Roses forum: Help save my 63 year old rose

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clifton, n.j. (Zone 7a)
applevalle
Jun 4, 2016 7:10 PM CST
Zepherine Drouin rose bush that was planted the year my house was built (1953). It's been declining for the past 6 years or so. The base root is gigantic & whole plant is leaning severely. I've tried different ways to train it upright again. No success. Actually, the huge bole at ground-level appears to be slowly rotting. Can it be saved? If not, what is the best way to root cuttings from this rose? Although I bought my house only 12 years ago, I love this old bush so much & will be very sad if I lose it.
Name: Mika
Oxfordshire, England and Mento
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cliftoncat
Jun 5, 2016 7:38 AM CST
Hi applevalle and Welcome! ZD is a very old David Austin rose - why don't you email them at their head office in Albrighton, England, and ask if they can advise you. The email address is help@davidaustinroses.co.uk

I hope you manage to save it - that's quite some age!
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
Jun 5, 2016 9:03 AM CST
I don't believe that David Austin can help specifically. The hybridizer was Bizot in 1868, according to the database.

Perhaps some pictures would help us help you.
Porkpal
Name: Mika
Oxfordshire, England and Mento
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Daylilies Irises Roses Hostas
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cliftoncat
Jun 5, 2016 1:00 PM CST
You are right, Porkpal, the breeder was Bizot, 1868. But David Austin sells it and is generally really good at giving advice, so it might be worth a shot.
Since (unless I am wrong, which I may well be) Bizot no longer exists, then asking a reliable seller might be an option. Up to you, Applevalle.

I should perhaps add that the DA website says of Zephirine Drouhin that 'Controlling disease can be a problem'. But they do have a wonderful, very old rose garden at Albrighton and may be able to give you some advice on how best to try to rescue your wonderful rose. They have certainly given me great advice on several occasions, and don't charge for it - nothing ventured... Smiling


Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 5, 2016 1:44 PM CST
applevalle said:Zepherine Drouin rose bush that was planted the year my house was built (1953). It's been declining for the past 6 years or so. The base root is gigantic & whole plant is leaning severely. I've tried different ways to train it upright again. No success. Actually, the huge bole at ground-level appears to be slowly rotting. Can it be saved? If not, what is the best way to root cuttings from this rose? Although I bought my house only 12 years ago, I love this old bush so much & will be very sad if I lose it.


Welcome! to NBA

It does sound like you need to do some work to rejuvenate the whole plant starting from the ground up ... Smiling but there may be other issues that need to be addressed.

The part of your post that makes me uncertain about how to proceed in giving you suggestions long distance is "the huge bole at ground-level appears to be slowly rotting". This can be caused by so many different variables that have nothing to do with the rose itself that need to be addressed first before doing a rejuvenation pruning. You may have crown gall disease in the soil or some other problem.

The reason I am bringing this up is that old garden roses were not generally sold as budded roses even 60 odd years ago so I doubt if what you are seeing at the base of the rose has anything to do with an aging graft failure, but more likely has something to do with a change in the environment around the rose or in the soil since it was planted.

Although, I love giving advice about how to rejuvenate a rose, in this instance, my intuition tells me that there is more going on than just a need for a special type of pruning.

We can try going forward with photos, or you might try to find someone you can give you an on site consultation, or you can get a soil test.



I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jun 5, 2016 1:49 PM CST

Moderator

It could be a graft failure. I have three Zephirine Drouhin roses, bought between 25 and 35 years ago, and all of them are grafted.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 5, 2016 1:57 PM CST
You are right, Zuzu ... they often grafted roses that didn't need to be grafted back then and there were not many ogr nurseries selling roses during that time period. I forgot about that .. Rolling my eyes. , but usually a graft failure that old, at least the ones I've seen out here, don't seem to meet the description in the post above.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
clifton, n.j. (Zone 7a)
applevalle
Jun 5, 2016 4:12 PM CST
Thank you all for all your suggestions. I don't have a cell phone/camera at the moment ( dropped it & killed it!). Once I get another, i'll post pics. & maybe they will be more telling. I am very grateful for the link to David Austin roses. Thanks so much, cliftoncat. I am going to e-mail them once I can take pics. & see if they can give me more an idea of what i'm dealing with. Thank You!
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
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bhart90
Jun 8, 2016 7:41 PM CST
How long can rose bushes live ? Good god!
Brenden
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
Jun 8, 2016 9:10 PM CST
Some of the Old Garden Roses are practically immortal.
Porkpal
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jun 8, 2016 9:21 PM CST

Moderator

Yes, some of those have been growing in cemeteries, with virtually no care, for as long as anyone can remember.
clifton, n.j. (Zone 7a)
applevalle
Jun 9, 2016 6:15 AM CST
This rose bush is extra-special to me for sentimental reasons, although I didn't know the lady who owned this house. She passed away & we bought it. Her grand-daughter told me that this lady's husband was a builder & built this house for his wife & she planted the Zepherine Drouin rose on the day they moved in. Grand-daughter even gave me three pics. of house at different stages of construction ( the wonderful old '50's cars in driveway are neat!). So my rose came attached with a sweet story & I kind of feel like i'm to be the keeper of Mrs. Pellegrino's rose.
Name: Mika
Oxfordshire, England and Mento
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Daylilies Irises Roses Hostas
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cliftoncat
Jun 9, 2016 6:53 AM CST
What a lovely story, applevalle! I really hope you manage to save it. My favourite plants are those that have a 'history' of some kind. Thumbs up

We have a few very old roses that were here when we bought the house (20+ years ago). One I really love is a climber that grows up to one of our bedroom windows -

Thumb of 2016-06-09/cliftoncat/c2c47e Thumb of 2016-06-09/cliftoncat/26e31a

clifton, n.j. (Zone 7a)
applevalle
Jun 9, 2016 6:28 PM CST
That is such a beautiful rose, cliftoncat. It looks much like my Zepherine Drouin did, until it got sick. You're so right about plants with a history. One of very favorite flowers (probably my all-time favorite) is Rose Campion. The original little clump was given to me by German lady who lived across from me. That was 26 years ago & I collect seed every year (although I don't need to, as the wind, birds sow them & they come up everywhere). She was a sweet older lady & an avid gardener & the Campion always makes me think of her, when it blooms. I bought everything I need to root cuttings from the Zepherine rose, just in case I can't save it. Sad
Name: Mika
Oxfordshire, England and Mento
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Daylilies Irises Roses Hostas
Birds Multi-Region Gardener Cat Lover Dog Lover Ponds Foliage Fan
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cliftoncat
Jun 10, 2016 1:25 AM CST
Thanks, applevalle - your plan to root cuttings sounds an excellent 'just in case' measure. I just noticed that you are in Clifton, NJ - we live in Clifton, Oxfordshire (my sister lives in Clifton, Bristol and my first school was in Clifton, Virginia!) Must be a lot of Cliftons about!
Great little story about your Rose Campion - one of my favourites, too!
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 10, 2016 2:43 AM CST
@applevalle ....

If you are uncomfortable rooting cuttings, Zepherine Drouin is still available own root from reliable nurseries on the east coast in the US, so keep that in mind as a back up plan.

I, too grow Rose Compion ... at first it wasn't a favorite because Mrs. J had it planted with some things that seemed to really create a color clash for me, but once I got that straightened out, I've found I do love having it in the garden. I am so glad it is a very persistent self-seeder ... Smiling
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

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