strawchicago

Best own-root roses for your type of soil, planting zone and rainfall?

strawchicago
October 7, 2019
last modified: October 7, 2019

Val from sandy & high-rain Florida works for Rose Petals Nursery and she joined me in documenting what OWN-ROOT roses are best in what type of soil, and the amount of rainfall. Khalid from hot climate Pakistan up to 113 F (with monsoon rainy period & also dry and hot spell) also documented which own-root roses did best for his loamy soil. Lavenderlace in Texas has both sandy soil and clay soil in her garden. She spent time documenting which OWN-ROOT roses do best in sand, versus the ones in clay. I have heavy black gumbo clay with high rainfall (40+ inch in short summer), zone 5a, and I documented which ones like it drier & alkaline, versus which one prefer lots of acidic rain as OWN-ROOT. See links below:

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/3959128/roses-on-clay-vs-sand-in-hot-climates-and-cold-climates#n=48

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/4307542/best-soil-and-ph-for-different-roses-plants-your-goals-and-plans#n=31

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/4346048/roses-that-perform-well-on-own-roots#n=129

What own-root roses do best for your soil and amount of rainfall? Thank you.

Comments (38)

  • strawchicago

    When I researched on Easy Does it, one person in HMF mentioned that's the ONLY ROSE that does well in his/her sandy soil. Since I have heavy & dense clay I avoid such. What I notice is OWN-ROOT roses with THIN & SLENDER LEAVES or TINY LEAVES prefer LIGHT & LOAMY SOIL (less minerals). But roses with LARGE LEAVES prefer HEAVY SOIL with more minerals like clay. It takes more minerals to form larger leaves. Check out the SMALL leaves on Easy Does it, pic. below:

    https://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=21.309462

    Compare that to the LARGE LEAVES of Betty White, which thrive in my heavy & alkaline clay. Betty White also has glossy foliage (need more alkaline minerals).

    https://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=21.306008

    In the same way, white pine trees (with slender needles) thrive in my sister's sandy soil, but they turn yellow & wimpy in my heavy clay. In contrast, Norway Spruce (with large & thick chubby needles) thrive in my heavy clay. WILLIAM MORRIS rose with tiny leaves died in my soaking wet heavy clay, but is Khalid's BEST OWN-ROOT in loamy/sandy soil at 110 F in Pakistan.

    For own-root roses: LARGE LEAVES prefer HEAVY CLAY, but SMALL LEAVES prefer LIGHT SOIL (sandy or loamy).


    My best bloomers in heavy dense clay have LARGE LEAVES as own-roots: Bolero, Frederic Mistral, Liv Tyler, Dee-lish, Princesse Charlene de Monaco, Lavender Crush, Stephen Big Purple, Pat Austin, Betty White and Crown Princess Magareta. My worst performers have SMALLER LEAVES: Golden Celebration, St. Cecilia, William Morris.


    Also the LESS-THORN or almost THORNLESS roses need LOAMY SOIL: Duchess de Rohan, Gene Boerner, James Galway, Zeph. Drouhin, Annie L. McDowell, Twilight Zone, Old Port, Queen of Sweden, and Lagerfeld. These also require more water to bloom.


    In contrast, the VERY THORNY or full of prickles roses are more drought-tolerant & require less water to bloom: Mirandy, Comte de Chambord, Bridal Pink, Eyes for You, Radio Times, The Dark Lady, Mary Magdalene, the Squire, Wise Portia are THORNY own-root roses that bloom well during hot & dry.

  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    Thank you so much for all the information! I just hope I remember it all!

    strawchicago thanked oursteelers 8B PNW
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  • strawchicago thanked Plumeria Girl (Florida ,9b)
  • strawchicago

    My experience with glossy foliage: they prefer alkaline clay ... if there is too much acidic rain, alkaline minerals get leached out, then leaves become dull and wilt easily. Own-root Meilland "Sweet Promise 2007" has the most glossy foliage, and I constantly have to lime that to neutralize acidic rain. Own-root Evelyn also has glossy foliage. One time I put the outflow of my rain-barrel, dumping tons of rain on that one. Then it got up to 70 F, and it WILTED in partial shade !! So I topped that with ALKALINE pea gravel for minerals .. leaves became thicker, and no more wilting.

