Walstro
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:32 pm

Buy cheapie roses or go high end?

I'm wanting to buy about 20 climbing roses to cover a cyclone fence on our country "estate" (one acre!). I'm inclined to go to the bank and draw out enough money to pay for high end roses from a a nationally known nursery. My wife says I'm crazyer than a bed bug and that the $5 cheapies we can get at the grocery story are just fine. Should I listen to her and save a bundle or should I stick to my guns and get the expensive ones. I'm kind of a "you get what you pay for" kind of guy and she's a tightwad Scot!! Tell me how you justify your point of view.

grandpasrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Welcome to the forum Walstro! My first question, before advising you regarding quality of roses, is to ask where abouts you live. The reason I ask this, is in some areas, climbing roses are barely hardy, and it may not be worth your while.

If you live in an area where growing climbing roses is not a problem, then you can then decide which way to go.
When you buy the "cheapie" roses, you get what you pay for. What these usually are is the bottom of the pile after growers have sent their best off to the nurseries. You may get mislabelled roses, and not get what it says it is at all. These roses also come "bare root", which means there is no soil with them, and the have often sat like that for quite some time, weakening the rose's health. Often they are not even showing sign of life yet, so you don't even know if you got a dead one or not.

By buying your roses from a local nursery, that have been growing in a pot, you are getting a rose that is tagged and identified as to it's breed. It has been grown in it's pot sometimes for as long as a year, so has a more established root system for when it is transplanted. Also, when already growing in pots, you can tell if it is alive or dead.

Get back to me about where you are located, and I can give you a clearer answer as to which way I would go.
Also, when you are ready to plant these roses, let me know, and I can give you a few tips to make your roses a little hardier and healthier.

Hope this helps a little! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

Walstro
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:32 pm

I live in the Central Valley of California, specifically, near Modesto. As I mentioned in my initial post, we have hot, dry summers and moderate winters (it seldom freezes here). I appreciate the information you gave me about the cheapie roses. I've looked at some on the internet from a place in Oregon that are about $20 apiece with shipping and I'd be willing to pay that for good quality.

grandpasrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

What are you getting for your $20? That's pretty high. Is it a bare root rose (probably).
If you have access to a local nursery that carries roses, you would be better off to go there where you can actually see what you are paying that much for.
If you have made the decision to not go the "cheapie" route, then the next step is where to spend all your hard earned money. My vote is locally if you can.
Also, let me know what varieties you are looking at, and I can try to give you an idea of what to expect from it.
With that much money involved, you want to do it right the first time! :wink:
Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

Walstro
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:32 pm

I'd like to plant alternating red and white roses and for the red one Blaze looks good right now.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

'Blaze' is a great climber; might I suggest 'Iceberg' as the white...?

In your area, hybrid teas should not be a issue for hardiness, so the remaining question is how important is it to you to have great plants versus okay plants, and how long are you going to wait?

Roses are graded by the growers and there is a big difference between a #1 rose and a #2 rose (there's a #1 1/2 in between them too; why they didn't just make it 2 and 3... :? ). Then there are roses that don't even make grade, called culls; THAT'S a $5 rose right there...

Now you could coddle and baby and get that cull to turn into a pretty good rose, but it'll be a while, or you could shell out for that #1 and start with a better rose from the start. Covering a fence I might be inclined to go cheap, especially if it keeps Momma happy, 'cuz if Momma ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy... :roll:

That may well be the best advice I have given on this site; think about it, my friend... :wink:

Scott

User avatar
Grey
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1596
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:42 am
Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

I've bought both cheapie roses, and good quality roses. This was in Florida - hot, humid, nematode ridden sandy soil. Many roses live all of 3 years there, planted in the ground.

I had two good quality roses, and 12 cheapies. Every two years a cheapie (or several) would die, but the good ones didn't. They didn't get black spot as often, or as bad, as the other roses did (hot humid weather, especially during "monsoon season" really great conditions for black spot :roll: ).

Now, let's address the dry/sandy soil condition:

My dad still buys cheapie roses (also in FL). He says he just replaces them every year or so (he doesn't do more than put them in the ground and sprinkle them with water every once in a while). I convinced him if he wanted to go the cheap rose route, save the poor roses some trouble and have a large pot in the ground, and put good quality soil in that pot, since the sand doesn't do them tons of favors other than keeping them from having wet feet. Since then he now has roses that have lived 5 years. Soil means a lot.

