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Roses before the rain

July 30, 2016

Just Joey


Peter Mayle - I had to bend it down, because it's a foot over my head!!

The centerpiece - always my favorite place of the yard.

Betty White

The Poet's Wife - smells like marigolds to me - yech. So far it's very floppy.

Pretty Jessicsa - it finally has an open bloom after two years!!! I think it's because of the cups with oil!!

Valencia with hardware to support its canes. Was hit really hard with strong winds and pelting rain. Yet, the flowers, themselves, always look pretty. IMHO it's the world's best rose!

Anyone else have pictures to add?


Comments (19)

  • Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a

    Wow so many blooms. That is such a relaxing place. The Blue Delphinium is what makes me like it. It completes and compliments the roses.

  • strawchicago

    Carol: fantastic pics and honesty about your roses .. thank you for the info. about stingy Pretty Jessica. Your Valencia is outstanding in blooms. I have Just Joey (just bought in June as a dry-Dr.Huey stick" .. very vigorous.

    I like Peter Mayle's deep color. Thanks for the info. on the yuck scent of The Poet's Wife. We got tons on rain recently, I saw 6 inch. of rain in my bucket in ONE DAY !! It rained so hard that the grass is all beat-up, roses' petals are all over. Will take some pics. later .. for August post.

  • rosecanadian

    Sam - yes, I love blue delpiniums!! The perennial garden really helps to beautify the roses and vice-versa.

    Straw - So how tall is your Just Joey?? Mine is only a foot tall!!! It has lots of roses, but after 4 years, it's still short. I'm thinking of giving it away based on its height. Yeah, that's the kind of rain we get. We never get gentle rain - it's been such a tough summer for my roses. It's disheartening.


  • strawchicago

    Carol: Above pic. is Just Joey bought as grafted-bare-root stick in June. Dr.Huey-rootstock doesn't like the acidic alfalfa pellets I put on top, so it broke out in blackspots. Pic. taken today July 31, after lots of rain.

    I don't like the shape of Just Joey .. it's short and very wide, and is blocking out Heirloom rose next to it. I don't smell any scent either. Does your Joey improve in scent in later years? Perhaps mine is too young.

  • rosecanadian

    It took about 3 years for it to get fragrance, and even now, it's nothing to write home about. :) Yeah, mine is short and wide too. I think I'm going to give mine away. It's a pretty rose...but there are lots of better ones. Besides which, I have Lucille Ball which is basically the same color, and it's a much better plant. Yours is very pale for Just Joey.

    Maybe you should cut your losses with it too??

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)

    My Just Joey was planted in a pot in end Jan this year. Has grown well so far and has nice moderate to strong fragrance

  • rosecanadian

    I guess it just needs more heat. Our usual heat here is between 20-24C. Not very warm.


  • strawchicago

    Mine is too young (bought as bare-root in June) .. we get up to 90 F or 32 C for the past week .. very hot & humid and Just Joey does great.

  • rosecanadian

    And it actually gets bigger than a foot high??

    I think Just Joey has to leave my yard. :)


  • strawchicago

    I'll give Just Joey more time .. Mine grafted on Dr.Huey rootstock needs a continuous supply of potassium to be healthy. When the pH drops, potassium levels also drops ... that's the problem with Dr.Huey-rootstock, breaks out in blackspot after roses done with acid-phosphatase for blooming.

    I finally realize that soft single-petals like Marie Pavie ABSOLUTELY HATE acidic gypsum. Broke out in blackspot when I gave it gypsum. SOFT SINGLE-PETALS don't need more calcium, it's the Austin-roses with zillion-petals that need more calcium.

    Some pics taken before all-day drizzling rain yesterday: Bouquet showing red bloom of Veteran's Honor compared to Pink Peace. Veteran's Honor likes gypsum to form its super-firm petals, which loves over 90 F heat. It lasts twice longer in the vase than Austin roses. Pink Peace has much softer petals than Veteran's Honor, and Pink Peace fries at over 80 F heat. Pic. taken Friday, August 12:

    Below is same bouquet, but I stuck Crown Princess Magareta in to compare Austin roses (light pink is St. Cecilia) with hybrid teas Veteran's Honor and Pink Peace.

    CPM blooms in cluster, so its orange bloom is smaller. Light pink St. Cecilia is 1st bloom for a tiny own-root, it will get larger later. The scent of St. Cecilia is best myrrh ever, can compete with Mary Magdalene. Mary is more frankincense, St. Cecilia is floral and myrrh.