    Rain leaches out calcium (needed for re-growth of leaves), potassium (perky & thicker leaves), and magnesium (makes leaves shiny). Roses with glossy foliage have a higher need for such alkaline minerals. I tested dunking cut blooms in ACIDIC rain-water (pH 4.5 in Chicagoland) in different vases: with dolomitic lime, with red-lava, with pea-gravel, and with Azomite .. and the cut blooms in Azomite solution last longest in the vase, next is pea-gravel.

    Azomite is a fine-powder & easily absorbed by the stems. Sold cheap on Amazon, $10 for a large bag. After testing Azomite on many roses, I prefer that over lime, since Azomite has many trace elements, besides calcium & magnesium. I once bought Carefree Celebration in a pot at HomeDepot. Leaves were dull and wilting after weeks long of spring rain. So I soaked pea-gravel (pH 10) with different colors overnight in water, then used that water on Carefree Celebration. After 1 week, the leaves of Carefree Celebration became shiny & glossy with the many minerals from pea-gravel.

    GLOSSY FOLIAGE need alkaline minerals. Same with Aloha climber: leaves were dull in potting soil, then I planted in my heavy clay (with lots of rocks at bottom), and Aloha's leaves became shiny and glossy. Kelly in zone 4 (MN) has alkaline clay like mine. She sent me some cuttings and all the leaves are shiny & glossy and healthy. She tops her roses with limestone.

  • Lisa Adams

    All of the “Romantica”’ roses seem to love my alkaline clay soil. I get very little rain in a regular year here. Great to see you posting, Straw! ♥️ Lisa. PS. Lady Ashe does great here, too(sport of Aloha).

    strawchicago thanked Lisa Adams
  • jacqueline9CA

    My climate is Mediterranean - mild, wet (35+ inches of rain), winters (no snow at all); warm, dry summers (no rain at all for 6 months). I have over 150 roses, but almost none of them are modern. So, very few with "glossy leaves". I have a lot of warm climate loving antique roses such as chinas, teas, tea/noisettes, as well as hybrid musks, hybrid gigantias, and banksias. Except for the hybrid gigantias and banksias, all of them re-bloom (mentioning this because I keep hearing the old canard that "OGRs are all once blooming"). Also, many old polyanthas like it here. Soil (114 year old garden) is clay based loam. We irrigate during our normal 6 month drought from about May through Oct. All of my roses are now on their own roots, and doing fine. Roses which do not do well here are those who need a certain amount of winter freeze, those who hate hot weather, and hybrid teas, which get rust (I don't spray, and my roses don't need it). When we moved in here there were some hybrid teas which were on Dr. Huey, but Dr. Huey is VERY ENERGETIC in our climate, and was constantly putting up suckers, so we are down to about 2 hybrid tea roses, which I keep because they were originally planted by my husband's grandfather. PEACE was on Dr. Huey, but started dying from the top, so I ran to get a cutting from it, which rooted, and now I have a large plant of PEACE which is doing very well on its own roots.

    Jackie

    strawchicago thanked jacqueline9CA
  • jerijen

    Jackie -- Given your family history, I suspect that, whatever the original soil was where your garden is located -- it's been amended and improved and loved over the years, to the point where it's a paradise for rose roots ... and about any other sort of desirable garden plant.
    And thanks to Heaven, you are continuing that tradition.

    strawchicago thanked jerijen
  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    There are so many variables...I am in Houston, alkaline clay, but abundant rainfall. Miserable heat and humidity. No idea what does well. I am trying mostly own root since I had a few grafted Rose's die on me. I'm assuming dr. Huey? Dont know for sure tho.


    strawchicago thanked Rekha A 9a Houston area
  • strawchicago

    Rekha: We get roses in pots (grafted on Dr.Huey) shipped from Texas to Menards in Chicagoland. Dr.Huey-rootstock can handle both Texas and Chicagoland's heavy clay (I'm next to a limestone quarry). My black-gumbo clay pH is 7.7. Dr.Huey-rootstock HATES heavy clay soaked in acidic rain. 3 roses that are grafted on Dr.Huey died on me since I planted in poor-drainage clay, and we got tons of rain. Rain here is heavy, it fills my 50-gallon rain-barrel in 20 min. Dr. Huey likes it dry & alkaline like in CA.

