Saturday, April 9, 2016

Planting a Rose

There are all sorts of complicated methods that some folks will tell you must be followed in order to correctly plant a rose.  Complicated is not what I do around here ... but you already know that.  Most of the roses I plant are small, usually one-year-old own-root plants growing in half-gallon or one-gallon pots.  

The subject of today's demonstration is a plant that I rooted from cuttings of a rose in the Historic Sacramento City Cemetery, thought to have been brought to California from Virginia.  I call it "Unknown China from Virginia".  Whatever it is, with its Virginia connection, I asked and was given permission to take cuttings, in order to take this rose back 'home'.





I planted this rose in the expanded section of my Rambler Garden, along with nine other roses that had lived in their little pots for WAY too long.  This is what I did:

1.  Marked the location, and swept back the existing mulch to expose the landscape fabric liner on this garden.



2.  Cut a good-sized hole in the liner.  For this rose, the diameter of the hole is three-times the width of the pot.



3.  Dig a hole the same depth as the pot and twice as wide, carefully tip the rose out of its pot, place it in the hole and put the soil back into the hole around it.



4.  Weeds are such an awful problem for me.  To help suppress them, I cover the opening in the landscape fabric with a good layer of newspaper, tucked underneath the landscape fabric.



5.  Carefully put the mulch back around the new plant, covering the newspaper without piling it around the stem.



6.  For little guys like this, I add a cage of hardware cloth or chicken wire so the rabbits can't get to it.  I will remove the cage once the rose is a little bigger and no longer in danger of being eaten to the ground.



That's it!  A ten-minute job, at the most.  It takes a little bit longer if I have to dig a bigger hole to accommodate a larger plant, but it's still not a huge ordeal.  All that's left to do for this rose is to make sure that I keep it adequately watered.

(I can't wait to show you this little guy later this spring, as he gets bigger and fills in the space!  As soon as he produces a flower, you will be the first ones to know.)

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Want to learn how to root your own roses from cuttings?  This is the method that I use.
Hartwood Roses:  How to Root Roses from Cuttings

20 comments:

  1. From Virginia to California and back again, full circle. Very cool! Like the idea of using newspaper where the landscape fabric was, too, I hate getting weeds to close to rose stems and thorns as I always seem get scratched when weeding!

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    1. Full circle ... exactly! Many of the roses and other plants in the cemetery in Sacramento were propagated from homesteads, mining towns, etc., with provenance that dates to the Gold Rush era and other periods of early California history. The thing that I love best about roses is that they are living links to the history of who planted and cared for them.

      Newspaper helps suppress the weeds, but it's not perfect. For weeding under the roses, a good pair of leather gloves is essential.

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  2. This looks like another beauty to add to your garden.
    hugs,
    Linda

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    1. Beautiful and tough ... and I love the fact that it's (sort of) back where it originated.

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  3. Oh, this is just what I'll be needing to know here shortly. You inspired me to finally order some friends for my 75 Yr. old New Dawns. Do you pull back the fabric to add compost yearly or only around the roses? I've been using cardboard for weed suppression; it works great and lasts a long time before breaking down.
    p.s. the rose forum was recently inquiring after you. I just joined and apparently you are missed. :)
    p.p.s. Bad things happening at that beautiful cemetery. Apparently, the stalwart civic folks want to rip out ALL the roses and replace with sod. I guess it's being done all over the country, but it's horrifying.

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    1. 75 year old New Dawns! That's awesome. I'm sure they will appreciate having some new friends.

      In spring, when I'm weeding and refreshing the mulch in my rose beds, I pull back the mulch, add whatever fertilizer I'm using, then cover it back up.

      I only go over to the rose forum when someone pings me to tell me that I should check on something over there. Sometimes I go over to read without commenting. Too wrapped up in my own garden sometimes to get involved in internet gardening.

      Sounds like you are misunderstanding the situation in Sacramento. City officials ARE threatening the garden as it exists now, but are NOT insisting that the roses be ripped out. I'm working with the volunteer group to help the city understand the intent of a garden cemetery and to help them see that what the garden is now is what the designers intended, and hoped, that it would become.

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  4. Thank you for this!
    I can't wait to get planting.
    XOXO

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    1. You're welcome. Spring planting happens here as soon as it gets warm enough to work outside, and when the soil is workable. That's NOW for me ... but you already know that I plant roses almost year-round if I need to. Nothing like putting one's hands in soil to help chase away the winter blahs.

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  5. We have two rosebushes that we planted when we moved here 39 years ago. That's the only roses we've had and they are still alive, but they look terrible. I much prefer to look at yours. BTW, these roses were a flaming coral color when we got them, but after a few years they turned kind of a magenta color.