Val can tell you more about rose-specific soil - I just mixed sand with the soil about 50/50 so it still drains, but not so damp as just plain soil would be.

grandpasrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Blaze is a good old standby climber, but the Iceberg I know is a floribunda, that only gets about 3-4 feet high, so not quite what you're looking for.
Scott has given you exactly what the low down is on cheapie versus more expensive roses. If you do decide to go with more expensive roses, you can still get them at a decent price. Don't think that the more you pay is necessarily getting you a better rose.

There are a number of good climbers out there, and also, because it is on a fence, you may want to consider ramblers. They tend to spread a little more, and have a longer, more flexible cane. Their flowering patterns are different however. A climber will bloom on it's main cane, and then send out lateral branches that will also bloom. A rambler will not bloom on a first year cane, but will bloom after that. You could also consider a mix.

Here are a few of each:

Climber:
- Altissimo - red, 5" single petal flowers with a spread of 8 ft and height of 10-14 ft. Considered one of the easiest climbers to grow.
- Dublin Bay - red, 4.5" double blooms with a spread of 7 ft and height of 14 ft. Highly disease resistant and blooms longer than other climbers.
- Madame Alfred Carriere - white, 3" double blooms with a spread of 12 ft and height of 18 ft. Also a longlasting bloomer.
- City of York - white, semi-double blooms, with a spread of 12 ft and height of 20 ft. Disease resistant and vigourous grower.

Rambler:
- Adelaide d'Orleans - white, double blooms, with a spread of 10 ft and height of 15 ft. Does well even in poorer soils.
- Bobbie James - white, double blooms, with spread of 20 ft and height of up to 30 ft. Profuse bloomer.
- Chevy Chase - red, double blooms, with spread of 8 ft and height of 15 ft. Blooms in tight, full clusters.

Hope this all helps! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

Walstro
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:32 pm

Hey, thanks for all the help folks. Somebody asked what I was thinking of paying, well, I saw some plants that were $20 apiece with shipping and thought that if those were what I wanted that'd be what I'd pay. Ten plants would be $200 and 20 would be $400 and for the benefit of really dressing up our little one acre place I think that'd be a reasonable amount to spend. As for the plants suggested, keep in mind that this is a 4' high fence and that a 10' plant is more than twice as high as I need. Any additional input will be appreciated.

grandpasrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Although your fence is four feet high, I am assuming that you want the rose to cover the fence all along, which is what the longer cane roses would do. They would just fall onto the fence as a support and cover more area of your fence.

If it is just a row of roses in front of the fence, like a hedge, you are wanting, and not something actually climbing on the fence, than you do not want climbing or rambling roses, you need floribunda or grandiflora roses, or even shrub roses. If this is what you are wanting, let me know, and I can give you a few suggestions on those.

There are hundreds of roses out there to choose from, so we just need to find the ones that suit the look you are wanting. Get back to me and we'll track them down! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

Walstro
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:32 pm

Val, I'm definitely looking for a climber, I'd like to hide the fence as much a possible. Does the price info I gave you seem out of line, or is that about right for what I'm doing?

grandpasrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Well, to be honest Walstro, of course not knowing the company you are buying from, the price does seem a little high. You are talking US dollars, and even in Canadian dollars, which are worth less, $20 is high ($23 Canadian). On average, I expect to pay about 17-18 dollars Canadian when I purchase a rose from a reputable nursery, which is about $16 in US dollars.
I don't want to scare you off, just encourage you to shop around a little, but then I have a little of the Scot in me too!! :lol:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Val, there is a Climbing Iceberg that I was refering to, but you are correct about me not specifying, so I stand corrected there...

The reason I spec'd that one is it is usually available cheap...

grandpasrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

I stand corrected. I wasn't aware that there was a climbing sport off of Iceberg. But you are right. The ones that are more commonly known are usually cheaper. Thanks! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

We both stand corrected now. Could we BE any more correct?

:lol:

Scott

Walstro
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:32 pm

I appreciate all the help you folks have given me. I'm saving a copy of this page for future reference (in the Spring of the year).

grandpasrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

No problem! That's what we're here for! The thread will remain on the forum as well if you need to find it next spring, it won't be going anywhere. Feel free to drop in again anytime! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

Return to “Rose Forum”