I was looking for a vendor for "Brooks Red and Mavrik" the "Help-me-find.com" gave me Johny Becnal's Show Roses? I never ordered from here. What kind of stock are they grown on? Would like opinion's.
I believe Johnny grows his mostly on fortuniana, but may have some on multiflora available. He has become just about the prime source for some of the newest exhibition HTs. I know a number of people who buy from him, and they are all happy.
I have 60+ roses from Johnny Becnel, and I feel like he has some really good roses. As far as I know, all his bushes are on Fortuniana rootstock.
I have ordered from Johnny and am very happy with what I received. At one time he was going to have roses on rootstock other than Fortuniana, whether he has or not I don't know. I didn't ask him about it on my last order as I wanted to try the Fortuniana out here in So.Ca.'s alkaline clay soil.
I would imagine that 2/3 of my roses are from Johnny. Feed back on Johnny. How would you describe him and his roses???????......He is coonass to the core and once you meet him you will never forget him. He is very devoted to his roses. He lives breaths and dreams his roses. He knows his roses. He is hard on his roses and really tells you straight. He is gifted with that special touch.
Thank to you all.
I believe I will give him a call.
There are also others too that have some good fortuniana roses. Ken Muncy, James Mills and Giles. All are very helpful. I am really not sure if either of them though is carrying Brooks Red yet, but I think they have Mavrik now. To me each of these people take special pride with their roses.
Avis, we have been ordering from Johnny for the last couple of years and have been very satisfied also. They have all been on fortuniana rootstock though.
Susan & Ron
Johnny charges $25 per bush plus shipping. No advance payment or credit card charge is needed until you received your roses. Since his roses are shipped in the same pot as grown in the field, the one week shipping time causes a lot of stress to the roses inside. My experience is that it takes about two months for the roses to recover.
Avis; You will have problems with fort. Where you live The plants just cannot make it thru our winters.
In Zone 7 fortuniana roses have to be protected almost like tender HT's in Minnesonta. I'm talking absolutely buried. No way for zone 6. You probably don't have enough heat to grow Mavrik well, anyway.
Alright, Steve and Frank have put a stop to this. It is too cold here for R. Fortunia. I have a Tea rose (Anna Olvier) which I hope will make it through the winter. I need rootstock that can stand the cold.
FYI, I am growing a plant of fortuniana, yes, a plant, just to see how cold it can survive. Call me a doubting Thomasina, but before I buy ....
Anyway, so far this winter we've had at least three weeks with nighttime temps in the lower teens, and a night with 9F. (Max min thermometer, not me sitting out by the roses all night)
Fortuniana still has all of its leaves. All of them, and they are alive. NO winter protection at all, nada, zilch.
I did loose one narrow cane last summer when I tried to peg it down and it was in contact with wet leaves...canker got it. A second cane has a touch of canker 6 inches from the end, same problem from early November, contact with the ground.
I'll let you know how it makes it through the spring temperature swings.
Hi, Avis. You may want to call Mr. Becnal and ask his opinion. Last year, he was very forthcoming with me when I wanted to order a rose he grew on fortuniana. He didn't feel it would survive my winters and didn't want me to be disappointed.
Cindi, I've talked to Johnny and agree that he is quite a character but what does "coonass to the core" mean?
Have ordered from Johnny many times this past year. He is an extremely knowledgeable gentleman who truly knows how to produce a superior plant. His background in budding goes way back and I have found his "inverted T-bud" to be excellent. In Florida, when planting our bushes, it has been "de regle" to put milorganite and superphosphate in the hole. But Johnny gave me another "recipe" of "1/4 cup fish meal with 1/4 cup timed-release fertizlier of choice, soil, then another 1/4 of each. Grew the old standard and grew Johnny's way and you would be astonded at the difference. Needless to say, I am a convert!! My Papillon
(under a year old) was 6' tall X 3 1/2' wide. The man knows his business and is a pleasure to deal with--my mama always told me--"you get what you pay for"!!
I wish I had not wrote that down because to me its just a normal expression. Probably a southern name given, I do not know where it came from. "Canjun to the Core" might would have sounded more natural for somefolks not knowing that its normal.....I got a lot of I guess what is normal CA in me but not the accent just the blood. Raised in Lake Charles and many Louisiana kin I am called CA all the time by Texans.. I really do not know what I am but it never offends me. I hope not Johnny cause I might not get me anymore roses but I have laughed and told him he is pure CA.
I think he is proud of hertiage.
Have you ever listened to Justine Wilson a southern Canjun
cook and humorist?
