michaelg(7a NC Mts)July 11, 2014

'Mme Plantier' was the first OGR I planted, a band from Heirloom maybe twenty-five years ago. Planted in fill dirt on a steep slope and irrigated only enough to get through the first year or two, she eventually spread more than 15' wide and looked wonderful with no care except an annual shearing of spent blooms. And she smothered an expanse of unruly bank.

Recently I had a dreadful two-year siege of rose rosette disease. Despite being the biggest shrub in the garden and surrounded closely by neighbors who fell sick in sequence, she withstood it almost to the end. But last summer I found aberrant growth in two different sections of Mme P and faced the daunting task of bagging many bushels of plant material and getting rid of a massive root system in a place that was too steep for me to stand up on.

As I took the plant down, I found that, in addition to the original one, there were four satellite crowns that had been formed by tip-layering or suckering, and at least two were supporting infected growth. I decided to kill the stumps and roots with Roundup, and the larger crowns needed repeat applications. I planned not to replant until 2015, lest infected growth should come up from the roots.

Well, last weekend I was digging out honeysuckle and other mess in the area, and lo!, here was the old madam apparently making a comeback somehow, with four healthy 2' stems coming from a single crown, and no stumps there. But it is not far from the original crown. I'm sure this growth wasn't there last summer, because I inspected the area weekly for a couple of months. It came up this spring despite drought conditions on the bank. There is no sign of herbicide damage or RRD. How do you think this happened? I guess there was a small secondary crown that was independent enough to avoid infection and inconspicuous enough that I didn't poison any remnant stubs.

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annesfbay(9b Sunset 15)

I can't answer your question. Just have to say, that is an awesome story. I love that plant.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:23AM
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MichaelG, this has all the earmarks of a drama. Talk about ups and downs! I do hope that your rose remains free of RRD. What will to survive that rose has.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:22PM
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I love a good survival story! I think I would have cried at having to dig up my old friend and then cry for joy at her comeback.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:28PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

We NEVER get all the roots of the big ones. Ever.

Those pesky voles can sever roots. Or parts of the roots can just be weakened.

Remember that the way leaf axils have undifferentiated meristemic tissues? So do roots, where the root hairs emerge.

The fellow who founded the OGR nursery up in New Brunswick Canada (and who doesn't ship to the USA) at one time did all his propagating from cut up slightly woody roots. Who'da thunk it would work so well?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:30PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Love the story, Michael. Vive Mme. Plantier!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:41PM
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Good story, Michael. As always. And perhaps a communication to you from your special rose -- not to give up. I'm sorry for all the losses you experienced but glad you're back on the forum.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 1:26PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Thanks, all. Glad you liked the story. I will pass your words of encouragement on to the old lady--now a junior miss once again, but then she has been through that process many times since 1835.

She was the most recent (can't say the last) RRD case, about a year ago. I have located and removed the nearby sources of infection, so things are looking up. The garden is still half baby plants and vacancies, though.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 5:42PM
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That is a beautiful story-----sorry to hear about your battle with RRD-----it is very depressing to loss a much-loved rose
Keep up the good work


    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 6:56PM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

Michael ...

One of my favorite quotes from Ralph Moore is "If there is a way, the rose will find it." Sounds like your 'Mme Plantier' found a way to survive against all odds.

Thank you for sharing such a great success story.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:00AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I also love the story, and am glad you are back. I purchase roses from a nursery that basically sells "own root" roses. Possibly that is how the rose began. I am glad that this happened, and need to hear more about your hill since I also have a hill that I wrestle with.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 5:55AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Very nice story. I have my first Mme Plantier that I won in a rose raffle, another member propagated it. I actually have 2, I won all 4 of those offered, but gave 2 away. I fell in love with her blooms and even won a blue ribbon with a spray. This fall, after my yard is all dug up, I will plant these somewhere.

Just be vigilant watching the new rose. I had cut down and dug out my Ballerina 3 years ago and though I had it all. Then, some new growth came up. It was fine for a year and then this spring showed signs of RRD. This time I am sure I got it all.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 7:36AM
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lori_elf z6b MD

I'm glad to hear the story what a survivor the Madame is! Sorry to hear of your continuing battle with RRD, but there seems to be a glimmer of hope here.

I've removed or transplanted roses before only to have some suckers appear seemingly out of nowhere a short distance from where the main root ball was dug up. I love those tough old roses!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:12AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Good for you, Michael. Sometimes I think the roses are tougher than we are.

I took out The Dark Lady since it was bright red (which I really dislike). A piece of her must have survived and the two flowers she's produced are actually a nicer, darker color, go figure.

I have two other young roses that popped up out of nowhere. It might be Cels Multiflora which I banished because of persistent blackspot. Keeping my fingers crossed.......


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:30PM
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mzstitch(Zone 7b South Carolina)

My heart breaks for every story I hear of RRD. I can't imagine losing such a beautiful plant you had for so long. I hope she remains healthy for you and spreads quickly to bring beauty back to your slope.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:10PM
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