Roses forum: Roses from seed, die offs?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
May 14, 2015 1:41 PM CST
Last year I grew about 12 roses from seed, they were healthy and vigorous.

Spring is here and most look great, but a few have died or look very bad. They are all in the same area with same soil light and water. Could it be these were just genetically weak and the die offs were natural, not disease?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
May 14, 2015 2:30 PM CST
Yep, there's a reason why roses are sold as grafted plants, Keith. The rootstocks are chosen for various good traits like hardiness and pest/disease resistance, then the varieties with great flower qualities are grafted on those stout rootstocks.

Your die-offs were very likely disease, but they'd be diseases that grafted roses might be resistant to. If you want to 'grow your own' roses, you'd be best to start with cuttings from what are known as 'own root' roses like the Knock-out series of landscape roses.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
May 14, 2015 2:34 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Yep, there's a reason why roses are sold as grafted plants, Keith. The rootstocks are chosen for various good traits like hardiness and pest/disease resistance, then the varieties with great flower qualities are grafted on those stout rootstocks.

Your die-offs were very likely disease, but they'd be diseases that grafted roses might be resistant to. If you want to 'grow your own' roses, you'd be best to start with cuttings from what are known as 'own root' roses like the Knock-out series of landscape roses.


I like to experiment and have fun, grafting isn't as fun as brand new roses. Most are healthy though and I can't wait to see the blooms!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
May 14, 2015 2:39 PM CST
I would expect seedlings from roses that thrive on their own roots to be a better gamble than those from grafted parents. Your experiment is exciting; keep us informed.
Porkpal
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
May 14, 2015 2:45 PM CST

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There are a couple of misconceptions here that should be cleared up. Own-root roses really have nothing to do with Knock Out roses, although it's true that Knock Out roses do grow well on their own roots. An own-root rose is any rose that's grown on its own roots instead of being grafted. Keith's seedlings are own-root roses.

Grafting doesn't make plants hardier or more disease/pest-resistant. The rootstock might be hardier or more resistant, but the rose itself will retain its innate qualities. This is the reason that the Dr. Huey rootstock is more likely to take over in colder zones. It can be hardier than the rose that's been grafted onto it. Grafting can and does add vigor to most roses, and this is the reason that so many roses were always grafted until recently. Many hybrid teas, for instance, will not grow well on their own roots because they aren't vigorous enough to grow large and to produce many blooms.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
May 14, 2015 10:16 PM CST

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Of my 81 roses I grow, about 50 of them are own root. Thumbs up
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
May 14, 2015 10:52 PM CST

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The majority of my hybrid teas, floribundas, and large-flowered climbers are grafted, and all but 3 or 4 of my 75-80 David Austin roses are grafted. Most of the own-root roses in my garden are OGRs, landscape shrubs, and minis. I've been getting rid of the own-root hybrid teas, floribundas, and climbers. With few exceptions, they can't compare to the grafted ones. I'd like to replace all of them with grafted roses, but that option isn't available for many of them.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Jan 7, 2016 7:33 AM CST
Hello Zuzu, I'm considering propagating new plants from some of my old rose bushes ( 25 year old) that I will have to replant somewhere else, because the area has to be cleared for the expansion of our greenhouses. Last fall I took dormant cuttings from a a rootstock bush and was successful with just a few cuttings. Reading different sources, it would seen adequate that now I should try budding during this summer ( it's summer now) or also try stenting ( that is take cuttings of rootstock and also scions to graft onto all in one stage) ¿ does anyone have suggestions of what is best and if the season chosen is appropriate? I look forward greatly in acquiring the art of grafting roses so it is also something new to learn and am willing to patiently wait the necessary failures until I become profficient in the art. Thank you. Arturo
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
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RoseBlush1
Jan 7, 2016 1:19 PM CST
Keith .. to answer your original question "Could it be these were just genetically weak and the die offs were natural, not disease?"

The answer is "Yes"

It all depends upon how the genes of the seed parent and the pollen parent combine to create a new plant. Historically, less than one percent of rose seeds produce a viable plant. Large breeding operations will sow tens of thousands of seeds and only a very small percentage will produce plants that may be brought forward for testing. Many of those plants will not survive the second year, so the percentage of that initial crop gets even smaller. Of those survivors, many of the new roses will be weak plants or will not produce the desired results of the breeder. If open pollenated, the rose seeds may never produce a good rose.

However, if you view the history of roses, early breeders planted roses near each other hoping that a wandering bee would carry pollen to a rose where the genetics were such that the seeds produced "could" produce a viable rose.

Again, it was a matter of numbers. They planted as many seeds as possible to up their chances of creating a new rose.