    Dr.Huey NEEDS EXCELLENT DRAINAGE, LIKE A RAISED BED. I have to dig 3 feet wide x 2.5 feet deep to handle Dr.Huey's long-tap-root, which takes at least 1 hour in rock-hard clay. That's why I bought 120+ varieties of own-root roses for the past decade (less digging).

    This year It's humid here and ran lots in Chicago, I have to douse myself with mosquito repellant from June 1 to now (Oct. 7). Got bitten on my head by mosquito today despite tonight's temp. of 46 F, with weekly flood warning. See link below on discussion of Dr.Huey's problems.

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5800285/lavender-crush-question#24666162

    I also posted pics. of how Dr.Huey shrank in my soaking-wet clay in HMF:

    https://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=21.310719

  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    My soil is hard, dense, rocky, pale gray alkaline clay that is sticky, gooey when wet and like talc when dry. My climate is dry and triple digit in summer and rarely below minus 10 in the winter. We normally get a lot of snow.

    I have a few Austins grafted to Huey and also own root. I can tell no difference. They do fine but require a lot of water.

    French roses should like my soil, but I amend heavily with compost in the planting hole. My soil looks so dead I can't help adding something richer.

    Out of 5, my one Eden that is exploding with growth and bloomed all season gets drowned in rain water from the rain gutter drain pipe, which is acidic.

    Generally, my French roses are healthier and bloom more than the others.

    Quietness - so good, easily taken for granted. The perfect rose.

    Kordes roses can be very good or very bad here. Summer Romance and First Crush, three of each, grafted on Huey and own root. Big disappointments. All 6 gone. Pink Enchantment stayed band size for years. Gone. Earth Angel, beautiful bush and foliage, no blooms. Quicksilver, Cream Veranda and some of the Arboroses are good. Poseidon has been fabulous in every way.

    There is no pattern. My roses are an exercise in contradictions.


    strawchicago thanked flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA
  • strawchicago

    Thank you, floweraremusic (Andrea), for your desc. of your soil & climate and evaluation of own-root roses. When your soil is pale-gray-clay and like talc when dry, it means it's high in calcium. Calcium is essential for root and cane growth. No wonder own-root Rouge Royal gets so tall in your clay, versus so short in my black-gumbo clay. NO NEED FOR GYPSUM (CALCIUM SULFATE) for your clay. Gypsum makes my clay drier, but my soil test recommended gypsum.

    My zone 5a winter is -20 F below zero, but Chicago's strong wind makes the windchill factor to be -30 F. We have heavy rain in short summer, at least 38" annual rain, but less snow in long winter, only 23" of snow.

    My clay is deficient in calcium, due to high magnesium plus leaching of calcium in heavy rain. Soil test registered super-high in magnesium, magnesium is what makes clay sticky. A friend in Texas told me certain regions in Texas is so high in magnesium that it discolors the water.

    When it's dry & hot, my black-gumbo-clay turns rock hard into big chunks of sticky clay (the size of oranges). I used to pour vinegar to dissolve hard-clay, but recent years of heavy rain SOFTENED my clay. But I still have to use a knife to scrape off sticky clay from my shoes. Last evening I used 1 1/2 HUGE bags of gypsum (40 lbs. for $5 at Menards), to break up clay in advance for next spring planting. I learn my lesson to put gypsum MONTHS in advance, after killing 2 own-root roses with gypsum's instant acid (sulfate). Gypsum is so acidic that it breaks down hard-clay immediately, BUT it also destroy roots if applied at planting time.

    Chamblee's in Texas used to sell many own-root Austins like the Prince. Roses Unlimited NO LONGER SELL Christopher Marlowe, Pegasus, Mary Magdalene, Radio Times .. Heirloom roses NO LONGER sell them either. All of them are excellent for ALKALINE HEAVY CLAY ... nursery abandon old Austins, to add new ones. (cater to disease-resistant to compete with Kordes). The problem with Kordes or newer Austin: bred for disease-resistant, thus secrete LESS acid (nice for high-rain acidic areas like England), but NOT for heavy clay which needs ROOTS THAT SECRETE ACID to dissolve minerals for blooming.

    The older Austin own-roots have aggressive and chunky roots like Dr.-Huey. The Prince does well for Brittie's black-gumbo clay in Texas, but 3 Lady Emma Hamilton died on her as own-root. Austin-OWN-ROOTS that are no longer sold have chunky & woody roots like Dr.Huey that can go through rock-hard clay. They are: Scepter'd Isle, Wise Portia, Radio Times, Mary Magdalene, and Christopher Marlowe (all bloom well like Romantica Bolero in alkaline clay). I wish I had bought Pegasus since I love yellow. High Country Roses used to offer own-root Austins like Evelyn, W.S. 2000, many others.

