jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.June 26, 2014

Anyone grow a own root Firefighter?
Just wondering how it does?

Our own root Mister Lincoln does not do to well...
Our Mister Lincoln is stingy on blooms, takes forever to bloom, dislikes cooler weather with a passion, blooms fall off the bush within 18-48hrs...

So I'm looking for a HT red that has good disease resistance to BS, has a nice shape to the bush, blooms stay on the plant for a fair amount of time and it blooms fairly well...
And I'll be growing it in a large container...

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strawchicago(zone 5a)

I have Firefighter as own-root, planted outside for 3 winters. It survived mid-May hailstorm (1/2" big), then strong wind broke the cane off, then I killed the tiny root (from our worst winter) by fertilizing.

I wrote about Firefighter rose under my username name "Chicago IL 5a" in HMF, see below:

"When the weather is above 80 degrees, Firefighter beats all my 15 Austins in fragrance. This got to be the most perfect red rose: tall, slender, zero diseases even in high humidity in my soil high in lime. It lasts for a week in the vase, the color is delightful, and still smells good when the petals fall apart. The rebloom is faster than Austin, and it doesn't occupy much space. It's a delightful rose for both landscape and cut-flower."

"When I mulched Firefighter with horse manure and tomato branches (both high in potassium) - the bloom gets huge, up to 5 inches, and lasts 1 week in the vase in cool weather. Firefighter and Annie Laurie McDowell are both divine in scents, one bloom can perfume the entire room."

"12 days ago, this was a fragrant red bud. The enjoyment is 2 weeks for a bloom on a bush, and 1 week in the vase. This got to be the most PERFECT red rose ever bred: low thorn, great scent, superb disease reistant. The repeat is fast, it gives me the most cut flowers in my garden."

"I'll give Firefighter a ten for bush-beauty: slender and compact, and for pretty reddish young leaves. It's 85% smooth, with tiny prickles, but upper stem is thornless, great for vase. It smells good until the petals fall apart ... the scent is delightful in any weather. Mine is own-root, I don't spray."

Jim, I got Firefighter as gallon-own-root from Roses Unlimited mid-May, it gave me 80+ blooms just for the 1st summer alone. You'll get your money worth. See below for Firefighter as 1st year in my garden:

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 12:38PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Below is a bouquet of red Firefigher and pink Eglantyne (an Austin rose). Firefighter bloomed past the 1st frost, into November. I remember seeing frost on the blooms.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 1:02PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Thanks for the info Strawbhill!
Sounds like a great rose then... I'll give it a try next year!

Our Mister Lincoln only gave us approx. 25-30 blooms per entire growing season. ML is going on 3 years old...

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 2:07PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I forgot to ask... How tall and wide does FF get? Thanks

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 4:25PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Jim: FF is 2 feet wide, 3 feet tall. Winter-kill is severe, so it always stay that size. Here's a picture of its shape early spring, 2nd year. I adore its reddish new leaves, so pretty even without flowers:

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 9:48PM
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I will be on the lookout for a Firefighter bush locally, or get one online next year. I have two Mr. Lincolns, very few blooms and it is a black spot magnet. Can't wait to get rid of it. Not to mention that the blooms do no last long in a vase eitherâ¦. Sad to say, not worth havingâ¦.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 3:22PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Donna: You'll like Firefighter, I like to stick my nose into its velvety red petals and sniff the scent .. sheer heaven. The late Karl Bapst, rosarian from Indiana, Zone 5a, once stated that Firefighter and Double-Delight gave him the most cut flowers among his 400 roses.

I'm impressed with Firefighter & Double-Delight ... both bloomed at hot temp. above 90 when others shut down.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:12PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.


I have a own Mister Lincoln. Early spring I transplanted it from the ground into a large container using regular Miracle Gro potting mix.

In the ground the blooms on our ML fell off within 18hr-48hrs.

In the large container this year the first two blooms have lasted 4.5 and 5.5 days on the bush.

First bloom was getting 12 hours of sun per day.
Second bloom I moved the container so ML would only get 8 hours of sun daily.

If it rains hard I can put the container on the porch so the blooms do not get
Because ML can be a real snoozefest....

Our ML is actually very resistant to PM and BS...

I'm also looking forward to trying firefighter! :-)

This post was edited by jim1961 on Tue, Jul 8, 14 at 19:06

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:48PM
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Oh, strawberry, the thought of sticking my nose inside the velvety blooms and sniffing pure heaven sounds divine! Jim, that is so interesting how you have gotten your Mr Lincoln to behave. Good for you, that you figured out what to do.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:30PM
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My Mr Lincoln might be going to the big rose garden in the sky next year. In our heat, ML bolted to 7ft and grew canes fatter than a cigar with wicked ninja thorns. If it bloomed nicely I could tolerate its growth habit, but it is stingy with blooms and they last maybe a day or two on the bush. I am searching out an own root Firefighter to take its place.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 9:07PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi HollyofRaleigh: Thank you for posting a great description of Mr. Lincoln ... that was funny. Firefighter is rose is awesome, except that the canes are more hallow, due to rapid growth. That hallow-canes become susceptible to cane-borers.

If I have to do it all over again, I would use SLOW-RELEASED fertilizer like alfalfa hay, and STAY AWAY from chemical nitrogen, and to a lesser extent chicken manure ... both are high in salt & nitrogen. From eHow: "Rose Stem Borer - The larvae of the rose stem borer beetle tunnels beneath the bark of the rose cane. The cane may exhibit a swollen area. It often breaks off where the rose stem borer larvae entered. The larvae spend the winter deep in the cane's wood where the insect pupates. In the spring, it emerges as an adult."

Read more :

Organic means to control cane-borers are Safer-brand, see link: "Insecticidal Soap (Potassium Salts of Fatty Acids) - The soap will penetrate the insect's shell and kill it by dehydration." it's different from dish-detergent.

Sawflies also damage rose canes. From eHow: "Sawflies
The larvae of the sawfly can cause serious cane damage to the rose bush by girdling the canes. Once the cane suffers girdling it dies. The adult sawfly wasps appear black and yellow. During April and May, the female sawfly lays her eggs under the bark of the rose cane. The eggs hatch and the larvae quickly burrow deep into the cane's interior where they feed on the wood of the plant."

Organic methods are cutting off part of the canes, there are other methods to kill worms, which I DON'T KNOW if that is effective for larvae. Some discussions from organic gardening forum:

"I was reading somewhere that the Amish people use flour and baking soda to get rid of cabbage worms??? Is that true?" Applebutton

"I have used just plain flour on my cabbages and brussels sprouts with good sucsess. the flour seems to make the worms gut explode-- and try to get it on the underside of the leaves as there is where the little stinkers like to hide." Emerald.

"I have done this, just the flour, and it seems to work best on the little ones...I have heard that self-rising flour works best. " Pharmerphil.

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic gardening discussion of flour to kill worms

    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 9:59AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Our Mister Lincoln is own root and only grows to 4ft high.
I had the same problem with blooms such as you are having so I put our ML back into a large container so I can move him around.
Blooms are now lasting 4-7 days on the bush...

But I think ML is only capable of blooming so much and thats all you will get!
We get 20-30 blooms from ML per entire season...

So another type rose bush would probably be a good idea!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 8:08PM
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