I've been following an interesting thread on own root vs. grafted roses . . . Do serious exhibitors ever opt for own root roses (specifically HTs & Floribundas)?
I have approximately 120 HT's and all but 3 or 4 are on Fortuniana rootstock.
It just takes so long for a HT or FL to get to any size when it is own root. I have a Natasha Monet own-root, it's been in the ground for 4 years, and it's just now getting canes of any size to even consider entering into a show, and it's not Queen material by any means. Just takes too long.
Most minis are own root, although I know a few of the exhibitors have minis on Fortuniana.
If the only way I can get the rose I want is ownroot then that's what I get. Ownroot is not a preference for me, would much rather have grafted, anyway after putting on 4" of mulch and compost every year most of my roses will go ownroot eventually, except for the ones on Fortuniana. From what I can tell ownroot is a cold winter thing which does not happen here.
It has been my experience that floribundas and hybrid teas do not grow well at all on their own roots, at least in my neck of the woods. My 12-year-old Playgirl is an 18-inch wimp; I saw 5-foot tall Playgirls budded on Fortuniana. Of course, there are a few exceptions. The pink hybrid tea Andrea Stelzer grows very well on its own roots; mine is 7-feet tall.
Miniatures are a different story and grow quite well on their own roots. Some of the larger minis such as Bees Knees, Arcanum, and Miss Flippins I have had to move up to 10-gallon pots because they are so big and vigorous.
In the shrub and OGR category, that is a mixed bag. Many do grow well on their own roots if you have patience and are willing to wait several years. But others never seem to reach their full potential so budded is better.
Not to be overlooked is the instant gratification that many of us require. Although I do sometimes take cuttings of rare and unusual roses that I can't get anywhere else, I would much rather get a fully developed bush already growing in a pot, budded and ready to spring forth as soon as I plop it into the ground.
Exhibitors are not a patient lot.
Its really the hardwork beneath the winners!!!! Dont let anyone else fool you, theres no simple way around. It the hardwork that wins the hardware.
I really like the HT 'Suffolk'. Mine is on its own roots and never seems to really give me enough for a show winner. Every time I see 'Suffolk' win in a show I ask the exhibitor, and every time it is a budded plant. I know that is just one example, but it tells me something about hybrid teas.
Minis, on the other hand, do just fine on their own roots. I only bud those that seem to struggle and stay too small on their own.
It really depends on the variety and the climate. In Pasadena, nearly all of my minis, polys, florbundas, OGRs and shrubs were on their own roots, and even some of the HTs. In fact I regarded their ability to do well on their own roots as one major factor in keeping a rose. The HTs there were on a variety of rootstocks, most commonly Dr Huey but also some multiflora but no fortuniana. Now that I am in Arizona, nearly all of the HTs are on fortuniana, a are some of the floribundas and even some minis. I find here, based on Dona's experience, and now my own, that fortuniana is a superior rootstock. Most of the rest are on their own roots, tough there is a smattering on Dr. Huey. Multiflora oesn't work in this heat at all.
Kitty -- some of Wilke's fls are own root. Playboy & Playgirl especially. So - it just depends on the climate because when Connie & Bill come to a show with floribundas, they usually sweep it.