    Evelyn with glossy foliage likes alkaline clay. I have lots of rain, but I would rather deal with blackspots than buying Kordes roses that are wimpy in heavy clay and died through my zone 5a winter like Deep Purple and Shocking Blue. Kordes Poseidon is loaded with blooms during any rain, but Savannah was stingy until I routed the rain spout and FLOODED that rose with acidic rain water (pH 4.5 here).

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    So interesting how roses do in different gardens that sound similar on paper. I have extremely heavy basic clay with intense rain (normally 45-50", but this year 60'+) and little snow, but it's been amended for so long (100yrs.) that the top layer is loamy and rich. When dry it is rock hard, but the roses seem to love it. I haven't had any wimpy Kordes; just the opposite, in fact. Two Summer Romance are huge.... too big for their allotment so I'm looking to move them. It's hard for me to find something else with a similar colour or fragrance, health and heavy bloom, so I'll just cut them down short next spring. Milano, Fire Opal, Bordeaux, Zaide, Florentina and Dark Desire are all vigorous growers, The wimpiest is First Crush, but I don't think it can compete with its neighboring Summer Romance. Only Dark Desire and possibly First Crush are grafted. Bolero is not nearly as robust and has not flourished in the same way, but I love it still.

    My Austins are a mixed bag and those OR such as Pretty Jessica and Scepter'd Isle are too small to judge. Molineux remains rather small, but that could just be it's growth pattern.I'm expecting better from JayneAustin, The Prince and Teasing Georgia. The others are all grafted. Straw, you might check withFreedom Gardens for any older OR Austins as they carry a huge variety OR. Not as cheap as the old Chamblees, but their prices are no longer anyway. Shipping for 3 is a flat $20. Email if he doesn't list what you want. He will custom propagate for the same price.

    The most vigorous other ORs have been Pink Pet, Chuckles, Chestnut Rose, Repeating Swamp Rose, The Fairy, Ballerina, Clotilde Soupert, Betty Prior, Gold Blush, Setina, Ghislaine de Feligonde and Ceske Praci Cest. The rest are holding their own so time will tell. I have high hopes based on early growth for Christian J and Jerabek's Peggy M. Many of these have only just gone in the ground after having lived in pots for 1-2 yrs. so I cant judge fairly.Cl, Pinkie continues to grow crazy since transplanting so no it's just a case of winter hardiness in her new spot. Of course, it probably goes without saying that New Dawn and Peggy Martin are strong growers OR.

    strawchicago thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • strawchicago

    Thank you, Vaporvac for your list of best performers as own-roots. Thank you for the link to Freedom Gardens for older Austin roses. I grew Scepter'd Isle as own-root (bought from Chamblee's) and it was EXTREMELY VIGOROUS & bloomed well, shot up to 4 feet in its 1st year. I gave it away since it took too much space, and the scent was like dirty-socks. In contrast, Charles Darwin refused to bloom. Charles has light green leaves, vs. DARK GREEN leaves of Scepter'd Isle. For my heavy clay, dark green leaves mean its roots can produce acid to consume minerals in hard-clay, versus pale-leaves means roots are wimpy and need fluffy soil, plus acidic rain to bloom.

    As own-root, Golden Celebration has LIGHT GREEN leaves and refuses to bloom until I made the soil fluffy. It bloomed better in neutral pH potting soil and acidic rain than in my alkaline clay. It refused to bloom with my pH 9 tap-water. Golden Celebration as own-root finally gave 10 blooms per flush only after I made the soil fluffy (like potting soil), and USED ACIDIC RAIN-WATER from my 7 rain-barrels. Al in Chicagoland stated that his GRAFTED-Golden Celebration does better than his own-root Golden Cel.

    Same with W.S. 2000: has pale-leaves as own-root. Very tiny in its 8th-years and blooms only if flooded with acidic rain water. Dark-green leaves like Perfume Delight, Intrigue bloomed lots in dinky pots at store, watered with alkaline-tap, but they are grafted on Dr. Huey. Own-root Stephen Big Purple has VERY DARK-GREEN leaves and bloomed well with my alkaline tap water, at pH 9, if SOLUBLE fertilizer is added.

