Can you *Not* Prune EvS and Mme Plantier

kristimamaJanuary 21, 2012

I was wondering, I have heard that both of these varieties prefer not really being pruned and that they create these beautiful, mounding, arching bushes.

Does that mean they can be, generally speaking, completely ignored and allowed to grow, unchecked?

I have an unsightly hill behind my patio, and I was just thinking outloud that the arching, sprawling nature of both of their growth habits would look nice cascading down the hill. It's not completely inaccessible if it needed some rejuvenation pruning every few years, but can it get by with 0%?

I've also heard that both are pretty drought tolerant. Do you think, once established, they'd be OK without water? Or will they generally still need regular water and fertilizer to bloom?



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I would think you could allow them to do their thing with little to no pruning, but I would suggest providing regular irrigation if you want health, vigor and color. While they may "live", they won't "thrive" without water, unless you have regular rains and decent ground water. Kim

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 9:49PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Mme. Plantier, in the end, could not tolerate our lack of winter chill.

Excellenz von Schubert, OTOH is enormously happy here (and I do mean enormously).

He has overcome and pulled loose his original tripod of green plastic poles, so I think we must do something, but he has been here for a number of years without pruning, subsequent to his original tying up. Left to cascade as he chooses, I think he should do nicely.

Water, I think, will be a "must."

But pruning, probably not. However, I suspect that, every few years, he might benefit from removal of dead growth.

(Coastal Ventura Co., SoCal)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 11:06PM
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Thanks, folks. That's great advice.

I can set up a way to irrigate the roses, but would rather not be pruning every year. The other nice thing about EvS is he reblooms. And it smells so absolutely incredible!

Jeri, I'm in Northern Ca near Walnut Creek, and we get plenty of chill hours. So that's not so much of a worry for me here.

The Mme Plantier has, actually, been so completely neglected for years, in a little black plastic pot, one year going for months without watering, at yet here it is, still kicking out growth and flowers once a year. I've GOT to find a place in my yard for it.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 1:26AM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

I grow Mme. Plantier as you suggest, nearly unpruned on a dry bank. It is self-sufficient and looks good except at the end of the bloom period when the dead brown flowers hang on. Then I trim it back a foot or two all around with hedge clippers. It has spread about 10' wide. It is dense enough to be a ground cover unless tree seedlings come up inside of it.

It cheerfully endures two months of drought here, but I doubt that it could make it all the way through the California summer with no water at all. However, there is no harm in letting it go semi-dormant in summer, once it has grown to the size you want..

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 9:16AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Mme. Plantier survives in most of the old, old California cemeteries, with no water other than winter rain/snow, and no pruning other than deer or dieback. If any rose can handle neglect, it's this one.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 10:45PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

OH! But I think it WILL need water, until it is established. Particularly in dry seasons.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 1:52PM
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Here in southern Ohio Mme. Plantier is equally as good, one of the very few roses without blackspot. She does not need pruning either unless the neighbor's forsythia behind her smothers her for a year or three. In that case she has some dead wood that requires removal. The longer I have her the better I like her - and admire her.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 2:10PM
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New plants that will not require supplemental water during the six-month dry season will still need to be watered while they are are getting established, a couple of years at least. If you ever put in a bed of completely drought tolerant California natives, even the kind that rot and die if they get summer water (yes, there are such plants) , even those plants need to be watered when they are very young.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:45PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Rosefolly is absolutely correct about that.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:52PM
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Yep, I figured they'd need water this year and probably next.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 1:45AM
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mudbird(10 soCA)

There was a very old Madame Plantier on a neighbor's front fence - so beautiful when it bloomed! Long, arching canes with exquisite white blooms in spring and beautiful dark green foliage. Lovely, graceful shrub!
It definitely was quite old so it must have gotten enough winter chill here just 1.5 mi inland from the Pacific. I think new owners removed it - sad not to see it anymore on my walks!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 4:29PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Kristimama: Thanks for the info. about Mme Plantier in a little black plastic pot. Someone mentioned about Mme Plantier the size of a car, that got me worried.

Hi Cath in zone 6a: how big is your Mme Plantier? Would it explode to the size of a car in my zone 5a? I was fantasizing about Mme Plantier as cut flower with my peonies in a vase. If the dead flowers hang on that long, does that mean it's long lasting as cut flower? Thanks for any info.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 4:40PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

It is not long lasting as a cut flower but needs to be changed after two or three days.

Being tip-hardy in zone 5a, it could get as big as a car if you don't prune it. Basal shoots are about 6' long and quite flexible. It can be grown as a climber. It can also be kept around 7' wide if you cut it back by 40% in winter or early spring and then shear it back a bit after blooming.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:14AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Like Michael, my MP grew to the size of a car and was completely covered in blooms each spring. The blooms did not fare well when experiencing rain or humidity. They quickly turned brown and persisted the entire season.

I had to prune it. It took many hours.

My guess would be that it would perform better in a dry location.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 12:28PM
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iowa_jade(C 5b H 6)

I also am in the Mudwest. My 'Mme. Plant-it-here' is about 6' tall and about 7-8' wide. I do prune the excess growth after blooming with the hedge shears so it does not knock me off my riding mower. It is up against a 5' wire fence in a corner.
I did cut off some of the dead canes close to the ground (not much light down there) last year also.
I do not water unless the ground gets real deep cracks. I think I gave it some 10-10-10 a few years ago.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 4:21PM
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I'd say mine would have been about the size of Iowa Jade's, about 6' x 7' if the forsythia hadn't swallowed the eastern third. It leads a difficult life though. It has a lot of root competition from a mature maple, a wisteria and the forsythia and it does not receive full sun. I cannot say how long it lasts cut as I don't cut it. I don't mind the dead petals because they do not linger long here (I guess because by that time it is fairly hot) and a rose bush with buds, full blown flowers and blasted flowers with petals on the ground suits me.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:16PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

I usually get 3-1/2 weeks of beautiful flowering from MP before the brown spent flowers (some probably with botrytis petal blight after rains) start looking unsightly. If there are still lots of buds, I might rake and shake the plant with a plastic rake to clean it partially. As soon as most of the buds are used up, I shear it quickly with hedge clippers, which only takes a few minutes.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 9:49AM
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The only reason my MP is still in a pot is because I haven't found a home for it, but my understanding is that once in the ground, it'll get BIG in my climate. So don't be misled by seeing that I have it in a "pot." I'm actually counting on it getting nice and car-sized.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 1:41AM
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