Charles Austin - seed parent

canadian_rose(zone 3a)January 13, 2013

I know that Charles Austin is a good seed parent as to setting hips. But, what do you think about it as passing on good attributes to its progeny?

I'm asking because my Charles Austin (grown in a pot) is a weak grower with not all that many blooms. Probably doesn't like being grown in a pot? I was thinking of getting rid of it. I've had it for 3 years.

But, if it's fantastic as a parent - then I'll keep it.

What are your thoughts?

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Carol, I think your issues with Charles Austin are likely due to it being stunted by the length of your growing season; the severity of your winters and being "bonsaied" in a pot. In a much longer climate, Charles is ginormous. It wants to be a large plant to produce quantities of those very double blooms. What I would consider is the likelihood of it passing on that tendency to your seedlings, which could make it unsuitable for use in YOUR climate. How could you evaluate any seedling when the plant is unsuitable for your conditions? You might actually have a world beater from your efforts, but wouldn't be able to determine it because it needs/wants to be too large to perform, but being stunted/inhibited by your climate and the need to be pot grown to maintain it. I can see where you'd need vigor to your seedlings so they could perform in your shorter warm season and colder winters. That's one reason Austin uses climbers to breed his roses. Compared to the warmer, easier climates, his is more like yours, but when unleashed in our types, his roses often over achieve, out growing the spaces allotted them.

Perhaps your efforts may be better rewarded by selecting those roses in your stable which are happier being grown the way you must? Just a thought. Kim

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 4:01PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Yeah, I agree with you.
However, my roses will never be offerred to anyone else. Here disease is not a problem at all. Never. So I could never evaluate my roses for that. If I had any that were good - I could never say they were disease resistant. Besides the odds that I could hybridize anything of worth are low. :)

But I've taken Charles Austin off my list. I just decided CA didn't do it here - as you said.

Please help me on my next therad about Night Owl. :)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 8:23PM
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I used 'Charles Austin' in breeding for several years and never got anything of value from it, so I dropped it in favor of other, more capable parents, like 'Abraham Darby'.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:18AM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Oh that makes my choice sooooo much easier!!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 3:35PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Oh that makes my choice so much easier!! Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 3:36PM
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donaldvancouver(cool wet z8)

Carol, regarding never being able to evaluate for disease- First, I wouldn't be so sure- there is a fungus for every climate! At least in the bone-dry zone 3 I grew up in, there is still a bit of blackspot and loads of powdery mildew. And even if you were disease free, you could still trial your roses in other environments. This is what I hope to do one day: get a network of like-minded breeders in other environments and trial each others' roses for local disease resistance. IE maybe I could grow out a few of your winners here on the coast, testing them against our nasty blackspot, and you could test others' roses for winter hardiness, say. I realize you're just starting out, and these kinds of things might be a ways off (as they are for me at the moment) but anything is possible.
I worry about these independent breeders here and there who are keeping really beautiful, promising roses under a bushel, if you'll pardon the Biblical allusion, when they might really deserve some serious consideration.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:09PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

That sounds like a great idea! However, I don't think I would be able to help you out for hardiness. My area is glacial till and is impossible to grow roses in. So I grow mine in pots and overwinter in the garage.

But we do have a rose society here, and most of the members live in a different area than I - so they can plant in the ground.

And I guess you are right - in the worst conditions - I have had one or two get a bit of powdery mildew. :)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 11:56PM
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