Roses forum: Felix Leclerc Rose - bloom only once

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North of Toronto (Zone 4b)
strongline
Oct 2, 2020 10:28 AM CST
Hi All, hope that I can get some tips/answers from you guru Big Grin
So I have this Felix Leclerc Rose - being a novice about rose, I don't know how popular this species is - it grows well from my untrained eye, however it blooms only one round in early summer. This is different from what I google is tell me it's supposed to bloom continuously from summer to fall. What gives?
Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
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jerijen
Oct 2, 2020 11:19 AM CST
Too many unknowns to give you an accurate answer.

Where are you located?
When was the rose planted?
Was it a budded plant, or is it on its own roots?
What has your weather been like?
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
Oct 2, 2020 1:34 PM CST
Also, what are the conditions where you've planted it...sun, shade, near trees?
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
Oct 2, 2020 3:27 PM CST
And have you pruned it?
Porkpal
North of Toronto (Zone 4b)
strongline
Oct 2, 2020 10:55 PM CST
Thanks all who asked questions, trying to give best answer as I can :-).

Where are you located?
[A: Just north of Toronto, I consider it zone 4]

When was the rose planted?
[A: I bought it 2 years ago at season end, maybe in Sep, so I guess it was not in its best shape when I bought it, but it seems vigorous now]

Was it a budded plant, or is it on its own roots?
[A: Not sure I understand this question. It was sold in a container, so the answer is it's on its own roots?]

What has your weather been like?
[Being in Toronto, summer is on cool side,. But this year has been warmer, though. Quite a number of ~30C days. This Sep was nice too, 20+C average in day time]

what are the conditions where you've planted it...sun, shade, near trees?
[A: It's planted along my side wall. Decent amount of sun, 8+ hours /day in peak summer, but could be substantially shorter in fall when sun sets earlier. I'd say 6hours give or take]

And have you pruned it?
[A: yes, once. I think last year before winter (or alreay in winter, can't remember the exact time, but it was quite cold when I pruned). I left almost only the main stem (it had one and only primary stem to begin with, tied to lattice in "S" shape).
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
Oct 3, 2020 4:37 PM CST
Felix Leclerc is one of the Canadian Artists series and is rated to zone 3. So you're fine there. 6 to 8 hours of sun should be fine also. It is a reblooming rose, however, no rose blooms continuously. Some may have shorter cycles but most all of them bloom in flushes spaced with periods of rest. If a rose only takes 4 to 6 weeks to recycle it will give you more flushes through the season than a rose that takes 6 to 8 weeks to cycle. I do not know what the cycle for Mr Leclerc is but with your short season it may just not have enough time to rebloom before it gets too cold and too dark for it to continue growing.

In reading on this rose it says it is a climber. Climbers should not be hard pruned to the ground ever and certainly NOT in the fall. In cold climates roses should only be hard pruned in the early spring. The "S" shape you mention is to produce more side branches, called laterals, so you will get more blooms. You want those side shoots so you should only cut them back some, not off entirely. For climbers you need only prune off any dead wood until the rose has reached its maturity. Then only prune to keep it within size and in the shape you prefer.

The fact that your rose was potted when you bought it does not indicate whether or not it is own root or grafted. If you are unsure which you have try asking where you purchased the rose. They should know what type of stock they carry. If not you can try and figure it out by looking carefully at the base of the rose. Own root roses generally have several canes grow right up from the root ball. Grafted roses will have a root ball then a sturdy shank or trunk like part and then the canes will all be growing off that trunk. On a grafted rose that is the most important part. If you do not protect that graft, and it dies over the winter, your rose will be gone and the root stock may begin to grow instead.

One more question. Did you fertilize the rose at all? If you used a fertilizer that was heavier in Nitrogen than anything else that would promote lots of green growth but not blooms. You want to use a fertilizer that has a well balanced NPK.
North of Toronto (Zone 4b)
strongline
Oct 3, 2020 8:24 PM CST
Thanks for the detail reply Seil! I will follow your advice about pruning next season.

I don't remember if I fertilize it (if I did, it may be only once, with a readily packed fertilizer for vegetable/fruits - it is not N heavy, but probably not the best for flowers either) When it comes to fertiizing or maintaining, I tend to buy plants that require minimum attention and treat them as such. - Should I use some compost, or balanced NPK as you said?
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
Oct 3, 2020 9:39 PM CST
You can add compost or any organics at any time. They feed the soil. Anything good for the soil is good for the rose. I wouldn't bother with a regular fertilizer at this time since it is so late in the season in zone 4. You may have even already had your first frost/freeze. I would wait until spring to add anything now.

Complicata
Oct 4, 2020 1:34 PM CST
Seil's advice is all great! The only thing I'd add is that being only 2 years in your garden, your Felix is not particularly old for a climber. Climbers can take a while to establish and really start blooming well! Felix is one of my favorite roses. I have 3, and now that they are well established plants, they really do bloom all season for me! Im in zone 6, so my summers are no doubt warmer than yours, so this may have some effect, but I bet with a little time, a little spring fertilizing, and gentleness re: pruning, yours will take off! Incidentally, I don't prune my Felixes much at all, as to my eye the plant is naturally graceful and seems to shape itself well for laterals. I basically just prune dead stuff in the spring.
North of Toronto (Zone 4b)
strongline
Oct 4, 2020 7:38 PM CST
Thanks!, this is very encouraging!
Complicata said:Seil's advice is all great! The only thing I'd add is that being only 2 years in your garden, your Felix is not particularly old for a climber. Climbers can take a while to establish and really start blooming well! Felix is one of my favorite roses. I have 3, and now that they are well established plants, they really do bloom all season for me!


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