  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Golden Celebration does the same thing here, in my alkaline clay. No blooms until a heavy rain, then buds appear as if by magic.

    strawchicago thanked flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA
  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    I've been wondering how both your SBP and Dee-lish are doing. It's great that FG has so many unusual roses that other places may carry, but are often OOStock. Scepter'd Isle must have the myrrh scent that some can't abide. I'm growing one from a small cutting and adore the fragrance!!! Noses are so different! : )) Thanks for the wonderful news that it's vigorous; it does seem to like blooming. Hopefully, Pretty Jessica will get on the program next next after she recuperates from being dug up by some animal. : ((

    strawchicago thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • strawchicago

    Vaporvac: Stephen Big Purple is doing well in its 8th-year, but one-cane wonder after my zone 5a winter, Dee-lish is most vigorous among my 128 varieties of own-root. Dee-lish is having 5 buds now at 44 F, down to 3 hrs. of sun in my zone 5a. I posted many pics. of both in Facebook group "Fragrant Rose Lovers", also in HMF, but NOT in Houzz (pics. rarely load).

    Re-post the code for own-root roses that I summarized in 2016 in Organic Rose forum:

    "Just went out to check all my leaves. Disease-resistant roses have 7-leafets like species or wild roses: Kordes Flower Carpet, Pat Austin and Tchaikovsky. Kordes Flower Carpet doesn't have mildew in acidic condition, but Knock-out (5-leaflet) has mildew .

    Other DISEASE-RESISTANT with 7-leaflets, these don't black-spot even with tons of acidic rain: William Shakespeare 2000, Duchess de Rohan, Excellenz von Schubert, Annie L. McDowell, Blue Mist, Poseidon, Cloudert Soupert, and Crown Princess Mag. ... all have leaves in set of 7. These can take wet soil and acidic rain well, like multiflora-rootstock. Multiflora has 7 to 9 leaflet:

    http://na.fs.fed.us/spfo/invasiveplants/factsheets/pdf/multiflora-rose.pdf

    The drought-tolerant & disease-resistant Rugosa has rounder leaves in set of 7 to 9, plus very bristly canes full of thistles, see pic. below:


    In contrast, black spot prone roses: Comte de Chambord and hybrid teas have leaves in set of 5, and much larger & round leaves. These prefer well-drained soil, and tend to blackspot in poor drainage clay and acidic rain.

  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    My Scepter'd Isle is very vigorous as well, 1 year 5', I prune it down. Blooms all the time.

    strawchicago thanked Rekha A 9a Houston area
  • strawchicago

    Pic. of my black-gumbo clay which cracks into large chunks when dry. Rose below is own-root Christopher Marlowe (older Austin) which likes my alkaline clay:


    Christopher Marlowe above don't mind my cold zone 5a winter & blooms well in partial shade. But The Prince and Jude the Obscure are VERY WIMPY in cold zone, Niels in Denmark, zone 5b noted that The Prince is pathetic in his cold climate, but vigorous when he visited a warmer climate. I tried 4 Jude as own-root and gave up & too wimpy for my cold zone 5a. Lady Emma Hamilton died as own-root for a friend in zone 5a. Own-root Jude the Obscure and Lady Emma Hamilton also died through Kelly zone 4 winter.


    Right rose website has good reviews on Austin roses: https://rightroses.com/jude-the-obscure

  • strawchicago

    Re-post tips for own-root roses compiled in 2016 in Organic rose forum. Would love to know if your experience match with the below. Thanks.

    "Austin roses, bred from a rainy climate, need acidic rain to bloom well, except for OLDER AUSTINS with dark-green leaves. Kordes roses, except for vigorous Poseidon, also need more acidic rain to bloom. Vigorous roots can produce acid for high-pH tap water or high-pH heavy clay.

    French Meilland & Romantica and vigorous hybrid teas (Firefighter, Dee-lish, Princesse Charlene de Monaco, Frederic Mistral) like my heavy alkaline clay. Albas, damasks, hybrid perpetual, and esp. Rugosas & hybrid Musk prefer sandy and loamy soil & need good drainage. Multiflora rootstock is best for high-rain & acidic loamy soil. Hybrid Wichurana (Dr. Huey) is best for drier & alkaline soil. Wichurana can handle rock-hard clay with its thick roots. R. Wichurana species rose has glossy foliage & mostly 5-leaflets.


