It didn't, so I dug it.

floridarosez9March 30, 2012

Maitland White has been in my garden for about a year and a half, and the canes have always been prostrate on the ground and the pretty blooms would get spattered with dirt every time I watered or it rained. It never gained in height, and I just got tired of it sitting there doing nothing.

I finally dug it up, and it came up in two pieces (there may have been two plants in the original pot, but I don't think so), and I potted it up in two large pots in a commercial potting mix with clean clay kitty litter mixed in. Within a week, the old canes were starting to grow upward with lots of new canes growing straight to the sky. It is throwing out many flower buds right now.

It was originally planted in purported mushroom compost (I think it was really just cow manure) and got plenty of sun and was on a mister system. It may get a little more sun since I put it in the pots, but not a lot more. I am puzzled as to why it wasn't happy in the ground. It doesn't get as much water as it did in-ground. So do you think the kitty litter could have made that much difference or maybe the fact it gets less water?

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seil zone 6b MI

It may just have been to immature yet. Most roses take a good three years to reach maturity and some longer. It might not have had a big enough root ball yet to throw up those tall canes.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 6:45PM
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I suppose so, but I planted probably eight other roses at the same time, all teas or noisettes, and those are already shoulder high or higher. The only difference is all the others were put in planting holes enriched with horse manure rather than cow manure. You know, now that I say that, I hadn't even thought of that difference before. Maybe that explains it.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 7:05PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Honestly, even budded Modern Roses aren't expected to be mature until they're 3 years old or so.

A rose on its own roots might commonly take 4 years, or even more. Some that you planted have taken off more quickly, but every rose is different.

When we planted our small own-root 'Le Pactole,' I was prepared to be patient. But it mildewed its way through four limp years. In the fourth year, that beauty suddenly exploded, eating several adjacent plants in the process.

I should have known, having seen the immense mother plant in the Sacramento Cemetery. I guess I forgot. But Le Pactole remains a constant reminder that gardeners must cultivate patience along with plants.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 7:23PM
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florida, I've read that mushroom compost can be high in salts and is alkaline. I used it once and didn't like the results. I try to avoid it now. Why do you think it's really cow manure?

Did you plant anything else in that mushroom mix and how is it doing?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 7:40PM
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Jeri and Seil, if immaturity was the problem, what would explain why it exploded in growth within a week of putting it in a pot?

Harbor rose, this was a raised bed I prepared with a load of supposed mushroom compost several years ago. To me, it looked like pure cow manure with none of the additives you expect in mushroom compost. I have planted in that bed a Fortuniana grafted Christopher Marlowe, Elina, Old Blush, and an own-root Rouletti which are all huge and healthy. The
Rouletti was planted after the MW. I also seem to vaguely remember that I forgot to add kitty litter to the planting hole of MW which I did in the other planting holes.

Oh, well, I will probably never know what it didn't like about that spot. At least now it has taken off and is very healthy. I'm not sure I will put another rose in the same location.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 10:38PM
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My Maitland White has been in the ground for about 3 years, not putting on any heighth yet, I'm just patientely waiting, tap, tap, tap...

BUT, my Safrano did the same thing, 3 or 4 years, and suddenly got with the program and is showing lots of life and many blooms!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 11:16PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

florida -- I think, it was unhappy with SOMETHING. And proceded to grow in a more congenial situation.

Roses are such realists. :-)


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 11:20PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Some mushroom compost is too alkaline for roses.

But kitty litter is a great additive for peaty, sandy, or silty soils. The best soils have 10-20% clay.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Well, it's happy now, so good for you for doing something to fix it.

Hey, maybe there was one shovelful of mushroom in the batch and Maitland White drew the short straw!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Clumping or non-clumping kitty litter? Have 4 inside cats, and use clumping cat litter. I've never even thought of using it as an amendment. Does "used" clumping kitty litter have any garden purpose?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 1:30PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Use the cheapest, plainest generic clay litter fresh from the store in 25-lb bags. No additives.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 1:57PM
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ogrose, my Safrano took right off. It didn't sit and sulk like MW.

Michael, I have always put kitty litter in the bottom of my planting holes to help with water retention in my sandy, alkaline soil, but when I read your suggestion to mix it in the planting hole I started mixing it in with the composted horse manure, not just in the bottom.

Harborrose, I ordered those two loads of "mushroon compost" and decided it wasn't as good as my homegrown horse manure and went back to it. Everything seems to love it.

I recently got a load of horse manure from a nearby horse barn, and i would say it was at least 50% wood shavings, so I decided to use it as a mulch rather than in my planting holes. It's made a wonderful mulch, and I'm going back for more. My 7-member herd can't keep up with my needs, and that barn has 30 horses in it. The owner told me I could come get that much every three days if I wanted it, but it's a lot of work to put it down in the beds. It's taken me almost two weeks to empty the trailer.

I use Special Kitty litter, which is the cheapest I could find, and it's pure clay, nothing added. I throw used kitty litter in the bare areas in my pastures, and eventually it holds enough water that grass finally fills in. It used to be $1.99 a bag, but I think it had jumped in price last time I bought it.

Thanks for everyone's thoughts on poor MW.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 3:53PM
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seil zone 6b MI

When you potted it did you move the pot to a different location? If so that may have been what it needed to grow. Every rose is different and will grow and mature at it's own pace. Even ones of the same variety may grow differently in different spots.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 5:08PM
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Seil, yes, I did, but the plants still get about the same amount of sun. I didn't think it was possible, but there's a chance it was getting too much water. It was in a bed with misters, and occasionally, I would forget to turn them off on schedule. Now, I'm hand watering the pots they're in.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 6:23PM
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