Roses forum→Rose bush planting spacing question

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Lowell MA, Zone 6; near border
PitSmoker
May 6, 2020 10:53 AM CST
1) Novice here.
2) Bought the plants from Lowes. Please don't shoot me.
3) When in doubt, please & kindly see point 1, above. Smiling
4) I genuinely appreciate your time, greatly.

So, I bought three small rose bushes in plastic pots at Lowes. They are cut roses; one can apparently get 4-6' in height.

They are Red (Chrysler); Yellow (Sunbright) and White (Sorry-- don't recall.) They were bare sticks when I bought them (no leaves; haven't opened the pots yet. I assume they're bare root too, but not sure.) They had wax all over their stems-- I assume as a protectant. Two of the three are sprouting nicely, but the third... not sure if it'll make it.

Anyway, I hope that helps someone identify what I'm working with here.

When I buy my wife roses, I buy all three colors, and that was partially the point of this purchase. Smiling I would like to plant these together, but when I looked at the directions they want to be about 4' apart from each other.

I would like them to grow to be intertwined-- like, twisting & growing together in a triad of colors. What are the risks of planting them (much) closer? I get that the roots and branches will compete for light & space, but... is there really a risk, other than the fact that I will likely have a 'smaller' shrub when compared to the three bushes, separate & apart would be?

Thank you again for your time.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
May 6, 2020 11:01 AM CST
At least 4', I would plant them 5' apart.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
May 6, 2020 11:57 AM CST
Planting in a group is not idea, but it also won't necessarily injure your roses. As long as you give the composite shrub plenty of space, you may be able to achieve the effect you are seeking. Good luck and welcome to the forum!
Porkpal
Lowell MA, Zone 6; near border
PitSmoker
May 6, 2020 2:05 PM CST
Thank you both!
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
May 6, 2020 2:20 PM CST
Welcome
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Seth n Sam .....
W.V. (Zone 6a)
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Weluvroses
May 6, 2020 4:17 PM CST
If they are in plastic bags on the bottom. You need pull away the saw dust and wood chips. Soak them for a few hours. Then plant them. The wood chips and saw dust have nothing in it to help the Rose's. And they packed the roots up tight.
Name: Seth n Sam .....
W.V. (Zone 6a)
Image
Weluvroses
May 6, 2020 4:19 PM CST
The red one is Chrysler Imperial and smells astonishing. Super strong scent. But it will only get about 3.5 foot tall. Depending on your zone. Mine is 3rd year and is just a hair over 3ft tall. And 2.5 feet wide.
Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
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jerijen
May 6, 2020 4:43 PM CST
Sunbright is an older Hybrid Tea Rose, that's described as being "bushy" ... so maybe it will carry foliage fairly far down. That's always nice.

It's billed as "hardy to Z6," so should be OK where you are ... but it could need help in a harsh winter.

Chrysler Imperial will produce big blooms on long stems, good for cutting for the house ... and as noted, fragrant ... that sweet Damask-y fragrance that we think of as "rose."

Curious to know what the white is. Has it a tag?

Oh, 3-ft. apart is "ok." 4-ft. is probably better, but if your area doesn't have a lot of fungal disease, well, should look pretty that way.
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
May 6, 2020 5:41 PM CST
You know...We have always been told to plant 3 ft. on center apart. I don't know why but that's always been the rule of thumb. Now I see this 4 ft. apart stuff and I wonder about that. David Austin ALWAYS says that if you want a fuller look to plant 3 roses in an 18 inch triangle. Now if you can grow Austins, which notoriously get fairly large and bushy, in an 18 inch triangle why do you have to plant 4 ft. apart or even 3 ft. apart?

