Roses forum: David Austin shrub roses

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Name: Dan
Florida (Zone 9b)
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Daniel
Jan 3, 2015 4:31 AM CST
Are all David Austin roses very "Thorny"? Have you found this to be a problem in your garden? Also, do you know if they take a long time to become established and start producing lots of flowers? Any answers appreciated. Thanks Dan
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
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gemini_sage
Jan 3, 2015 9:24 AM CST
The thorns vary from one variety to the next, but it does seem many DAs have thorns like old roses. Some have more of an old rose growth habit, arching with long canes, which can be more troublesome than an upright grower- they seem to reach out and snag me with those thorns sometimes. Time to establish varies from one variety to another as well. Most I've tried have been susceptible to blackspot, which I'm thinking could be an issue in your area, but there again, that varies from one variety to the next. Are there specific varieties that you're considering?

You may want to check into Meilland's Romantica roses, they have old rose style blooms, but generally aren't as winter hardy as Austins. They may be better suited to warmer climates.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jan 3, 2015 5:22 PM CST

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According to our database, these Austins are thornless or at least relatively thornless:

Thornless Austins

As for establishment time, if I plant a grafted bare-root Austin rose now, I can expect it to produce lots of blooms by May in my zone. An own-root plant could take a year or two longer to get established.

Are Austins the right choice for Florida, however? If you're in a particularly humid zone, the abundance of petals in most Austin rose blooms could cause problems. I think the buds may not open all the way in times of high humidity.
Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
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Calsurf73
Jan 3, 2015 5:36 PM CST
Dan, When the DA roses became trendy here (in the '80's) I tried many of them. Back then, they said to palnt them in groups of 3 or 5 to create fuller, bigger plants. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore, however.
The majority of them just didn't do well in my Zone10a climate. They got every disease in the book, produced very few blooms, and the ones that did bloom fried in the summer heat and humidity we get.
As Neal stated above, the thorniness varies from cultivar to cultivar.

The only 3 DA's I have now are Wenlock, Pat Austin, and Mary Rose. For me, these 3 do very well here. I let them grow into climbers, not just bushes. They're no "thornier' than any of my other roses, just "average" I would say. I bought them pre-grown in 5g containers...so within 2 years they were producing a good amount of blooms and I like them very much.

It seems to me that most of the Austins do much better where summers are cool and not overly hot and humid.
Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Region: California Hummingbirder Farmer
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Calsurf73
Jan 3, 2015 5:39 PM CST
Sorry Zu, we cross posted !
She's right though: High petal count roses refuse to open up nicely here. They just 'ball" and mold.
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Jan 4, 2015 6:56 PM CST
I've grown Austins here in Kansas since the mid 80's. Our climate is extremely hot and mostly dry in the summer, with wildly varying temps through the winter. I don't spray for blackspot or anything else, and the Austins perform better for me than any other group of roses. The Austin website lists many currently for sale that are thornless or nearly so.
This past summer we did have unusual high humidity, and all the hybrid tea roses had some blackspot. The Austins had the very least, but I don't plant them close to one another, and we do have quite a bit of wind. Ive toured gardens in Oklahoma where it is humid, and the Austins were most excellent there. I have over 100 of them; the garden I saw in Oklahoma had probably 300.
Hope that helps!
Austin roses are my favorite, but I do recognize that they don't grow perfectly everywhere. Most have incredible perfume, so that's a great selling point for me.
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Jan 4, 2015 8:16 PM CST
I have Heritage and it is as rugged as they come in our heat and drought. Yes, the foliage turns crispy from late July to mid-August because I don't offer much supplemental water, but it bounces back and blooms into December. Does have thorns, but very few. In fact, I kind of have to be careful around it because I forget that there are SOME thorns and...well... Sticking tongue out
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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
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gemini_sage
Jan 5, 2015 6:44 AM CST
Cindy, I'd love to hear your favorites, best performers Smiling
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Skiekitty
Jan 5, 2015 1:34 PM CST
I had a few Austins.. I lost Othello last year (2014), but have Molineux that bloomed nicely & William Shakespear 2000 who survived, but didn't bloom. I don't know if I have any other DA roses.. I've tried growing Falstaff a few times but they never seem to survive at all for me.
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Jan 5, 2015 4:15 PM CST
Hi, Toni! I LOVE the avatar. Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
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