its rapid climb up a new arbor, 15 feet tall by 16.5 ft. wide, in FSC's new garden. I'm using two of them, at opposite ends. I expect they'll cover it within a year. (Scroll around in that photo set for more photos of this rose, as well as the arbor it occupies).

    Here is a link that might be useful: Photo of MN

  • portlandmysteryrose

    Dr. Manners, those MNs are so vigorous! I've only seen this rose a couple of times, and it's such a puzzle. It really thrives on your Fortuniana stock in FL. Your specimens look fantastic on the turquoise structures. Daisy's is apparently very happy on its (probable) Laxa rootstock. I'm not sure on what stock the MNs I encoutered grew. Has anyone done rigorous side by side testing, measuring the variable soil, rootstock, climate conditions, etc.? I can't think of another rose that is such an enigma. Carol

  • MaryAliceTX

    hmmmm, ok, looking at these pictures, I'm wondering if I have identified mine correctly. My mother always said it was a MN, but it has more delicate blooms than the picture that Daisy posted, little or no fragrance and while it blooms profusely, it only does so once in the spring and is evergreen the rest of the year. It's just now starting to bloom so I'll take a good picture in a few days.

  • portlandmysteryrose

    Mary Alice, whatever rose you have, I'll bet it's lovely. It sounds like such strong grower and it's wonderful that it came from your parents' garden. From whom did your parents acquire the rose? I'm looking forward to seeing the photos, and if your rose is not Marechal, there are lots of IDers on this site. Carol

  • malcolm_manners

    MaryAlice, ours is quite fragrant and constant-flowering, so I do wonder what you've got. Malcolm

  • MaryAliceTX

    Here are some pictures. As you can see, it's a pretty agressive grower. The buds are pretty small and delicate and have no fragrance. I'd love to know what it is for sure! According to my cousin, it was transplanted from a distant relative's home in far north Mississippi and our mothers always said it was a MN. (I hope this photo sharing thing works!). Thanks everyone!

    Here is a link that might be useful: flickr pictures

  • boncrow66

    Hey there Josh, I came across this thread while I was researching MN I was wondering did you ever get MN and if so did you get it grafted?

  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    What is MaryAlice's rose in Texas?

  • Perma n’ Posies/9A FL

    Bumping this one, as I’m researching for my new baby MN.

    Any thoughts on the ID of Mary Alice’s lovely climber? Many thanks! :-)

  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    Perma, how is your MN doing?

  • Perma n’ Posies/9A FL

    It’s doing great! Only a bit spotty. It actually grew (about double in size) with all our heat. I put it in the ground in May, so it’s probably going to kick into gear now that we’re getting a break in the temp. Pic taken 5 mins ago! :-)

    I think he might want some food, which he’ll get this weekend.

  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    Thanks Perma, he sure looks happy! The reviews on this rose scare me!

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    Ive tried to post pics of my MN here twice. Shows they loaded but when I hit submit it never shows. Anyhow MN loves NE FL. I have 3

  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    Sultry, I would love to see your pictures, too bad houzz is not cooperating

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    2 of mine are new babies and one is about 3 yrs now. The oldest one is quite tall and drapes over a gazebo type trellis because the blooms do nod so you want it up high so the blooms can peek down at you. If you have leaf cutter bees, they will love MN! I bought the 2nd two MNs just for them. They make little circle cuts in the leaves and they prefer MNs new spring foliage over every rose in the garden. They make their little bee nests with them. It doesnt hurt the rose at all. We put up a bee block for their house on a tree a ways behind my oldest MN.

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    I just tried to add pics again 3 times..they are a smaller sz..it shows they are uploaded then I submit..they dont..Arrgg. I might have to download the app

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