Juvenile vigor

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Re: Juvenile vigor

by roseseek » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:37 am

Areas of long season, perhaps more heat, few (if any) arctic periods. Savannah to mid desert to coastal type climates. Sometimes, they do as well in worse conditions, sometimes not. Austin had to use climbers and overly vigorous shrubs so he could select for vigor in his harsher, shorter climate. That's why so many are so monstrous in my longer, hotter season. My "vigor" may well be insufficient for his type of climate.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by philip_la » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:29 am

[quote="roseseek"]Wouldn't that depend upon which climate they were being culled in? I would think a Zone 10 culling against overly vigorous types might lead to too dwarf, too tender or unsuitable types in a colder zone just as selecting for vigor in colder areas results in rampant monsters in milder ones.[/quote]

So, in view of your opinions about the English roses, Kim, who do *you* cull for? ;-)

Re: Juvenile vigor

by roseseek » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:11 pm

I'm sure some do, Karl. Some of his early ones made very nice landscape plants here. As a group, I found them significantly thirstier than the average HT or floribunda on the same roots. I also found them, on the average, to be more susceptible to sun scald and fungal attacks than the average "modern rose" in my extreme conditions. Heritage was a horror! The only time is was "healthy" in my Encino conditions was when it rained. Otherwise, it remained too dry, unless flooded daily (literally) and contracted rust, black spot AND mildew simultaneously. They would clear up only when copiously watered. There were many other roses in that terrace, the same distance from any hard scape and dealing with the same root invasion, and the rest were either own root or budded on the same Dr. Huey as Heritage, yet Heritage was the sole issue for water. It performed similarly in three other gardens in the Santa Clarita Valley and was a continuing headache until it was removed after far too many years of dealing with it. Pretty flowers, for sure, but terrible plants for savannah to desert conditions.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by Karl K » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:04 am

Kim,
To be fair, some of Austin's roses do very well in warmer climates. I was very pleased with 'Bredon' and 'Wife of Bath' in SoCal. They also do nicely at the SJ Heritage, where 'Graham Thomas' is too rampant. 'Belle Story' is also fine, as are 'Gertrude Jekyll', 'Mary Rose', 'Heritage' and others. The plants are irrigated there, so I can't comment on their thirst.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by roseseek » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:17 pm

That's precisely my experience with Thomas. I bought it from Hortico the year they introduced it. I was still smitten with Mr. Thomas' writings and hadn't yet proven to myself he had absolutely no idea how his proclamations of how all the wonderful OGRs would miserably fail in longer, hotter, more arid and brilliant climates. My first Hortico Graham Thomas, presumably budded to multiflora, exploded into a twelve foot monster with ONE, solitary flower, which blew and shattered within two days. Then, it began throwing long canes from the already gigantic ones and refused to flower again. I literally bare rooted that plant in the middle of summer and moved it. It responded by throwing massive new canes, again with ONE, solitary flower which shattered immediately. I thought if this was the best Austin could do to honor his friend, Mr. Thomas should have punched him. For several years, each time I encountered a repeat flowering Thomas, I propagated from the flowering stems, with very limited results. The plants always grew, but none flowered heavily like the photos and reports from cooler, wetter areas and none repeated as reliably as they did where it was better suited. I gave up. The Encino house had an obviously RMV infected Star commercial plant on the upper terrace which would flower a few times a year and continually throw huge, thorny, overly long, climbing canes as long as I watered it heavily. It was too large and inaccessible to be easily removed, so I simply kept it whacked back to permit to access the other areas of the terrace. I never attempted another plant of it, nor do I ever plan on wasting the money, time, space and water on another. There are many far nicer, less water demanding, more cooperative and reliable roses to play with, without pumping more money into the Austin coffers.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by Karl K » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:09 am

