Juvenile vigor

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jbergeson
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Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59906Post jbergeson
Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:07 pm

A question in my mind today...

How important is it to select for vigor at an early age?

My suspicion is that I should be far more proactive in culling non-vigorous seedlings. I think I could cut the number of seedlings I put out in the field down by at least 50%.

Once a runt, always a runt? My tentative answer is yes.

Warren
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59907Post Warren
Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:41 pm

Joe it is one of most important traits I strive for. Vigor is important for a list of things, * the ability to replace old wood with new ( very rarely do I leave any wood which is over 2 yrs on the plant) ,* the ability to rebloom quickly ( growth buds break while plant is blooming), * the ability to replace foliage quickly if stressed by climate conditions or disease.

If a seedling doesn't show positive growth vigour then it is culled very quickly.

Warren

david zlesak
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59909Post david zlesak
Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:46 pm

Hi Joe,

I agree. I tend to cull about 50% or sometimes more along the way before planting out. Years ago I would save more and kept track of them some and found that the slow growing and runty ones tended to stay that way. I tend to save more seedlings from special crosses just to have some seedlings to watch. I tend to pot first in 6 packs and then after they start to flower sort through common aged seedlings for what to save to put in 3" deep pots and grow on a couple more months before I can plant them out in spring.

roseseek
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59917Post roseseek
Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:07 am

Same here. I've observed repeatedly for some years that those which lack vigor, also lack decent root systems and are far more likely to express fungal problems. Perhaps some might be interesting when budded, but we already have far too many of "those".
Kim
California Central Coast
USDA Zone 9b
Sunset Zone 15
Cooler inland coastal valley with strong marine influence

cathymess
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59918Post cathymess
Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:05 am

Thank you for this thread. I currently have around 90 seedlings from my 2014 crosses, most are only around 1-2 inches tall at this point, under lights. I want to remove the weaker ones.
My takeaway from this thread is that I need to group seedlings from the same cross together, in order to compare their growth patterns.

All of my crosses are from a variety of modern hybrid teas and floribundas.

Cathy
Central NJ, zone 7a
Cathy
Central New Jersey, Zone 7a
Hot and humid from June through August

Karl K
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59919Post Karl K
Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:41 am

Cathy,
I read (somewhere) that 'Peace' did not display its famous vigor as a seedling. But on maturing, it took off.

I just found it.

Harkness: The Makers of Heavenly Roses (1985) p. 127
"The original plant of 'Peace' was a weak seedling, but they budded a few eyes from it in 1936, and in October of that year saw that one of them had shot away sooner than normal, and was already in flower. From that point, the character of the plant became obvious, especially its vigour, its fine dark foliage and its wonderfully large flowers in delicate yellow and pink. It was, without doubt, the most beautiful Hybrid tea the world had ever seen."

The moral is, don't be too quick to reject seedlings that seem weak. You may lose another 'Peace'.

Karl

pgeurts
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59924Post 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.
Paul Geurts
Zone 4 Minnesota

joverom
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59925Post 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....
Julie Overom
Barnes, WI (Northwest Wisconsin, Zone 3)

andre carl
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59926Post 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

jriekstins
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59928Post 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.
]Jackie, SoCal., zone 9b,coastal foothills

pierre
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59935Post 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.

philip_la
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 59940Post 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.
Philip F.
[size=small][color=#669966]Zone 8 / Sunset Zn 30 (Austin, TX -- formerly New Orleans, LA)[/color][/size]

Karl K
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 60003Post 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

philip_la
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 60004Post 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?
Philip F.
[size=small][color=#669966]Zone 8 / Sunset Zn 30 (Austin, TX -- formerly New Orleans, LA)[/color][/size]

roseseek
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 60006Post 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.
Kim
California Central Coast
USDA Zone 9b
Sunset Zone 15
Cooler inland coastal valley with strong marine influence

Kevin Brownlee
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 60016Post 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.

pierre
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 60022Post 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.

Kevin Brownlee
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 60023Post Kevin Brownlee
Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:50 am

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

philip_la
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 60039Post 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.
Philip F.
[size=small][color=#669966]Zone 8 / Sunset Zn 30 (Austin, TX -- formerly New Orleans, LA)[/color][/size]

roseseek
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Re: Juvenile vigor

Post: # 60043Post 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.
Kim
California Central Coast
USDA Zone 9b
Sunset Zone 15
Cooler inland coastal valley with strong marine influence

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