Sunday, February 6, 2011

Florida Rose Growing Myths

An e-mail I got today reminded me of several widespread myths that even a few rosarians embrace and repeat that do a great disservice to growing Old Roses in my beloved state, the biggest being "It is a proven fact that roses need to be budded onto Fortuniana to grow in Florida". From 1989 through the late 1990s I created many gardens for clients  here using own root OGRs and they thrived right up until the drought settled in 6 years ago when the hurricanes ceased to arrive here and when harsh watering restrictions were imposed (current penalty structure is $100 first time, $500 second time, $500 and court appearance third time, with liens against one's home if you blow off the court appearance). Tampa's high-sodium/high chlorine reclaimed water quickly killed surviving collections. But folks I know with rural wells they can run in secret have THRIVING collections of own root OGRs. I note that those who insist that Fortuniana is a must are not concerned by its famous thirst and use amounts of water that blow my mind as an environmentalist that has watched Florida dry up dramatically since the 1970s.

 A Florida rosarian  I once knew who subscribes to and proclaims as fact that baseless Fortuniana myth also "informed" me in the 90s that Bourbons, Albas,Wichuraianas and Multiflora Ramblers won't grow here.....good thing that my very long lived (in the ground) 'Jersey Beauty' and 'Leontine Gervais' and 'Francois Juranville' and 'Seagull' don't know that! A friend grows own root without sprays the 'Mme. Isaac Pereire' and 'Mme. Alfred Carriere' I gave him three years ago,  and my own root specimens of 'Coquette des Blanches' and 'Louise Odier' thrive in their Water Wise Container Gardens long term, again without sprays. 'Zepherine Drouhin' and 'Albertine' and 'Mme. Plantier' and 'Climbing American Beauty' thrived in the soil here for years until the drought settled in....they finally died 3-4 years ago. A 'Pink Clouds' Multiflora Rambler I gave a highschool era acquaintance thrived for many years beside their hot driveway for many years before they dug it out. I WOULD agree from many trials that the majority of Modern Roses DO best on, or even require, the Fortuniana rootstock.

  Another myth that harms the  Florida environment BIG time is "You HAVE to spray for pests and diseases in Florida". Again....good thing the all-organic rose gardens I created for clients that I maintained using pro-biotic methods did not know that! The sickliest rose gardens I've seen here ARE the ones that are routinely sprayed and thus are absent entire communities of macro and micro organisms that combat bugs and disease FOR organically grown rose gardens.

 La Reine


 Louise Odier

 Coquettes des Blanches


 Leontine Gervais
 Great Western

 "Fairmount Red"

 Francois Juranville
 Aviateur Bleriot in a client's yard

Jersey Beauty

  Enjoy the pictures from my yard of roses that some Florida rose "experts" years ago told me can't grow here.  John

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