    Tips for OWN-ROOT roses: PALE LEAVES prefer acidic rain and loamy soil. DARK-GREEN prefer heavy/alkaline clay & OK with alkaline tap-water.


    GLOSSY leaves need alkaline minerals (alkaline sandy, loamy, or clay). Savannah rose has glossy foliage & does well for Lavenderlace (alkaline sand), does well in my akaline clay (pH 7.7 with many rocks). But glossy-leaves Strawberryhill (Austin rose) failed in Tammy, TN acidic clay. Glossy-leaves Evelyn is the worst performer for Jess (acidic red clay in South Africa).

    TINY LEAVES prefer loamy & light soil. LARGE LEAVES prefer heavy clay.

    5-leaflet = modern roses, OK with alkaline tap-water

    7-leaflet with less thorn OR blue/purple color = multiflora & loamy soil & need acidic rain

    7-leaflet and many prickles = drought-tolerant with Centifolia or Rugosa genetics & prefer loamy/sandy & can handle hot & dry. Rugosa is known as "beach rose".

    Would love to know if your experience match with the below. Thanks !!

  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    True, my Jude the Obscure is terrible, I only get 2-3 blooms a year. I need to remove him, he is own root as well.

    strawchicago thanked Rekha A 9a Houston area
  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    I don't want to give up on Jude, but he's my third try, and even though he looks healthy, he doesn't bloom, so I ought to free up the space for a better rose. I keep remembering that fragrance from two years ago when he bloomed a few times and I couldn't help stopping and breathing in that heavenly perfume every time I passed by. Is there another rose with a similar fragrance?

    strawchicago thanked flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA
  • Protoavis z

    While my Jude isnt own root, its still terrible here in Sydney, Australia. It's one of the spottest roses ive grown and by fall the leaves are gross and refuses to drop them, it just looks like someone has been throwing black paint at it.

    strawchicago thanked Protoavis z
  • strawchicago

    Floweraremusic: Princesse Charlene de Monaco has great scent (similar to Jude). Jude is more guava-fruit, vs. pear-nectar for PCM. PCM is 7 feet tall now on Oct 9 as 1st-year own root (bought own-root from Regan in May). French Meilland roses like my heavy alkaline clay. I put too much gypsum (calcium sulfate) in PCM's planting hole last year which makes it so tall. One time I threw gypsum on Munstead Wood (in a pot) and it threw 3 feet long octopus canes. High potassium helps to control the growth & induce more blooming, but high-calcium grows more canes & taller roses.

    Even Parsley herb grows twice taller & thicker stem if planted in hard clay mixed with limestone & other stones, and the flavor is better. But the parsley herb grown in fluffy potting soil is wimpy & much shorter and has harsh flavor. I'm buying a bag of pea-gravel (different color stones) to put AT BOTTOM of planting hole for roses that like alkaline, with dark-green & large and glossy leaves. My neighbor has a bunch of Sweet Drift roses (French Meilland shrub) .. they have glossy foliage since she put pea-gravel AT BOTTOM of planting hole, then compost on top. Drift roses are prone to fungal diseases, but hers are 100% clean, despite being planted in a flooded area.

  • jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

    Not sure if this info helps this thread or not? lol

    Anyhow I live in Central Pa zone 6a...Soil is a combination of loam and soft clay...Very easy to dig planting holes... We get a average rainfall of 40 inches per year... This year was average but past 2-3 years we got way more rain than the average...Soil PH is 6.8

    We have a high water table because we have springs underground below us...So that probably factors into things...

    But anyways I have 3 roses that have done wonderful in my conditions...

    All own root...All 4 years or older roses....

    1. Double KO- looks good from Spring until Fall... Blooms heavy! Moderate grow rate here...

    2. Carefree Celebration- looks good from Spring until Fall. Blooms heavy! Grows very fast here...

    3. Miracle on the Hudson- looks good from Spring until Fall. Blooms heavy! Grows fairly fast here...

    Fungus Disease wise I can not say this for any other rose I have grown so far...

    NOW, I have had other own root roses that grew fast here but they got a high amount of fungus diseases so removed..

    Own roots that I removed...But grew fairly fast...