Well Johnny loves to tell jokes and stories.
Or watched that movie Southern Comfort and listen to the Cajun accent. I do not know what it is. Its just something that is used down here. Maybe you have to eat crawfish to understand it!
Thanks for the planting recipe from Johnny. I am now kicking myself because I just planted my four roses from him last week with the superphosphate in the hole. Oh I'm sure that will work fine, but I feel like the person on the commercial who just realized "I couldda had a V-8".
Thanks again for the info.
Suzanne Horn in L.A.
I would like to thank you all for you advice on R. Forturina stock. I believe I will call Johnny and see what he says.
What about mosaic? Anyone know if the scions and rootstock are virus-indexed?
Last spring when JB spoke at Tenarky midwinter meeting, he said he would regraft budwood that didn't take and reuse the rootstock. We sent him Malcolm Manners write up on virus and talked about the problem.
Last weekend he said that if a bud doesn't take, he will toss the rootstock because of possible problems.
So, it sounded to me as if he continues to hone his art.
Am I missing something? Is Malcolm's experience in Lakeland, Florida being used to support the suitability of Fortuniana as a rootstock in North Jersey?
It amazes me that no one has brought up this same discussion about using Dr. Huey as rootstock in colder climates. Ca growers (such as Edmunds and J+P), insist on using Dr. Huey as their primary type of rootstock. True, Dr. Huey does do well in Ca, but the trouble is, Dr. Huey doesn't do as well as multiflora or Fortuniana for me here in the PNW. I have grown more and more plants on Fortuniana in the last decade and have seen no problems at all with it, no winter kill, no stunted plants, no root problems, etc. I only wish I could find a grower who will give me the choice of either Fortuniana or Multiflora. One way or another, I intend to move completely away from using Dr. Huey as rootstock in my garden.
Gee, do you suppose that's why my roses from Pickering on Multiflora, are so wimpy, while all the rest on Dr. Huey are thriving, Yup. I think as things progress, the suppliers will have to start using root stock that makes sense for different regions of the country, of course the prices will no doubt reflect that. Would you be willing to pay the extra, if it came down to it? Or am I being nieve(sp) here ?.....Greg
No Greg. I think we should all continue to buy Dr. Huey because, as you say, it works so well for you and other CA growers.
I'm not sure how to read in to your post, Loren, or did you missunderstand me? I don't think Dr. Huey should be used in other climates at all, if fortunaiana works for you, then it should be avaiable on the rose you want, and the same for Multiflora or Menetti(sp). Does this make it clearer?...Greg
I just went back to this posting today; however, I had to laugh because I realized on Wednesday that I have overprotected my roses. I literally can plant roses or any other plant because the ground is not frozen under the thick layer of hay. I guess I can try fortunia.
The multiflora works well for me.
The commercial growers I believe use root stock that best suit their growing fields not ours.
I had the pleasure of hearing Johnny speak today at the Tenarky District Workshop. He agrees he's hard on his rose, said he usually feeds once a year. He told us about a rose he budded and donated to Tenarky's Auction last winter. The man who won it got King in the next fall show. As for cold, Johnny said that it had been 17 degrees at least three times this winter in Lousiana, his slide was a fortuniana bush that looked about ten feet tall and at least that wide planted next to a dead Canadian multiflora. I think his exact words about F. taking the cold were "bull". He is a joy to listen to and really knows his roses. His slide presentation included beds when first planted and the same beds nine months later. The change was absolutely incredible. He also told us he doesn't even look where he prunes and brought samples of the growth created by his pruning. Good strong growth that was actually larger than the originating cane. His presentation included his new roses, some not even named yet. Absolutely breathtaking. I can't wait to order from him. Oh yeah, coonass to the core, I'd have to agree. Love to hear him talk.
We had single digit temps for almost 6 weeks in Dec and Jan and my new fort roses planted last fall look much better than the bare roots on Dr. Huey planted in November. We will see how they do in our late spring freezes but I am impressed so far on the hardiness.
Sandy, did you tell him I called him a Coonass? Oh Lord, but I think he has called himself that. So that is where he was. I called him yesterday and got no answer or no return call from caller ID. So, he is selling our roses to Tennessee. My My. We are just not going to have anyleft down here.
He's probably out getting his truck repaired. It broke down on his way to Tenarky,He had it towed back home, transferred the load, borrowed his son's truck , and still got to Memphis.
Because my Fortuniana in the back yard continues to thrive, I now have Slats, Cajun Sunrise, _______ Swirls, and Pops Warriner on Fort. Really put my money on my own advice.
