Hello Idaho!! Any Rose Gardeners

lionessrose(z4b Idaho)February 7, 2007

Found this thread researching my frost dates via Google. I live approx. 15 miles South of Pocatello, Idaho. Is it me or has the weather been really odd this past year?? I had frost early in September of last year... And the weather this past 2 weeks has been odd too. Went from below freezing temps 2 weeks ago with a couple of snow showers nearing the end of last week and now day time temps are hitting the upper 50's ... not good, my yard has been in a flood for 2 days due to the snow melting fast and the ground still frozen. Don't remeber this ever happening before. I am trying to be a rose gardener... started my garden 2 years ago. I now have 70 plus roses planted, 30 or so of the 70 are my own, I grew from OP seeds. This is their first winter, not sure how many will make it. I spend most of my time in the Rose forum but would like to find fellow Idaho rose growers. Have several questions and research has lead me wrong a time or 2... like "now" is the time to prune your roses, while they are dormant, early February... spent 3 days pruning and cleaning up the leaves and now have been informed I should not have started pruning yet... too late now, 90% of my babies have been pruned :o( Crossing fingers and sending up prayers they make it and I didn't kill them. On that note I will post a couple of pics of my garden:


Can't wait to have it back, I so miss all of the green! Nice to see you Idaho. The Lioness

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Well, I'm an avid rose gardener, but this spring will be my first plantings in Idaho. I'm actually from Montana, but lived in California for 5 years and had a beautiful rose garden there. I'm in West Central Idaho, and when we moved here last summer, the grasshoppers were horrible, so that, and my rocky soil will be my challenges with the roses. I can't wait to get started though - this warm weather has me itching to start planting!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 12:39PM
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lionessrose(z4b Idaho)

Welcome to Idaho. I am an Idaho native, born and raised. My planting itch was so bad a couple of weeks ago I went out and purchased a mini-rose and jasmine plant, they are in my dining room now, boy do they smell good and it felt good to transplant them into their bigger pot, I didn't even wear gloves, got my hands good and dirty... be gone snow flooding,hurry April rain showers wanna see if I get my Spring flowers :o) We too have had grasshopper problems in the past, the cure I found (by accident, we wanted farm fresh eggs) was chickens. The grasshopper issue was near down to nothing ending last season, not to mention the hobo spider issue seems to have shrunk. I have only seen 2 hobos this past hobo season. However, allowing the hens and roosters to roam free is not helping my rose garden... I know they are eating bugs I do not want in my garden (thrips, aphids and so on) and they do leave good fertilizer behind but they are scratching up my roses, bark and grass in the process. They killed my only day lilly and 3 of my seedling roses last year. The hubby is going to help me fence off my garden area as soon as the ground thaws, I hope this will be a good compromise for my garden and the chickens. A friend of mine had rocky ground issues so she built large containers (made of railroad ties) and purchased soil to fill them with. Not sure what zone you were in... when did you prune your roses?? and right after did you dormant sray them, if at all?? Do you think I hurt my dormant roses by pruning them too soon or was it too soon?? We are still freezing in the evenings and the rest of the week shows upper 50's for day temps and 20's for the evening... Due to the flooding going on I can't dormant spray right now, the runoff from my yard is heading down to the river. The spray I purchased has environmental hazard warnings, one being do not apply when runoff is likely to occur. I hope to one day be an avid rose gardener and I guess with that comes learning from my mistakes, I just hope my mistakes don't take the lives of too many roses. Nice to have met you. Post pics when you get your garden going. The Lioness

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 1:45PM
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I've been thinking about chickens or ducks for the grasshopper problem also. I was concerned about the scratching, that's why I was thinking ducks. I guess theres a tradeoff regardless, but I'd rather deal with the chickens or ducks than grasshoppers! I haven't planted any roses here yet, as our house was just finished in Dec. I'm also going to do some building up of the rose/flower beds to hopefully avoid the rocky soil issue. As for you pruning your roses too early - I think you may be a little ahead there! But, roses are pretty tough, so unless it gets really cold again, they will probably be okay.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 5:21PM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

I'm near Sandpoint, in zones 4-6, depending on microclimates. I grew LOTS of roses in California before moving here and became quite the roseaholic. After growing roses here for a few years, my enthusiasm has definitely waned, but there are still a few I grow and some I want to try. Becase of the short season, cold mountain nights, and disease (canker, which happens over the winter, being the worst, followed by blackspot), I've eliminated some classes of roses altogether from my garden: Hybrid Teas, most climbers and shrubs, and of course Teas and Noisettes. Oh, and anything grafted. The tops are liable to freeze off, leaving only rootstock, and I'm not that fond of Dr. Huey (the most popular rootstock). Anything that has to be covered for the winter is out, as they invariably rot here. We have a long, cold wet spring (much wetter than Pocatello) and a similar autumn; both contribute strongly to rot. What thrives here: every Gallica and Rugosa I've ever tried, Rosa sericea omeiensis, Rosa glauca, Crested Moss, Trier (shouldn't really be all that hardy, but it certainly is, so maybe other ramblers would work), and any of the Canadian Explorer series. Hybrid Perpetuals and English roses struggle along, losing most of their canes to canker every year. I haven't tried any Albas yet but plan to. I don't even try anything that's especially prone to blackspot.