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    1. 39 year old roses are rare in a home garden, even if they aren't what you planted originally. Sounds like the graft on them died at some point, and that the rootstock grew up and took its place. Happens all the time. Here, the main rootstock rose is called 'Dr. Huey'. It's wine red, once blooming, sends up long climbing canes, and is seriously blackspot prone.

      I'll let you in on a little secret ... most of the time, I like to look at other people's roses more than mine. We find fault with our own, and tend to ignore the faults when it's someone elses.

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  6. Thanks for this informative post as to how you plant your roses.

    I am horrified at the comment by td who says the roses are all going to be ripped out and replaced by sod at this SF cemetery.

    Have a nice Sunday and a great week ~ FlowerLady

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    1. td simplified and overstated the situation in Sacramento. Don't be horrified yet. The City believes that their recent listing on the National Register of Historic Places means that changes must be made to (as they say) insure that the cemetery's contributing elements are preserved. They appear to have no idea of the value of the garden aspect of the cemetery, and have not tried to understand what a garden cemetery really is ... where the cemetery as a whole is landscaped, and individual families improve, landscape, and tend their own lots. The matter is now before the city's Historic Commission (which was bypassed initially), which meets next week to hear the matter. We have our fingers crossed that Sacramento officials will see that the garden, with its roses, and the effort of the volunteers there, are a thing to be protected and appreciated.

      Happy Sunday to you, too!

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    2. Thanks for the clarification. I couldn't get all the facts from the posts I read! We have an amazing old garden Cemetery where I live called Spring Grove in Cincinnati. Besides the amazing plantings, it's an arboretum and bird sanctuary used for educational purposes. Cemetery's at that time were used for contemplation and it's an extremely peaceful place. Hopefully those City planners will look further afield to see what's meant by that term. Glad to know you're on it! Didn't mean to spread hysteria. :)
      I only mentioned the GW forum because I am new there and was surprised to suddenly see someone I "knew" referenced. As newbie, I find reading and seeing others' gardens such as yours, extremely motivating.

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    3. The situation in Sacramento is very emotionally charged ... rightfully so. I am happy to see your passion for the garden.

      There is a lot of good information on GW, and a lot of people who mean well. The best part of being in that community, for me, was making real, in person friendships with some of the other participants.

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  7. Looks like I followed your rose planting instructions properly. The two you gave me are looking wonderful this spring. So happy. THANK YOU!!!

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    1. I had no doubt that you would know to do this the simple way! Glad to hear that your roses are doing well. You're welcome!!

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  8. Either you have perfect soil for roses, or I am doing something very wrong, and making a lot of work for myself in the bargain. I dig holes 2'x2' for all my own root roses, and replace about 1/2 of the soil with compost, add a little mycorrhizal fungi, and after planting the rose, I water with alfalfa tea, add a few inches of compost to surrounding soil, then about a 6" depth of mulch over newspapers to control weeds. I know to only dig the depth of the nursery can for other shrubs and trees, but was advised to dig bigger holes for roses. If I could get away with only digging a few inches down, I would plant many, many more roses. My soil is hard clay and I need a pick axe to dig those 2'x2' holes. It's taken me years to dig holes for the 100+ roses I have.

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    1. I have good soil, but not perfect. When I gardened in a yard with a lot more hard clay, it was imperative to time any digging according to whenever it had rained. A couple of days after a good rain (or a good soaking with the sprinkler) and digging was much easier. I have never bothered with special amendments for individual planting holes, whether it's a rose or some other plant. Compost or shredded leaves have always been my favorite amendment of choice. Remember, roses love clay as long as it drains and doesn't hold water and drown the roots.

      Six inches is a LOT of mulch ... probably too much. Mine is usually about 3".

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    2. Definitely know what you mean about digging those holes after a rain or good hose soaking. I pull big rocks (big enough to border my raised beds) out of those holes, too. For those, I need help - I'm small. I did not know that roses like clay - good to know. I guess the deep holes make for better drainage. This was my first year using fresh wood bark mulch because we had 40+ tall pines felled on our property, so ended up with a mountain of mulch from the branches. I guess I overdid it a tad on the mulching, because I believe the areas where I only had time to lay a thin layer did about as well as where I laid it on thickly. I have never used the leaves from my maples because I thought they'd pack down too much. Will try that next year. I've been gardening most of my 70 years, and still have so much to learn. Thank you for your informative blog.

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  9. Super great tutorial post! Love you lots and planning on a trip to see all of these babies. Please be sure to let us know what we can being you! Farm fresh eggs or beef....or some roses that you want? We are easy!

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