Then I talked to someone from Bowling Green KY, who also has 'em on Fort. and he winter protects with pine straw, but no cones.
(Sandi, I'm sorry we missed each other...When is your soc. show scheduled?)
Ann, I was beginning to think you were invisible! I looked for you all weekend, every time they called your name, you never came up! LOL. Wasn't it great?!?!
Our show is June 2, place TBA. I've got the site up, check it out. It's so not finished, but at least SOMETHING is up.
I bought a Memphis Queen while I was there, got knocked out of all my bidding. Did you get anything? I liked that Cajun Sunrise a lot. How's it do for you?
The grafted roses from Jonny filled the back seat of the car. Cajun Sunrise was the smallest (JB warned me about the size when I called him to order it). I am really hoping that the colors will be even stronger up here in the north country.
At Auction, I got Bless Bridges, which I have desired strongly since talking to folks at Carolina.
I'm still getting used to the thought of budding minis onto fortuniana for increased stem length and bloom production.
Where is JB located in Louisianna?
Becnel is out on the delta, way out. He's on the west bank, down below Belle Chase Naval Air Station. Maybe five miles as the cranes fly below Gretna, many river miles below New Orleans. (He used to be known for his citrus orchards and creole tomatoes.)
On a map, go to Belle Chase, and stay on the road by the river until you reach 8134 Highway 23. Chere, it is flat out there.
Someone posted he moved, is it true?
I called Johnny B, and he was very helpful. I ordered four roses and two mini's.
A very nice gentlemen.
Thanks for letting me in on the world's best kept secret.
Avis---Our shipment from Johnny arrived yesterday. You will be amazed how well he ships his plants.Hope they do well for you.
Understand ROSA FORTUNIANA. It is a evergreeen plant while most other root stocks used Dr. Hewey, Multifora etc are dicidous and require a dormant period. This is why it is the only root stock recommmended for South Florida, where Roses grow year round. Other roses burn out in a year or two. That is just one of the important reasons to use Fortuniana. It is nematode resistant. This is very important to South Fla. where it does not get cold enough to kill many. Nematodes cause root decay, abbrevated roots, yellow leaves, premature wilting, stunting and lesions. Fortuniana roots can asorb more water and nutrients. The root stock preforms well in warm weather. The roots do not grow deep only about 16 to 18 inches but do grow out laterally as much as 6 ft or more on some roses. They have tender feeder roots near the top of the ground so it is important not to walk on top of the roots. You need to stake the plant to prevent it form blowing around and breaking off the feeder roots. Jackson and Perkins sell roses grafted on Fortuniana root stock at nurseries only and they have a sticker on each pot that states "This rose is grafted on the PERFECT rootstock FORTUNIANA" I think that says it all. On Johny B., his roses are about the best that I have and I have roses from every nursery you have talked about and more. I will continue to purchase roses from him especially if I cannot obtain the rose I want from other sources. You have forgotten the oldest and largest nursery that grows on Fortuniana and that is Nelson Roses. A wholesale nursery outside Orlando. There are others in South Florida and if you ever want their names and addresses then let me know. Costo has started selling Nelson Roses 3 gal. pot $10.69 now beat that. Jim Giles and Ken Muncy are around $17. J&P sell some roses thru Home Depot and I have gotten some very good plants from them. Betty Boop, 4th of July, Veterans Honor, Diana Princess of Wales etc. You will love Johnny's Black Magic, Jema, Sweet Amy and others. Lat
Thank you, Ron and Sue and L. Farr.
I was looking up something on the old discussions and came across your post.
You'll have to let me know how your J.B. roses are doing (and what you ordered) and how they survive the winter.
Between you ordering the J.B. roses and Diane ordering from Carlton... I might have to think about updating my garden of mostly "bankers" a little or else get used to my best rose being "king" ;-) (or princess!)
I'm bumping this up.
Now just why did you do that. Johnny told me he did not like me calling him a C. I was trying to forget it. I really can not tell sometimes if he is picking with me or not. He said he was not. But I still am not sure. I just thought that was what everyone from Louisiana was called. I lived in La for 13 years. I saw nothing wrong with it, half the time I am still called a Texas CA. I do not do that anymore. Johnny is simply CAJUN! Got to keep my rose supplier happy! I repent!
I still like the way they talk though.
you can call him all sorts of names, but he knows his s**t. He spent two hours on the phone with me (his nickel). All those Becnels are growers and have so many things. He shoud be proud of his roses. I have never seen better! I quess because I am from down the road so to speak I can get past that YAT!!!