    Below pic. was taken Friday, August 13 after a short rain. Red blooms are Gruss an Teplitz. Light blooms are Crown Princess Magareta .. both are up the hill. Note the long canes of CPM, that happened after I gave it gypsum. The canes kept breaking in strong wind, so I gave it gypsum and the canes became 3 times longer. I should had given it sulfate of potash so the canes end up with blooms, rather than longer ! But I'm out of sulfate of potash. I ordered 5 more lbs. of potassium NPK 0-0-50 at $16 from Amazon, will receive it on August 18.

  • rosecanadian

    Yeesh...so you mean that when I gave all of my roses a handful of gypsum, I'm just going to give them all octopus arms??? Oh no.

    Gorgeous flowers!! I love your Pink Peace!! I didn't realize that VH blooms are that large!! Impressive!!


  • strawchicago

    Carol: Yes, Austin roses get octopus arms with gypsum, today I chopped off two 3.5 feet canes or 1.06 meter canes from own-root Munstead Wood in a pot .. looks really silly with long octopus arms. That's from giving it granular gypsum, and soluble fertilizer NPK 4-3-2 (quite low in nitrogen).

    The ones that like it alkaline (Marie Pavie, Pat Austin, Dee-lish) broke out with blackspots when given gypsum (17% sulfur). The only ones that benefit from gypsum are WIMPY own-root roses which like it acidic: Geranium Red, Jude the Obscure .. these get taller with gypsum.

    Also multiflora-rootstock likes it acidic, and my wimpy Comte de Chambord (grafted on multiflora) did well with gypsum.

  • rosecanadian

    I gave all of my roses a shovelful of wet clay - do you think that may balance out the gypsum I gave them?


  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b)

    Straw: Your Gruss an Teplitz are absolutely stunning.... very healthy blooms.

    Thanks for the info that multiflora rootstock like it acidic. Many of my roses from UK are perhaps on multiflora root stocks but I am not sure. This is how some of them looked like when I received them....

    I am not sure what root stock these were. Any idea Straw?

    best regards

  • strawchicago

    Above is octopus arms on Darcy Bussell after gypsum on top. Pic. taken August 12.

    Carol: if your clay is high in potassium that will control the octopus arms. But if your clay is chalky (high in calcium) it will add more calcium and make the octopus arm worse.

    If your clay is heavy & gluey (high in magnesium) like mine, that makes it worse .. magnesium is the glue that holds tight to nutrients, including calcium.

    One person reported high-calcium & low potassium soil test, pH slightly alkaline .. and she gets thin long shoots, plus faded blooms. I use tons of gypsum to break up my hard-clay, but I always balance with high-potassium red-lava rock inside the planting hole, or watering with sulfate of potash (soluble potassium with NPK 0-0-50).

    I'm out of sulfate of potash as soluble fertilizer for pots, that's why I get octopus arms. Potassium makes the stem and leaves thicker, whereas acidic calcium (as in gypsum with 17% sulfur) will make the leaves and stems thinner, plus long octopus arms.

    Gypsum (acidic, with 17% sulfur) release of calcium is much faster than dolomitic lime. Thus gypsum is much riskier to use. I induced blackspots on a few roses when I gave too much acidic gypsum. TOO MUCH CALCIUM DRIVES DOWN POTASSIUM. Potassium is vital for disease-prevention. One year Evelyn lost all its leaves from rust fungal infection, after I dumped soluble gypsum around the bush.

    Evelyn likes it alkaline. Rust is very, very rare in my Chicagoland, happened only twice when I messed up soil's balance.

    I never see fungus growing on banana peels in my compost, but I see disgusting mold growing on slightly acidic organic matter, such as moldy citrus rinds, moldy strawberries, and white mold on alfalfa meal.

    If I feed roses alkaline & high potassium fertilizer, plus anti-fungal trace elements of copper & zinc & boron ... leaves become alkaline & richer in anti-fungal nutrients and less chance of fungal invasion. Fungus prefer it slightly acidic, fungus and pest gain entry easier when leaves become thinner as the pH drops.

    When I bought my 10 own-roots from Roses Unlimited, I was impressed at how thick the leaves were .. I wondered if RU used the $$$ potassium silicate. Too expensive for me to buy, so I spread 1 tablespoon of sulfate of potash around each own-root. A few waterings later .. and their leaves are super-thick compared to the control without sulfate of potash.