roseseek wrote:Wouldn't that depend upon which climate they were being culled in? I would think a Zone 10 culling against overly vigorous types might lead to too dwarf, too tender or unsuitable types in a colder zone just as selecting for vigor in colder areas results in rampant monsters in milder ones.
I observed just this phenomenon in 'Graham Thomas'. Up in Eureka, CA, it is a floriferous, rather upright shrub about 4 feet tall, just as Austin described it in England. In San Jose it grows taller and more spreading, but with fewer flowers. And down in Mission Viejo, the plant I had took off like a vigorous Multiflora rambler that didn't have the will to rebloom. I moved away before it had a chance bloom in its second year. Maybe it was spectacular. Or maybe it was removed -- I had it in a very unsuitable place for such a giant.

Austin's 'Swan' grew like a floribunda on steroids in SoCal.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by roseseek » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:07 pm

Wouldn't that depend upon which climate they were being culled in? I would think a Zone 10 culling against overly vigorous types might lead to too dwarf, too tender or unsuitable types in a colder zone just as selecting for vigor in colder areas results in rampant monsters in milder ones.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by philip_la » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:07 pm

So, how often does early culling for vigor result in plants with, say, "English Rose Architecture"? I'm sure that Austin selected by this method in his plants, and the few I'm familiar with aspire to reach for the stars before remembering to bloom in my climate.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by Kevin Brownlee » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:50 am

Pierre - Lucky you! What are you crossing rugosa and spinosissima with to accomplish that?

Re: Juvenile vigor

by pierre » Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:36 am

Not my observation, Kevin.

Rose breeding would be a lot easier if other undesirable features were as easily bred out.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by Kevin Brownlee » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:04 pm

I cautiously use vigor as a selection criterion since my crosses involve primarily species and near-species. Vigor above ground is nearly always a precursor to exponential vigor below ground, unleashing untenable suckering. Often, that is the only "improvement" over the parent plants.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by roseseek » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:04 pm

Peace CAN be successfully grown own root in the proper conditions/climate, but it's best kept in a pot and given "TPN" (total parental nutrition). Even then, it isn't the plant you expect from a well budded, well cultured plant in a "happy place". Perhaps part of the state of modern HTs might be due to Peace's traits, but it would be more due to that whole ethic in general. It didn't matter whether the plant was good own root, nor whether it required spraying or not as everything was budded and sprayed. That occurs with everything. "Survival of the fittest" can only succeed when fitness and adaptability are required for survival, whether it's with roses, dogs, even Humans.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by philip_la » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:12 am

[quote="pierre"]Karl is right: it is the true story.
Peace was initially an unpromising seedling that was preserved hoping for a possible better grafted performance.
[/quote]

I wonder if that could explain something about some of the shortcomings of modern teas?

Re: Juvenile vigor

by Karl K » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:48 am

pierre wrote:Meilland was and is mostly still breeding for grafted roses, not for ownroot roses.
Performance ownroot is important only for roses intended never to be grafted.

Performance has many components that stem from the roots and rootstock including health vigor, stature and cold resistance.
So much that very, very few garden roses still do perform ownroot.

By the way Peace was also from a small progeny.
Pierre,
Thank you for these details. Now I have to wonder whether anyone has raised 'Peace' on its own root successfully.
Karl

Re: Juvenile vigor

by philip_la » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:35 am

I'm a little surprised by the early posts from breeders with far more experience than I, but I guess if you have too many seedlings, and need a pretext for culling...

I differentiate between strength and vigor, and while I do find the most vigorous roses in my garden can often out-race disease and offer other perks, my impression had been that the market is strongest for healthy but more demure plants.

I think most of the posts assert a correlation between strength and vigor, but then it seems to me that you should cull for the lack of strength, and not equate the two. I also think plants can change an awful lot in their first years.