I planted 20 Becnel roses in late February and have lost 10 of them -- but I'm not sure what went wrong. (I've grown roses for 15 years, including ones on fortuniana.)
My Becnels were planted in a raised bed 25 x 90'. I followed Johnny's instructions for planting. The soil in this bed is good. We have about 60 other roses growing in this bed.
None of these Becnels have not grown as vigorously as I was led to expect. Bear in mind that I really wanted these roses to thrive. They have not been neglected. I amended the soil according to Becnel's instructions and have not fertilized them since. They get full sun all day.
Back in May,I noticed that some of the poor-looking Becnels were loosely tied to their stakes. I thought this might be disturbing the roots, so I re-staked them and secured both the fortuniana base and the upper portion of the bush.
After re-staking them, I have not lost any more of them, but they are still scrawny. Seems I remember Mr. Becnel saying his bushes would be growing blooms suitable for the show table in their first season in the garden.
So I'll give them another year in the garden.
Wow! What a thread! The only downside to Johnnie Becnel is that he doesn't have a website ... but he makes up for it by talking your ears off! Great guy! Excellent roses! High Price! But what the h---, he makes up for it in quality!
DixieRose, it could well have been from the plants moving back and forth. The plants you get from Johnny are really young, and the roots are very small and tender. However, they usually grow very fast. I planted 15 of his roses this Spring and they probably average over 4 feet tall right now. There's a couple of them that I hope to get some blooms off of for our show this Fall.
He shipped me some bad plants this year. Last year I got a virused Affirm. This year I got a virused Gemini and a virused Brooks Red. I have spoken or emailed several other people who have been shipped virused Hot Princess, Tickled Pink, Affirm, and Bees Knees. He denied that he had virus, but he did refund my money.
The plants he shipped this year had almost no roots, which may be what your problem is with the ten that died.
The first year plants I got from him did well, but he has not had a good track record with me the last two years. I don't plan to give a chance for a third strike.
I'm sorry to hear of your problems with Johnny's roses. I've bought between 75 & 80 from him in the last four years and have only had problems with three bushes, which he replaced. One other thing. All his plants are in a greenhouse, so they need to be acclimated to full sun. As for virus, so far (knock wood) I have not seen any on the bushes that came from him.
My surviving Becnals look 100% better than they did two months ago when I first posted to this thread. I think the cooler weather made the difference.
You might try Wisconsin Roses for mavrik. WinstonGaskin
I have bought numerous roses from JB. They sometimes arrive a little beat up from shipping but always take off quickly. They have always bloomed profusely by fall. Maybe it's the accomodating weather here in eastern North Carolina. Would really recommend cajun moon, cajun sunrise, and mavrik.
Does he have a website? Or how do I find out what he has available? I have been buying from Carltons but am always looking for new vendors.
As far as I know Johnny doen't have a web site or e-mail, you have to call him at 504-394-6608. Just a few of his roses are Brooks Red, Cajun Sunrise, Affirm, Mavrik, Raspberry Swirls, Cajun Moon, Pop Warner, Fantasy and many others.
We had Johnny at our last meeting. I swear if there was any man alive that can talk his roses to the least little detail that man can. I have heard Johnny talk many times. (I think he was practicing on us for the New Orleans convention, surely he had to had been.) Maybe it because of my rose society's men and their closeness. But I swear. I have never seen Johnny as perfect as he was last week. I swore for the longest that he keeps secrets. Just knew he just must tell some of what he does to those roses and only the elite he tells his real secrets to get those roses like that.
I guess has convinced me. He does not do that. The same thing he tells he tells over and over again. Swears it. I can tell my men asking him questions that he wants his roses done like he does them and we will get roses like he does. I guess he does not keep secrets.
Lane does not believe in all this rose foolishness. Thinks its silly and lots of waste of time. Tolerates it but really old fashion. He was glued to Johnny.
All this week with me still pruning roses and putting out organics. (I am very late this year) I have listened to. Do only what Johnny saids. Johnny this Johnny that. I told you! I told you! You feed those roses too much. Is that one of those 9 ingredients Johnny uses. I swear. Next lecture I am going to bring a tape. Lane may not grow roses but he has eyes. He has watched Johnny's roses and he just can see his roses are something different than regular roses. I do not know why.
I am going to try, really try to remember. If not. I am going to cry big time.
When you figure it out, please let me know. I haven't figured it out either.
Does Johnny Becnal ever exhibit? Has he ever exhibited? How do you know Johnny's blooms are different?
Does he have a website?