    Banana peels is very high in potassium, NPK of 0-3-42, that's 42 potassium compared to 50 potassium in sulfate of potash. Why roses are less healthy when it's acidic? As the pH drops, less potassium and calcium are available.

    In both rose-tissue analysis and hydroponics field studies, TWICE more potassium than calcium is recommended. I really don't need to give roses calcium: only when they are really tiny & wimpy as own-roots, or when it's right under rain-spout and there's leaching of calcium. There's only a few occasions that applying calcium was beneficial:

    1. Radio Times used to be right next to tree-roots that stole calcium. Tree roots also secrete acid that made the soil loamy. That rose stopped growing, so I gave it garden dolomitic lime (pH 9). It DOUBLED in size, and no more blackspots (leaves are more alkaline). I also gave it sulfate of potash.
    2. Bolero was under the rainspout, getting 32 gallons of water dumping on it every 1/2 hour. Lots of blooms for a tiny rose, but I notice less petals ... so I knew it needed calcium. I gave it Garden lime, and the petals count went up.
    3. Jude the Obscure is notorious for being wimpy own-root. Roots are like alfalfa sprouts, can't do acid-phosphatase .. so leaves are really pale. I gave it gypsum, and it doubled in size.

    Below is Munstead Wood with octopus arms at 3.5 feet, or 1.06 meter. Too much gypsum was given. Pic. taken August 12. It looks really silly invading Veteran's Honor next to it. Both pots get plenty of sun, no excuse for octopus arms.

    Each octopus arm has 3 buds, but I chopped them off. When I planted Munstead Wood into my clay, the root was solid, but didn't grow into 2-gallon as I expected, thanks to my being out of sulfate of potash.

  • rosecanadian


    I added heavy, gluey clay AND gypsum. Oh boy, I'm going to be sorry. I also just fertilized with my worm leachate. That probably made it worse too???

    Well, we've had two sunny days in a row - what a nice surprise! It's thundering now, though, so I'm sure we're going to have another deluge. :) Maybe that will leach away a lot of the gypsum. Do you think I should go and scoop the clay off of my plants?? I wouldn't be able to do it until Tuesday. What do you think? We've been getting tons of rain (as you know) and we might get a ton more...so it might be okay to leave it there?

    This chemistry stuff is vey hard for my brain to decipher. You really explain it...but my brain, just goes into mush. I had to work very hard to get low 60s in chemistry in high school, and it's just got worse since then. :) LOL


  • strawchicago

    Carol: Thank you for your honesty & sense of humor .. I hope I didn't scare you with my pics. !! Since your roses are grafted on multiflora it can take acidic gypsum well. I put gypsum on my Comte de Chambord (grafted on multiflora) and it's still small and compact.

    Khalid: Just saw your pics. of the bare-roots you got from England. Roses from England can be grafted on: R. Canine (I don't know much about it), Dr. Huey, or multiflora.

    Your pic. doesn't look like Dr. Huey, I saw fibrous and spreading-roots, but Dr. Huey is a straight stick down. Some info. about rootstock:


    " Manetti: A light pink Noisette used extensively at companies in California. Manetti has more flexible roots that do not break as easily as Dr. Huey.

    Multiflora: Has a tendency to pick up salts and is not happy in alkaline soil. This particular rose is very susceptible to virus

    Dr. HueyThe most commonly used as rootstock; it has a long budding season; they store well when bare-rooted and does well in all parts of the country."

    Connie of Hartwood Roses has a fantastic blog where she compared multiflora vs. Dr. Huey: http://hartwoodroses.blogspot.com/2010/02/roses-in-bags-sequel.html

    Below pic. belongs to Connie to show Dr. Huey rootstock (that's how the bare-root roses I bought for $7 to $5 look like early June: Just Joey rose as a woody stick, shorter than the below (more like a stump !!)


    Below pics. from Connie shows how fibrous & spreading multiflora-rootstock look. Khalid: your bare-roots look more like multiflora like the below:

  • rosecanadian

    No, Straw. :) I don't scare that easily. LOL

    Oh, that's good to know about multiflora being okay with acidic gypsum. Good. :)


  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b)

    Straw: Thanks for the information regarding Rosa canine and Rosa multiflora root stocks. Yes, my roses look more like multiflora root stock which like it acidic. Could it be canine? In any case I agree it doesn't look like Dr. Huey. I think I will have to keep the potting soil slightly lower in pH.

    best regards

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