Edited for typo
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
[Last edited by RoseBlush1 - Jan 7, 2016 2:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Jan 7, 2016 2:40 PM CST
RoseBlush1 said:Keith .. to answer your original question "Could it be these were just genetically weak and the die offs were natural, not disease?"

The answer is "Yes"

It all depends upon how the genes of the seed parent and the pollen parent combine to create a new plant. Historically, less than one percent of rose seeds produce a viable plant. Large breeding operations will sow tens of thousands of seeds and only a very small percentage will produce plants that may be brought forward for testing. Many of those plants will not survive the second year, so the percentage of that initial crop gets even smaller. Of those survivors, many of the new roses will be weak plants or will not produce the desired results of the breeder. If open pollenated, the rose seeds may never produce a good rose.

However, if you view the history of roses, early breeders planted roses near each other hoping that a wondering bee would carry pollen to a rose where the genetics were such that the seeds produced "could" produce a viable rose.

Again, it was a matter of numbers. They planted as many seeds as possible to up their chances of creating a new rose.


Thank you for explaining. I'm going to keep trying from seed, I've grown species roses from seed now it's time for mutt seeds 😀
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jan 7, 2016 7:56 PM CST
zuzu said:There are a couple of misconceptions here that should be cleared up. Own-root roses really have nothing to do with Knock Out roses, although it's true that Knock Out roses do grow well on their own roots. An own-root rose is any rose that's grown on its own roots instead of being grafted. Keith's seedlings are own-root roses.

Grafting doesn't make plants hardier or more disease/pest-resistant. The rootstock might be hardier or more resistant, but the rose itself will retain its innate qualities. This is the reason that the Dr. Huey rootstock is more likely to take over in colder zones. It can be hardier than the rose that's been grafted onto it. Grafting can and does add vigor to most roses, and this is the reason that so many roses were always grafted until recently. Many hybrid teas, for instance, will not grow well on their own roots because they aren't vigorous enough to grow large and to produce many blooms.


Zuzu ... you are so right about root stock having little or no impact on disease resistance.

Even in the early 1800s roses selected to be sold were grafted just because that was the fastest way to bring multiple plants to market, not because of the additional vigor supplied by the root stock.

After WWII, if a rose was considered to possibly be a rose that would sell, the test rose was immediately grafted to root stock so that it could be grown in the fields for further testing. Once a rose was selected for distribution, the roses were grafted to build up stock for large distribution. Again, the purpose was not to add vigor to the rose, but to create inventory for sale. So many roses, had they been tested own root would have never made it to market, but as you pointed out, the root stock did add more vigor to the rose and made the roses more garden worthy.

I can't say the whole class of HTs lacked the vigor to grow well own root, because there are too many variables at play. (I have seen some monster own root HTs.) However, I agree many have benefited greatly by being budded to a stronger root stock.

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jan 7, 2016 8:06 PM CST

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hampartsum said:Hello Zuzu, I'm considering propagating new plants from some of my old rose bushes ( 25 year old) that I will have to replant somewhere else, because the area has to be cleared for the expansion of our greenhouses. Last fall I took dormant cuttings from a a rootstock bush and was successful with just a few cuttings. Reading different sources, it would seen adequate that now I should try budding during this summer ( it's summer now) or also try stenting ( that is take cuttings of rootstock and also scions to graft onto all in one stage) ¿ does anyone have suggestions of what is best and if the season chosen is appropriate? I look forward greatly in acquiring the art of grafting roses so it is also something new to learn and am willing to patiently wait the necessary failures until I become profficient in the art. Thank you. Arturo


Hello. Arturo. I have never tried my hand at grafting, so I'm afraid I can't answer any of your questions, but I hope someone else can.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jan 7, 2016 8:46 PM CST
hampartsum said:Hello Zuzu, I'm considering propagating new plants from some of my old rose bushes ( 25 year old) that I will have to replant somewhere else, because the area has to be cleared for the expansion of our greenhouses. Last fall I took dormant cuttings from a a rootstock bush and was successful with just a few cuttings. Reading different sources, it would seen adequate that now I should try budding during this summer ( it's summer now) or also try stenting ( that is take cuttings of rootstock and also scions to graft onto all in one stage) ¿ does anyone have suggestions of what is best and if the season chosen is appropriate? I look forward greatly in acquiring the art of grafting roses so it is also something new to learn and am willing to patiently wait the necessary failures until I become profficient in the art. Thank you. Arturo


@hampartsum, Arturo

My rose mentor, Kim Rupert, has a blog called "Pushing the Envelope" and in his 2014 blog entries he shows how to chip bud roses with a lot of photos.