In the past, I have inadvertently culled some of my most vigorous seedlings for want of space (or perhaps I should say Mother Nature culled them when they outgrew their pots to an extreme, and I wasn't coddling the monsters nor "releasing" them to do their thing.) I admittedly have a few whose loss I continue to mourn.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by pierre » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:08 am

Karl is right: it is the true story.
Peace, may be the most famous rose as it stood out above all contemporaneous breeding achievements and among the most used parent with may be the largest successful progeny. Peace was initially an unpromising seedling that was preserved hoping for a possible better grafted performance.
Meilland was and is mostly still breeding for grafted roses, not for ownroot roses.
Performance ownroot is important only for roses intended never to be grafted.

Performance has many components that stem from the roots and rootstock including health vigor, stature and cold resistance.
So much that very, very few garden roses still do perform ownroot.

By the way Peace was also from a small progeny.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by jriekstins » Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:18 pm

I find that many roses do not begin to fully express themselves until yrs 3-4 and 5, but I also notice that most poorly rooted roses rarely ever become vigorous in the root dept. That is one of the things that I do cull for. If a rose is slow, has some other nice features, but also has good thick, deep, vigorous roots, I will probably keep it around for at least one more season. But even if a seedling has a nice flower or good color or is thornless, I dump it if it has wimpy roots. I also notice that the wimpy rooted specimens are usually the first to mildew or rust, so the roots systems of those are a bit more closely examined.

Re: Juvenile vigor

by andre carl » Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:25 pm

I hold off a little bit as I tend to follow Dr. Buck's method. "In his work, Buck noted that since many characteristics don't even develop until maturity, it could take 3 to 5 years for each test plant to mature and in some cases even bloom for the first time. Often the resulting plants were not worth the wait but still required years of study before being discarded." So I basically let mother nature cull the first 3 years and then I start culling in year 4. Space can be an issue but most seedlings are placed in graduated containers (1st season - 6 oz yogurt, 2nd season - 4 inch square pot, 3rd season - 1 gallon nursery pot or grow bag unless needing something larger) until planted in the ground in year 4. I am currently in my 2nd year of this.

This description does not address whether or not Dr. Buck discarded weak seedling right away, but I assume (rightly or wrongly) that he had the space to grow out most of his seedlings and so he did regardless of vigor. Mother nature tends to cull the weak/less vigorous seedlings rather quickly hear in Iowa and I assume she is even less forgiving in other parts of the country.

Link to above statement: http://www.cad.iastate.edu/GriffithBuck.html

Re: Juvenile vigor

by joverom » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:16 pm

I have mixed feeling about this subject. Vigor tends to be one of the first things that impress me and those plants are always moved up quickly. Then, there is a second group that are just plain wimpy. They are slow growers with thin leaves, weak stems, and they are not hard to discard. But, I do find a third group that do not grow as quickly and are definitely smaller--but they are among the first to bloom and they have nice foliage. They are just smaller. Many of my crosses of miniature roses crossed with larger cultivars fall in this category. It certainly stands to reason that flowering saps growth energy from a young plant and early bloom may occur at the expense of foliar growth--at least initially. Also, because they are smaller in stature, they do not compete well against the bigger seedlings in the tray and they may never fulfill their promise in the shade of these giants. But, removed to a tray with more seedlings of their general size and flowering capacity, some ultimately do quite well. I couldn't say whether these plants always have the type of vigor I need in my very cold climate where plants suffer a lot of winter damage, but that tendency to bloom early and repeat quickly is also one of the characteristics I want. Many of the vigorous giants have a long juvenile stage before they finally bloom so they are able to put all their energy into growth. I seem to remember reading somewhere that Will Radler's Knock Out was a late season germination and not terribly vigorous initially--it could have been easy to discard a smaller, late season germination. Just my two cents....

Re: Juvenile vigor

by pgeurts » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:13 pm

I have one plant that was real slow growing for the first three years but it really took off the fourth year. It reaches 7’ to 8’ tall every year now. But that’s an exception, most of stunted or slow growing seedlings never amount to much.

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