I lost my mind and bought bare root roses. Anyone have any suggestions for planting these things and having them live?
Lots of water and try praying.
Plant correctly. Water enough to keep soil moist until established, but don't overwater. A little artificial shade (especially for afternoon sun) may be beneficial.
First cut off any canes that are already dead (fingernail test to see if the cambium is fresh, or not). If there are no alive canes, return them.
Then plant in good soil and water, water water.
If they are on Dr. Huey Rootstock, make sure that your soil is sweet, slightly alkaline.
Continue to water.
After killing over 2 dozen roses in the past 5 years, some heirloom roses that I've transplanted 5 times over 20 years, I finally figured out the "key" to keeping them alive in this heavy clay we are "blessed" with.
That being do NOT plant then IN this clay.
The three key secrets are:
Does any plant like our clay soil? My yard is becoming a mass of raised beds.
Sandsquid, there are roses that tolerate and even love our acidic clay. But they aren't the ones grafted on Dr. Huey Rootstock and grown in CA or AZ. Dr. Huey thrives on slightly alkalin soils; it just sits and pouts on many acidic clays.
Rosa multiflora does really well on my acidic clay; so do its offspring. So do roses grafted on it.
Raised beds are a luxury. The soils are consumed over time and have to be replaced. The treated timbers don't last well either. And in times of drought, they dry out very fast and are a major problem when watering isn't allowed.
Look to the heritage plants at old homesteads and historic gardens.
>Does any plant like our clay soil?
Apparently, crabgrass, chickweed, and dandelion.
>Raised beds are a luxury.
In my case they are a necessity for my figs to survive their fist few seasons and get established. I dig a very wide and gradually sloping "bowl" and then till in a ton of organic matter and build up a gradually sloping mound about 8" higher than the surrounding area and then plant the trees. As the soil breaks down and compacts they slowly "sink". this gives the roots a fighting chance to punch into the clay and get established.
>in times of drought, they dry out very fast and are a major problem when watering isn't allowed.
I have come to know and love the super absorbent polymers such as "soil moist" and "water-keep" (google it) they soak up LOTS of excess water to keep from drowning the plants, and release it back slooowly.
Also I an now happily sitting on almost 200 gallons of beautiful "soft" (and _free_ :-) rainwater I collected. And I am installing a system of low pressure, low volume agricultural grade drip tape. Some Amish folk out in Middle Tenn. turned me on to this stuff, and if it's good enough for the Amish, it has to be good!
>Look to the heritage plants at old homesteads and historic gardens.
Ah yes, back to roses... My problem _-may-_ be that all my heirloom roses were of the Yankee variety. And my commercial roses were from J&P and were purchased for Yankee conditions. Deep soft fluffy rich loam.
Once my fruits, berries and grapes are all installed according to my master plan, and take less of my time, I'm switching gears back to roses. But not until I pull out all the irises and yucca, truck in a few yards of Pro-Mix and rent an industrial tiller to work it all in.
Until then I'll have to be satisfied with the dleidcate sweet smell of Hedychium coronarium - (White Ginger) one freshly cut bloom will permiate the house with fragrance for days!
Re grapes and clay...muscadine. And they mature after the heat of summer so canning grape juice and making jelly is a lot more pleasant than in an overheated summer kitchen.
Muscadine is one of the grapes I don't actually have...
All my grapes seem to contract a yeast infection, and spontaneously ferment into wine (???shrug???) I've never been a fan of Muscadine wine.
Now, Norton (aka The "Cabernet of the Ozarks") sometimes called "Cynthianna" over in Missouri, Oklahoma, well, I've got a few of them.
But back to roses...
Should anybody want to collect rose hips for me, I'd likely be persuaded to make some rose hip wine to bring to the Spring 2009 Memphis Area Swap!