Here's a link to his blog:
http://pushingtheroseenvelope.blogspot.com/

I hope this helps.

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Jan 8, 2016 2:30 AM CST
Thank you Zuzu and also Lyn for your help! Thank You!
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jan 8, 2016 3:44 AM CST
You are very welcome.

Good luck with your roses.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

roseseek
Jan 8, 2016 9:53 AM CST
Thanks, Lyn, yes, I have posted photos on my blog (linked above) to help explain chip budding, one of the easiest methods to try at home. It's useful with virtually any rose used for a root stock and they main method useful with Fortuniana because its bark is so brittle. Arturo, yes, the warmer season of the year is better for budding as you want there to be good sap flow to help support the bud while it "knits" to the stock. It may work in cooler seasons, too, but spring and summer are generally faster with better success. If your humidity is high enough or you have access to a mist propagator, stenting can also work, but if your stocks are already rooted and growing on their own, chip budding on them would probably be the easiest and quickest way. If rooting is hit or miss for you, why gamble trying to root and graft simultaneously? Yes, I fully understand the desire to try new things and "rise to the challenge", and that's fine for when you don't HAVE to succeed right now. But, to accomplish what you wish, when you wish to accomplish it, chip budding on the rooted stocks is likely to be the appropriate course right now. Once you have your green house up and running and your newly propagated plants growing well, try stenting if you want to. Good luck!

roseseek
Jan 8, 2016 10:05 AM CST
keithp2012 said:Last year I grew about 12 roses from seed, they were healthy and vigorous.

Spring is here and most look great, but a few have died or look very bad. They are all in the same area with same soil light and water. Could it be these were just genetically weak and the die offs were natural, not disease?


Keith, if you've only lost a few seedlings out of twelve, you are probably experiencing much better results than many. The vast majority of rose seedlings simply aren't good plants. Some don't develop good root systems. Some have genetic susceptibilities to fungal issues. Some aren't good at photosynthesizing the quantities of food they demand. I've routinely seen that the healthiest, most vigorous seedlings are those which generate the heaviest, most expansive root systems. Even those can exhibit disease issues to the various disease types. It can be quite interesting and educational to "autopsy" the dead seedlings. Carefully remove them from the soil, trying to retain as many of the roots as possible. You may find the weaker ones have virtually no fibrous feeder roots while those you transplant to grow on have massive, fibrous root systems. Much of what you see above ground, is determined by what we seldom see going on below the soil surface. When you start exploring what you can't usually see, lights will start turning on and dots start connecting and things make a whole lot more intuitive sense. I think you'll enjoy it. Good luck!
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Jan 8, 2016 11:01 AM CST
roseseek said:

Keith, if you've only lost a few seedlings out of twelve, you are probably experiencing much better results than many. The vast majority of rose seedlings simply aren't good plants. Some don't develop good root systems. Some have genetic susceptibilities to fungal issues. Some aren't good at photosynthesizing the quantities of food they demand. I've routinely seen that the healthiest, most vigorous seedlings are those which generate the heaviest, most expansive root systems. Even those can exhibit disease issues to the various disease types. It can be quite interesting and educational to "autopsy" the dead seedlings. Carefully remove them from the soil, trying to retain as many of the roots as possible. You may find the weaker ones have virtually no fibrous feeder roots while those you transplant to grow on have massive, fibrous root systems. Much of what you see above ground, is determined by what we seldom see going on below the soil surface. When you start exploring what you can't usually see, lights will start turning on and dots start connecting and things make a whole lot more intuitive sense. I think you'll enjoy it. Good luck!


I know what you mean, you are so right about the root system! The healthiest ones do have the largest and deepest root systems, the sick ones had tiny roots or almost no depth. For me this has been reliable in telling good health good advice 👍
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Jan 8, 2016 3:44 PM CST
Hello Kim, thank you so much for your advice! My greenhouses are operating but I've not set up an automated mister. All along one of the greenhouses tends to be humid and perhaps I could achieve good results my simply hand misting my plants placed under a hoop on the table. ¿ would you take cuttings at this time of year( mid summer) from rootstock canes? If they root properly I can try chip budding them next spring, meanwhile I will try your method that I read quickly with those first two stakes that have rooted successfuly.If I achieve success with a larger number of stakes and perhaps I may keep always a certain amount of rooted stocks awaiting for their buds. I could be greatly satisfied if I get the whole process rolling this season! Thanks again. Arturo
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jan 8, 2016 6:31 PM CST
Your project sounds very interesting; I hope you keep us up to date on your progress.
Porkpal

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