A Question about Little Carol

julie22May 18, 2008

For anyone who might have experience with Little Carol, I have a question.

I'm wondering more about this little rose. When I first received it, it seemed very strong and healthy. As time went on it didn't seem to get any new canes but the ones it had were getting longer and were still delicate.

Is this little rose best in a pot as a cascading rose? I didn't read anywhere that it seemed like a cascading plant but it does seem to be growing that way.

I have it planted in a peat pot in the ground and the rabbits made fast work of it. And it was doing so good! I put rabbit repellent around it but I might resort to putting a cage around it until it gets started. I've caged roses before until they got started. But if this one is more of a cascasding rose I might consider transplanting it into a pot where the rabbits won't be a problem.

Of all the miniatures I planted this year, this was the only one they bothered.

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diggerdave(Montana 4/5)

I'll check with the hybridizer's daughter about this mini. I know Little Carol gets very large. Don't recall ever hearing of her having a cascading habit. LC is on our short list of minis to get.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 7:54AM
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cuyahogakid(z6 Ohio)

Hi Julie22,
I was having the same problem this year with long spindly drooping canes on my mini 'Jackpot'. Now it is starting to recover its vigor and stand up. It also has strong new growth. I think dryer and warmer weather is all my rose needed.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 2:51PM
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diggerdave(Montana 4/5)

Sue got back to me pretty quick. Here is her answer:

Yes, I have grown Little Carol longer than any other person in the world. My mother hybridized this rose, and I grew the original mother plant in my garden in Chula Vista for many years. It was also the first of my Mom's roses to go into my garden here. I wouldn't be without it.

This is not a weak, little plant; and it certainly is NOT a cascading variety. The typical plant is huge and upright, averaging over 4 feet tall in Southern California. It will make canes out of the ground that are as thick as your thumb. With the exception of the mini, Big And Beautiful, which stood up over 5 feet tall, I have never grown a bigger mini bush plant than Little Carol.

Think BIG...and also think BLOOMS. Little Carol is always the first rose to bloom and the last. It makes slightly larger than mini blooms with tons of petals. Those blooms are deep pink with great form. Most folks would be drawn to it from across the yard, because of the gorgeous blooms on this huge plant. It always seemed to have flowers.

My advice is this.

1. Protect the plant from the rabbits with a cage, until it is big enough to defend itself.

2. Start treating the plant like it is meant to be 5 feet tall with a huge root system. Don't treat it like a tiny rose.

3. Forget the stupid 'peat pot'. This is an own root monster. Replant it...without anything confining the roots, except some nice loose soil.

4. Give it lots of sun and kick in the pants with something organic, like fish emulsion, to get some basal canes started.

5. Don't underestimate what this rose can and will do. Right now, it is trying to establish the root system which will be big too. For any decent size canes to form, it needs a bigger root system.

6. Think big root system, when you water as well. Don't just give it sips of water. Soak the ground in about a yard circle. That will help to extend the area for the root system to occupy and seek nutrients.

When Little Carol finally starts to grow, you will you realize that the effort is worth it. This is a truly great rose.

By the way, your plant sounds like one that was barely rooted in a very small pot. So, it may take a month or two, before it can produce anything but limp stems. This is NOT what you will get later.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 5:11PM
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Thank you so much!!! This tells me a LOT about Little Carol. I see I picked the right spot for it. Now to keep those darn baby rabbits out of my new miniature bed before the roses have a chance to get started! I did put a cage around Little Carol and a few of the others that were hardest hit and watched the baby rabbits trying to chew through the cages.

I can't wait to see Little Carol get started and show her stuff. This plant does have a beautiful flower.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 5:43AM
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diggerdave(Montana 4/5)

You are quite welcome and I'll pass the thanks along to Sue. We grow 20 Dee Bennett minis but I like to ask Sue when someone asks about one of her Mom's roses even if we grow it. She does give detailed replies :)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 9:32AM
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