    Easy Does it rose, grew 2 different ones...Both grew fairly fast here but diseased very badly...removed!...

    Living Easy rose- same as above...

    Outta the Blue rose- same as above

    Sunrise at Heirloom rose- same as above

    Precious Platinum rose- same as above

    Liebeszauber rose...same as above

    Will add to above list later...

    Earthsong rose- Grows very fast here...Blooms heavy! BUT gets a decent amount of disease starting early September... (Just this year)...past 3 years it only had very minor fungus disease.

    Kordes roses I tried that have done very poorly here...

    Plum Perfect- poor everything here...Big flop

    Fiji - poor everything also...Big flop

    Do not if this helps any or not...lol


    Mister Lincoln is a stingy own root...Do grafted

    strawchicago thanked jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.
  • strawchicago

    Jim: I love hearing from you. Your honesty and humor always make me smile !! You make many people happy with your wonderful spirit. Looking back, I appreciate your company in Organic Rose in 2014. Too bad Sam NY came in and put so much stress in Organic Rose, his picking a fight with Bayer-spray group hurt me immensely. Sam NY picked a fight with many others & including me. So I left Houzz for years. Thanks to Floweraremusic informing me about certain questions being raised, I came back to answer them. I love your posts, Jim, please keep on posting. Having perfect roses IS NOT IMPORTANT, but the friendships and your "sunshine" personality is what it makes worth posting. Many thanks, Jim, for being my friend in Organic rose forum in 2014.

  • jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

    Thanks Straw! I agree!

    Sam disappeared...That's the ugly past...Here is to a lot better present and future!

    strawchicago thanked jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.
  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Strawchicago, I'm happy to hear that because I have 2 Princess Charlene plants and wouldn't mind having more. They are own root, new this year and growing and blooming at the same time. Very, very pleased with what I see so far and I love PCharlene's scent. I was never quite sure how to use gypsum - on top, at the bottom of the hole or mixed in.

    strawchicago thanked flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA
  • strawchicago

    Andrea: Acidic Gypsum is safest AT THE BOTTOM of the hole to loosen rocks below & help to convert rocks into available minerals for roots to use. Since I have chunks of hardened clay EVERYWHERE in the hole, I throw those chunks onto a garbage lid (face up), or into a bucket, and mix gypsum into those chunks. Within minutes, corrosive gypsum breaks up large chunk of clay into smaller particles. Earthworms are killed instantly with gypsum, same with roses' roots. For that reason I mix in gypsum 6 months in advance, so the rain can wash it down to CORRODE hard-chunks of clay, or rocks below. In spring I introduce new earthworms into my soil (made fluffy & broken down by gypsum).

    If you have "free-lime" in your clay, such as lighter-color clay (gray or yellowish) that becomes chalky or like talc when dry, then you DON'T NEED GYPSUM. Peat-moss, acidic at pH 4, works well AT BOTTOM OF PLANTING hole to loosen rocks. Its acidity is neutralized by the high pH of rocks. Peat-moss at the bottom of the planting hole holds water well, but peatmoss at the top dries out & hardens and repels water. I made the mistake of mixing peatmoss into the hole of Sonia Rykiel, the acidity hurt its root immediately .. leaves turned pale. I had to dig up Sonia Rykiel and replace the soil. Grass clippings is very acidic. One guy in the Garden-forum topped his rock-hard clay with grass-clippings. After a few months of rain, the clay below the grass clippings become loamy & fluffy. That's the logic for alfalfa pellets on top in alkaline region.

    To test for "free lime" or available calcium with red-cabbage-juice test: Pour the hot-red-cabbage juice into the soil sample, stir well, wait for 20 min. If the solution turns CLOUDY & WHITISH bluish, then I have "free" or "available" calcium. I have such brownish color clay, rich in calcium BELOW my black gumbo clay. Lavender Crush is grafted on Dr.Huey (a long stick), and I buried it deep into the calcium-rich layer below. It's over 7 feet now, compared to wimpy Veteran's Honor (only 6" root) that CANNOT reach down to the sub-clay below. Veteran's Honor root CANNOT produce acid like Dr.Huey-rootstock to break down rocks into available alkaline minerals like potassium, see pic. below:

    The advantage of using peatmoss (organic matter) is organic matter releases potassium (bound in minerals) into usable form. Peat-moss increases soil moisture, versus gypsum makes my clay drier. Both are best AT BOTTOM OF PLANTING HOLE, or mixed in months in advance. Both are acidic and hurt roses' roots if in contact with roots.