As for timing of pruning: the Rugosas don't get pruned at all, just cut out the dead canes after the plant has leafed out. Canadian Explorers can be pruned any time. You can't kill them or even discourage them much, no matter how hard you try! They only get pruned to shape them a bit. I prune them any time from now until April. The Serica gets cut back dramatically (to about a foot tall) after the leaf buds start to swell, to promote lots of new growth, since only new growth has those gorgeous red thorns. Glauca, Crested Moss, and Gallicas get pruned lightly to shape after they bloom. Everything else gets pruned only lightly after the leaf buds start to swell, so I can see which canes are diseased or dead and need to be cut out.

Lioness, good luck with your pruning. Only time will tell if you did them any harm. The winter is a whole lot more likely to have hurt them than any pruning you did, so don't beat yourself up about it.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 11:11AM
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I have a terrible time with roses but love them. At first I used to prune them early and keep them very neat but got a lot of dead canes. Now I prune only when I see new growth and know it's not likely to freeze hard again. It seems the bushy canes will help protect the new little buds if there is a sudden hard freeze.
I am toying with the idea of cutting them way back (around 6 inches) in the late spring to get bushier roses but am afraid to try it.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 1:11PM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

It's a bit too late to help with pruning advice for this year, but over here in Boise, the rose gardeners use the standard: it's time to prune when you see forsythia starting to blooming around town. I've used that guideline for several years now, and it seems to work fine.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 4:32AM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

Here are some of my roses. This photo is of 'Autumn Delight' (left); Rosa glauca/ rosa rubrifolia (center) and 'Gruss An Aachen' (right). This is a shady corner; a bit too shady for the Gruss An Aachen, I'm afraid. The other two love it. :) I've heard that rosa glauca does well in full sun, but here in the desert it seems to prefer some shade.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 5:29PM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

I really like rosa glauca! It only blooms once, but its grayish-purple leaves look good all summer, and it has chocolate-colored hips that eventually turn bright red and stay that way a long ways into the winter. Here's what my plant looks like in late summer: I think it's a great all-round shrub. When my daughter's Girl Scout troop had to plant an area at school recently, I made sure they included one of these. :)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 5:33PM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

Here's another one of my favorite roses, a hybrid musk named 'Buff Beauty.' It has a weird growth habit (more "out" than "up"), so it needs a spot where it can sort-of cascade, like on the top of a retaining wall. Here's a close-up of the flowers:

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 5:38PM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

Here are some more of my roses! I have a cream/ chartreuse and red/maroon theme going in this bed. I like the combination, although the darker colors don't show up all that well against the dark brown garage wall. I have 'Tuscany Superb,' 'The Prince,' 'Black Jade,' 'Graham Thomas' and 'Sunny June' in this bed (not all are visible in this photo, though!)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 4:17PM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

susaninthegarden, I knew some people in the (Boise) Rose Society who did cut their roses back to about a foot or less every spring, and they had good luck with doing it that way. Those people were mostly interested in growing "show" roses, so they wanted higher-quality blooms even if there were fewer of them. It kept their rosebushes compact and neat-looking, too. Personally, I like to have my rosebushes larger and more floriferous, but that other method does work . . . unless you're growing once-blooming old garden roses! :)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 4:28PM
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I'm zone 6 (between Cambridge and Council). I planted quite a few roses this summer and most are doing great. What do I need to do to prepare them for winter? I know when we lived in Montana, I had to really protect them, but not so sure I need to do that here.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 12:15AM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

cymraes, I hate to admit it, but I don't really know where Cambridge and Council are! Here in Boise, I don't have to give any of my roses any winter protection of any kind (although I don't grow really tender ones, like chinas).

I do stop deadheading, though, at about this time of year. The idea is to let the roses form seeds as a signal to their internal mechanisms to stop producing new growth and start hardening off for winter. (Probably you already knew this, but just in case, now you have it!)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 1:31AM
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We're about 2 hours NW of Boise just off Highway 95. It gets colder here than in Boise, so I'm not sure if I need to protect them or not. I especially don't want to cut back my climbers. I guess I'll do a little more research!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 11:21PM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

I looked up Cambridge and Council on the map, and sure enough, it probably gets a LOT colder where you are! Maybe someone from your area will join in with some advice . . . but, for whatever reason, it doesn't seem as if there are very many Idaho people on Gardenweb.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 10:50PM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

By the way, lionessrose, how DID your roses do this summer after that early pruning?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 10:53PM
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lionessrose(z4b Idaho)

Wow, should not have been gone so long. Look at all the beautiful rose pics I have been missing out on! They are BEAUTIFUL!
Overall my babies did pretty good. Not as good as last years blooms and not as much growth as I had hoped for. I lost a few but replaced them with many, many more... Here is a pic this last season after more digging,planting and remodeling but before the nasty snow hit

Here are a couple of my own seedlings grown from seed

I live in a cold zone 4b. I do not protect my roses. I have been weeding out those that will not survive here and replacing them with zone 3-4 roses that need no protection.
For the most part I will not know how my new babies will do until the new season. Last years zone 3-4 planted roses came back perfect this season. There was very little to no die back.
I am very pleased with them.
Freezing in Idaho & sick of snow, The Lioness

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 9:06PM
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glen_or_linda(5 SE Idaho)

I just found this thread. Oh my goodness.. what gorgeous photos!!! We are finally starting to see a bit of green here in the Pocatello area and these photos are just fill me with joy right down to my toes. Thanks so much for posting these!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 11:14AM
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