making an own-root weeping standard.

luxrosaOctober 19, 2011

I was reading one of Luannes rose books the other day and read how one can make;

-an own root weeping standard.

I have seen two of these, one was made from an own-root

'Crepescule' the other was an 18 foot tall 'Susan Louise' with all its lower branches cut off from the ground to c. 8 feet above, letting the canopy appear like an apple tree in siloutte.

I hope to do the same to

"Mermaid' and 'Albertine'

the advantage is that instead of a 30' wide or tall plant, one has one that is of a more managable size. I plan on growing them to c. 8 feet tall and removing canes on the lower 5 feet and letting the canes fall in a cascade to nearly the ground. with a diameter of c. 8 feet.

this is done in 2 steps.

1. letting the rosebush grow until it has a big central cane that is at least 3 inches in diameter. and supporting the cane during this time.

2. when the plant is tall enough use fishing weights tied with line to the ends of the canes so they drop down.

No rootstock needed!!!

I'm excited.

Can you think of other roses that would work well for this?

I would guess that supple climbers with long canes would work best, rather than twiggy-branching climbers.


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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)


It's not an OGR, but my 'Cardinal Hume' is being trained into a weeping standard. It kind of happened because that's what the rose wanted to do and was nothing I had planned. Once I put the deer cage around the rose, it put up two canes straight up and then once it reached the sun, it put out new growth at the top of those canes. That's when I decided to train it into a standard. The funny part of the whole thing, is that once the plant had the opportunity to put it's energy into the top of those two canes, it stopped putting out growth down below.

I had to make the deer cage larger so that I could make a larger standard rose.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 10:17PM
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Lux - did you really mean "3 inches in diameter"? That could take decades!


    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 10:20AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

I've been doing it with a Mermaid at my mother's house. In her yard, she has an old rotting playhouse that is on stilts up in the air that needs to be covered. All I did was to choose a good strong cane and then cut off everything that tries to grow at less than the 8 foot up mark. So far it's working fine, but you need to keep after it, as the rose would like to grow new basals. But the rose police (me) keeps cutting them off. I would imagine you could do it with any rambunctious climber.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 11:30AM
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The part about all of this that I don't understand is the "weeping" part. Training a rose to a standard seems straightforward, but how do you get it to send it's canes back downwards. Seems to me they all really want to grow UP....????

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 1:03PM
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Most do, Susan, but the weight of the canes can often cause them to droop or "weep", and some varieties are more suited than others. Renae is marvelous for weeping, as would be anything else limber and lax. It would also be much easier with types which aren't terribly brittle. Kathy's Mermaid works, but for a tighter area, I'd expect a decent amount of breakage. Mermaid is an amazingly tough rose, but the canes can become extremely brittle with any age. "Ramblers" and those which mimic that types growth would tend to be the easiest and most suited for a weeping standard. Many other roses can easily be massaged into forming one piece, own root standards. Kim

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 1:19PM
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seil zone 6b MI

It depends on the rose and how stiff the canes are. Some roses tend to have long flexible canes and those would naturally "weep" if grown at a 6 foot height. Others are very stiff and upright in nature and would never be able to bend downward to "weep" effectively. I would think most modern HTs would be unsuitable. Although I've seen a lot of modern HT standards available at nurseries but they do not "weep". I have no experience with the two roses you mention but from HMF pictures they appear to be lax enough to do this with.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 1:21PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

Mermaid does not "weep" at all. Indeed, I tie the canes to the playhouse where I want them to be. (I want the playhouse to disappear, lol).

It would seem to me that you could probably never have an "own root" weeping standard, on second thought. If the canes were lax enough to weep, then it would be hard to get them to form something stiff enough to form the trunk portion. Better off probably taking your weeping rose and grafting it at the top of a rooted something else that you want to get rid of in that spot. And really folks, grafting is not all that difficult -- just try it. You could do it on something already growing on that piece of ground. Or just use a not-particularly-liked vigorous rose already in your yard for practice. But it has to be vigorously growing -- half dead will not work.

Here is a link that might be useful: how to graft a rose video

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 1:53PM
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More lax growth would be more difficult to create a "trunk" from, but if several canes were tied together up a stake to the point where you want it to weep, almost like training them up an umbrella, then permitting them to fountain out, it would be quite easy. Kim

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 2:50PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I agree with Kim and I would braid them too! Don't know if it would work but it sure would be a sight!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 7:12PM
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jill_perry_gw(z9 CA)

De la Grifferie would work on its own.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 10:58PM
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landperson and all,
the weeping part is where the fishing weights come into play.
the book mentions that by tying fishing weights on to the end of each cane that you wish to grow downwards, causes t
the diameter of 3" was for 'Susan Louise' a R. giagantea hybrid, Albertine could be trained when c.2 inches in diameter or as soon as the plant is 5 feet tall.

-Jill, thanks for mentioning de la Grifferie. I've seen it grown as a self supporting bush, which a graceful growth habit. It is such a beautiful plant and I love how the flowers waft their scent all the plant.

One of the reason why I like this method is that it can done more swiftly with a plant already in the garden, I don't know how much longer I will live, well none of us do really, but I'd like to see more swifter results than from growing rootstock plants and then grafting.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 6:24PM
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Thanks, Lux, for the information about the fishing weights. I am probably not going to start any weeping standard roses, but I'll bet this information is going to be helpful in my attempt to get a newish plum tree to deliver it's plums into my hands instead of up into the sky.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 7:49PM
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