  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Thank you, Strawchicago, for explaining gypsum, what it's for and how to use it. I will skip it since my soil indicates I don't need it.

    And, thank you for coming back to answer questions and give us the benefit of your years of research and experiments with your roses. We are a somewhat smaller group now, all friends, and eager to grow the best roses we can. It is indeed good to see you here again.

    strawchicago thanked flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA
  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Protoavis, maybe it's time for us both to toss Jude out and plant something beautiful in his place.

  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    Flowers me too. Mine is dying, this summer was pretty bad. He wont bloom in part shade and full sun re is too much for him and he gets blackspot like mad. Only one cane left, I'm digging him out. I've never taken out healthy plants, but mine has a foot in the grave.

    strawchicago thanked Rekha A 9a Houston area
  • strawchicago

    It dawns on me that wimpy rose like Jude is best grafted on a climber like Dr.Huey root-stock, same with wimpy Nahema (climber). Both are stingy as own-root. Nearby rose park (alkaline clay) had Jude grafted on Dr.Huey. There were at least 10 blooms per bush, with deep yellow and many petals in geometric circles (prettier blooms than Golden Cel.). People were taking close-up pics. of its blooms with many petals ... compare to my own-root Jude with tiny blooms, double-petals, and faded color. I'm glad that I bought Young Lycidas as grafted, I got large blooms and many petals immediately.

  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    Yikes! i just planted Nahema own root. Forecast doesnt look good!! straw, since i'v already planted her, anything i can do to help her along?

    strawchicago thanked Rekha A 9a Houston area
  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    My OR Nahema grown from a small cutting is really putting on some nice growth since going in the soil this summer. She's about as vigorous as most at this point, but less so compared to Gold Blush and Florentina. I've seen quite a few blooms for such a new rose with an amazing fragrance. I wish Cori Ann still posted.... if hers is wimpy, there's no hope for any of us! : D

    strawchicago thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • strawchicago

    Rekha: Own-root Nahema DOES NOT like my heavy dense clay. Nahema prefers LOAMY, FLUFFY soil plus high rain. Nahema's parent is Heritage. Heritage gives heavy clay folks a hard time, but Heritage is the best performer for foiks in sandy soil & high rain. Nahema has semi-glossy foliage, so it requires alkaline-minerals and DOES NOT like poor-drainage clay which turns sour from slow-draining rain water. That's how my Nahema died. It bloomed well in a dry spot (if we have day-long-rain). Then I moved it to soaking wet & poor drainage clay and it died through my zone 5a winter.

    In HMF, Khalid posted the best pics. of Nahema growing in a pot from his hot Pakistan climate. He fertilizes with alkaline wood-ash and compost, and he mentioned that Nahema requires more water to bloom, and doesn't do well in high heat and drought. His Nahema in a pot does better than his friend's (growing Nahema super tall against a wall in the ground).

    Nahema has thick canes & thick leaves, thus requires more alkaline minerals (calcium & potassium). It doesn't like being pruned short (by winter-kill), and climbers don't do well in my zone 5a, unless they are vigorous like Crown Princess Magareta. With my -20 degree winter, CPM dies down to less than a foot, but it sprouts cane quickly as own-root, Nahema can't do such, it grows very slow as own-root in cold zone. In rooting roses, my own-roots grow faster if I root them in full sun with constant misting. So for wimpy own-roots, they grow better in full-sun.

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    Well I guess Heritage helps explain her fantastic fragrance. I had never look that up on her or I guess I forgot. I'm smelling her as I type. Did you replace your Naima straw? Why did you move it if it was doing well?

    strawchicago thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • strawchicago

    Vaporvac: Nahema was stingy in my heavy clay & dry spot, so I moved it to a wet spot, then it died in my zone 5a winter. I don't have the full-sun for Nahema. Jay-Jay in the Netherlands, zone 6, told me that Nahema blooms best in full-sun.

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    I can see how that would be the case especially in our zones and latitudes. I am finding the even roses that are noted for being shade tolerant prefer sun in my yard. Ballerina is one exception as is pink pet, gdf and Chuckles. M Marie paviei also take shade to a degree.

    strawchicago thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

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