I'm in MI zone 6. My roses NEVER get as large as predicted because I have to whack them to just above ground most springs. I plant mine around 2 ft. apart and I don't see any problems with that. As long as I have access to get to them to work on them I'm fine with that spacing.
Name: Sulli
Philadelphia (Zone 7a)
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SulliO
May 6, 2020 5:52 PM CST
hi there, i love your idea and while i'm no rose expert and probably plant everything way too close together, your triad idea made me think of this article and her rose sculptures
https://www.gardensillustrated...
Tuscany, Italy
bart2018
May 8, 2020 4:40 AM CST
Thanks for this link,SulliO!
Lowell MA, Zone 6; near border
PitSmoker
May 8, 2020 6:13 AM CST
Phenomenal information here-- thank you, each and all! Forgive my delay-- in the middle of finals for school.

Maybe I'll take it on as an experiment.... if so, I'll try to post progress/results.

@Weluvroses, thanks for the info about the sawdust and filler-- I have wondered about that. It will go into the compost.

I lost the tag on the white one, @jerijen. John F Kennedy--MAYBE. I forget if I purchased that one or another instead. One white that I looked at was not a cut rose so I put it back. Can't recall.

@SeiMlI, thanks for the info about the Austins and 18" triangle-- that was much more my thought. Right or wrong, 4' seems....cavernous for what I'm going for here.

@SulliO, that's an extraordinary link and article, thank you very much. (She's clearly got more time than I have!) I' doubt my canes will get that far too quickly, but some gentle, loose zip ties around a stake n the center to be adjusted annually might help me train these. Thank you!

Thank you again, all-- I really appreciate your assistance!
[Last edited by PitSmoker - May 8, 2020 10:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Seth n Sam .....
W.V. (Zone 6a)
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Weluvroses
May 8, 2020 7:24 AM CST
seilMI said:You know...We have always been told to plant 3 ft. on center apart. I don't know why but that's always been the rule of thumb. Now I see this 4 ft. apart stuff and I wonder about that. David Austin ALWAYS says that if you want a fuller look to plant 3 roses in an 18 inch triangle. Now if you can grow Austins, which notoriously get fairly large and bushy, in an 18 inch triangle why do you have to plant 4 ft. apart or even 3 ft. apart?

I'm in MI zone 6. My roses NEVER get as large as predicted because I have to whack them to just above ground most springs. I plant mine around 2 ft. apart and I don't see any problems with that. As long as I have access to get to them to work on them I'm fine with that spacing.


I just did my new DA order in triangles in my new bed. I staggered them. 3ft centers. That's also how I did my raised bed at the old house. I had 12 in a 10x10. Had zero problems. I even had Grandiflora in with DAs. I like when the bushes mix somewhat. I had Chrysler Imperial Roses in with my Molineux and they looked gorgeous together. And had Dick Clark on the other side mixing in.
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Roses
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Mustbnuts
May 8, 2020 10:28 AM CST
Everything depends upon location, rose and climate conditions.

DA roses here get HUGE! Again, I am zone 9, so things generally get bigger here.

I love how DA states that Princess Alexandra of Kent is good for being planted in a pot. That pot size here would have to be the size of a bath tub. She got over 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide for a one year old own root plant! Pretty amazing! In a pot? Not that rose for where I live. For here, I take what DA says the size of a rose is supposed to be and then at least double it. That gives me a much better idea of how big the DA rose will actually get where I am located, with very few (can count on one hand with fingers left over) exceptions.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
May 8, 2020 2:14 PM CST
seilMI said: David Austin ALWAYS says that if you want a fuller look to plant 3 roses in an 18 inch triangle. Now if you can grow Austins, which notoriously get fairly large and bushy, in an 18 inch triangle why do you have to plant 4 ft. apart or even 3 ft. apart?


Seil ... the three roses advice was from DA's book about English roses. He was breeding for scent and bloom form, but really didn't breed for healthy plants.

In England, his roses did not grow into large roses and the roses marketed in the early years, were spindly unhealthy looking plants. He made the suggestion to plant them close together so that as they grew, the roses would look garden worthy.

PitSmoker .... you can probably follow Seil's spacing plan because both of you have a shorter growing season and your roses won't get as large as the ones found in more gentle climates.

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

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