Henry Kelsey ... good in zone 3 ?

twroszJanuary 31, 2009

Not for me anyways! I had a large plant at the farm, though it was in a somewhat exposed location and would die back unless laid down for the winter, then it was a bloom machine! At the new place, last year I had set out a rather large potted specimen and it went into winter being very well hardened off. I checked on it today and I see that much of the top growth has died back, it's no longer nice and green when the bark is scratched off.

Someone had mentioned this one doing good for them even in Zone 2 ... mmmmmm? How has it done for others? Thanks from Terry ...

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Terry, I have a Henry Kelsey rose in zone 2b and it has grown beautifully for me for many years. I can't remember exactly when I bought that one, but it was one of my first roses here in this garden. I moved it from the back where it had been originally planted to the front a couple of years ago. I pruned it back hard for the move, and it did wonderfully. I lost a couple roses in the front garden last spring, where the mice girtled them. I can't remember now if one was the Henry Kelsey or not. But my rose loses were certainly not do to climate or zone. Have you checked around the bottom of your roses to make sure you don't have any distructive mice in your area? Most of my roses are still under 4 or 5 feet of snow...just the tops can be seen at this point. The explorer roses against the house and the garage, don't get snow cover, and they have been comming back for many years as well.

I don't remember if it was me that told you that before or not. I also wonder if it is still to early in the year, to tell just yet?


    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 12:41AM
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sazzyrose(2b Sk)

I've had Henry Kelsey for years. Some springs it had died right back to the ground and yet some others it has lots of green cane in the spring. I don't have it in a ideal location. It was planted on the east side of one of my sheds.
I will be moving it this spring into a better location. Once in full sun, I'll be able to see it's full glory.
Terry don't bother looking at how your roses are doing yet.Winters are not the hardest on the roses....it is the spring thaw.
In my experience all of the roses will die back some. But once that root system has settled in nicely, it won't really matter. The rose will be a bloom machine irregardless of how much die back..


    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 7:41AM
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Thanks Sierra and Shelley for you comments. I had again checked on the plant and I see the stems are blackened several feet down and am sure it will be looking alot worse by the time spring rolls around. I have it planted in prominent site and was hoping for it to be capable of obtaining substantial size, though I guess I'll have to select another variety such as John Davis or John Cabot, OR I could do like before and lay the stems down for winter.

Sierra, I always put out mouse poison in the late fall to discourage the buggers from chewing on my plants.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 8:07PM
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I am also in Zone 3 and Henry does great here. I have two bushes (one on each side of an iron arbour) and they grow right to the top. They are loaded with blooms every summer (once) and bloom throughout summer, although not nearly as much as the first flush. I have had voles chew around the canes one year, and I simply cut them about 8 inches high, and they rebounded to almost the same height that same summer. I have John Davis too (doesn't grow as tall-light pink and I like very much) and two John Cabots (don't bloom nearly as heavily as HK or JD) I would recommend John Davis, or Henry Kelsey over John Cabot--but all three do well.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 12:11PM
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jtjjdc .... John Davis and John Cabot both do very well for me ... so, I conclude that Henry Kelsey must have a grudge against me, lol. It's situated in a sunny location well protected from any winds and in very good deeply amended, though not overly rich soil.

Shelley said "I've had Henry Kelsey for years. Some springs it had died right back to the ground and yet some others it has lots of green cane in the spring"

So, I guess this rose has borderline hardiness depending upon your own location and conditions.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 1:13PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Terry, how has Henry been for you in the last few years? I've been wondering about winter care for mine and can't find much information. I've heard that you're supposed to lay climbing roses down for the winter and have done that in the past, but this year i found it difficult to do as his canes have grown fairly thick. Is it possible that i could simply mound the lower area in leaves like i do for some of the other roses? He does suffer dieback in the winter anyway, but it hasn't been significant, unlike Champlain, for instance, that has a lot of dieback no matter how i protect it.

What do you and other rose people think?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 9:46PM
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Marcia, Henry has done very well the last several years, it's a large sprawling shrub that blooms like crazy in its first huge flush ... though, I've decided it's not in the best of locations and rather than moving the large plant with nasty thorns, I'm just gonna shovel prune it. Don't get me wrong, I do like the rose, but it winterkills back for me unless we have a mild winter or its laid down to the ground and covered over with snow. I'm now very keen upon a descendant of 'Henry Kelsey' ...'Ramblin Red', yes, it also requires protection, though has very high quality full blooms produced all summer without let up, I really love 'Ramblin Red'!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 2:50PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Thanks, Terry. I've seen pictures of Rambin' Red and it makes me wish i had more room! Henry blooms most of the summer for me. He does take some time off in July, but usually in August, he has another flush of blooms that last into September. I'll keep him for now! (he is a spiny guy, though - he bites!)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 4:58PM
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Yes, Henry is a bloomer and a biter, lol.

I laid the roses down the other day, I just place cut sections of logs upon the stems and this holds them in place with little damage done. Yesterday, it snowed like a son of a gun and now the roses are all tucked in for the winter. I'll still place some mouse poison around them and trample the snow down so it becomes hard and compact and difficult for the mice to tunnel through, then I'll also shovel more snow on top of the roses ... so, roses have your good long rest and I hope we all winter well.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 1:52PM
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