No website. You have to call or write to get the current list.
The current list is a moot point. Johnny is very, very ill at this time and is not shipping until further notice. You could, however, leave him a message and he might get back to you when he is feeling a bit stronger, should that occur.
At last count (1/7/04) Johnny had about 250 unanswered phone messages, which he is not up to returning at this time.
Perhaps it might be worthwhile checking back in a few months.
Altadena Mara, yes he has and as a recipient of some of his roses and winning with them, along with many others here in So.Ca. and elsewhere, I would say they are very good.
I was led into this thread looking for Becnel's on the web... no website. I am sad and sorry to here that this interesting sounding gentleman has been ill in recent months. Is there an update on his condition, and the roses?
His firm has been recommended to me as a possible source of a Marechal Niel on fortuniana. What is the status on virus in his stock? thanks, Allison
Johny Becnal passed away this year.It was reported in the other rose forum that they hopeto continue his business.
Thank you for the update, sacerdos. I am so sorry to have missed meeting a gentleman like him.... some of the best people I have Ever Known were "coonass to the core".... I love Cajun culture! I was excited to hear about a cajun rose nursery, but I heard about it too late.
Does anyone know if his family are carrying on the tradition? I think it would be well worth my time for a trip over there from east Texas to check them out, if they are open to the public.
I have been corresponding with Calvin Boutte, a good friend and "student" of Johnny's. Calvin is currently taking orders for and shipping Johnny's roses. He says there is an extensive inventory of plants available. Calvin can be contacted at 337-394-5662. Leave a message on the answering machine and he will return the call.
Thanks so much Elaine! I will give a call. It might be a good road trip over to the delta... been a couple years since I have been down Plantation Row.
I can not help but think about Johnny by hearing her say. "
some of the best people I have Ever Known were "coonass to the core".... "
Once I said that Johnny was Coonass to the Core and it got back to him...I honestly do not know if he was teasing me or serious. He told me.....he did not like being called a Coonass. Told me a back of a coons tail or something. Would you like being called a Coonass. I kept my mouth shut. I get called a coonass all the time just because I was raised in Louisiana. I thought it was just normal. Anyway. I never called Johnny a Coonass again. I changed it too......Cajun to the Core.......But he sure was Coonass to the Core! Even if he did not like it.
And thinking about Calvin with Johnny's Roses. Johnny sure loved Calvin. Calvin is too one of my favorite exhibitors. I just can not believe he grows those roses like he does. I still remember when he helped Johnny bring roses to our group. I think he just got into rose about the same time I got my first order of hts. I just can believe how he advanced like he did.
Anita and Calvin are just precious. But...Pure Cajun if he too does not like being a Coon's tail. And it reminded me of these pictures that George took with my camera at the New Orleans Convention. They were very dark and not clear. But he took a series of these. This is only 4. What I see in them is how much Johnny loved Calvin. I had to work to get them this clear. First he is talking with a friend. Then. Once he notices people taking Calvins photo...He just never takes his eyes off Calvin. I remember seeing this like it was yesterday. He did like that fellow and was so proud that day. I think Johnny would like Calvin handling the roses. If he gave his gift of roses to anyone it has to be Calvin.
And Sandy. When you think of Minis how can you not think of Sandy. Mini Queen. I remember reading that name long before I ever knew I would ever get to see the famous lady of roses.
One of my biggest regrets is that I did not get to meet Johnny Becnel. I have about six of his roses, I talked to him several times, particularly when he was sick. Just a marvelous gentleman. He said he was a Christian and was not afraid of what was to come.....
Just an update - Calvin is now handling Johnny's Roses - I have 300 bushes and all HT and Floribundas are on his fortuniana. Bushes will get 12 ft high and 6 ft wide if you let them. My Tiffany Lynn mini is 6 years old and stands 6 ft tall and 6 ft wide throwing stems like a floribunda. Of course for me its easy, if I need a bush its just a short drive across the river. Would recommend his bushes to all in warm climates. Since roots are near surface hard freezes may injure them. With bushes at 12 ft in height and hurricane winds @ 100 MPH with some regularity, humidity and heat that encourges fungus and insects one would not think of this as the place to grow roses but.... This is my first message - was surfing and noticed the questions about Johnny. Before he grew roses he was a farmer. He and I joined the New Orleans Rose Society together about 30+ years ago. Many many memories of the man. In our society everytime he'd come up with some new idea for growing roses, all would laugh and ridicule and then go home and immediately try it. He operated by the farmers almanac we laughed, then sales of the book skyrocketed in this area. He is missed.