For the last several years, we have been growing and selling old and own-root roses. We’ve been extremely happy with them, and many of our customers tell us that they, too, have enjoyed these hardy sisters of the particular tea roses.
One of our customers said to me the other day: “’Old’ roses I can figure out. But what in the world is ‘own root’? Don’t they all grow on their own roots?”
In a word, “NO.” Most hybrid tea roses (and many others) are grafted onto another rootstock because their own roots are weak or incapable of supporting the flowers. Or, we’ve learned, simply because the propagator is used to grafting roses rather than making cuttings.
“What’s wrong with that?” you ask. Let me answer with a question: Did you ever have a hybrid tea rose that suddenly started blooming a very different color?
If you have, you’ve found one of the problems with grafted roses. If the tops are ever killed back (by a cold winter, perhaps) it is very likely that new growth will come from the root. And that new growth will be whatever the rootstock was, not the grafted top growth.
So now you know.
Many of our favorite hardy roses are recommended by Texas A & M University, under the label of Earth-Kind Roses: earthkindroses.tamu.edu. For a concise list of the Earth-Kind roses and other White Wagon Farm recommendations: click here.