How important is own root

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How important is own root

Post: # 70641Post mntlover
Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:08 pm

I have read some here about the importance of seedlings being able to develop good roots, and I certainly would like to hear any thoughts along that line also. But my question is how important is that capability when selecting parents. (Other than the viability of some can be effected) I am noticing a significantly higher portion of seedlings descended from certain grafted varieties are exceptionally weak in their growth, when compared to the own root varieties. Obviously genetic capatability between mom and dad may be to blame. However, I realized I have no idea how strong the selected parent is when grown On its own roots, so unless the other parent provides an exceptional amount of vigor ( or hybrid vigor) it would make sense the offspring would be weak as well. Any thoughts on this?
Also, would you keep a rose and graft it if it is an exceptional bloom? Keep it for breeding and try to make a match with a much more vigorous rose? Or dump it and start over with different varieties?

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Re: How important is own root

Post: # 70642Post jbergeson
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:37 pm

I think you're making a good point. Roots are an important characteristic of a rose. Seedlings should be selected for good root characteristics as well, whatever they are...just select for roses that grow well in various conditions and you'll automatically be selecting for good roots. Own-root is the production method of the present and future. Grafting passes on viruses and complicates everything. Doesn't work well in cold climates. Confuses the customer as to why the rose they bought no longer blooms but sends up a long shoot each year. My conclusion, therefore, is that grafted roses should be completely avoided. Let that outdated production method die.

An anecdote from my business: We sell roses (bare root). I've gotten Mother of Pearl both own-root from Star Roses and grafted from Pan American roses. I had a customer muse that the Mother of Pearl they'd purchased one year did much better than the one they purchased the following year. We figured out that it was the grafted rose that did not perform well. Certainly an anecdote falls well short of proof, but in this business we often have very limited information and have to act upon it and promulgate the conclusion as if it were valid.

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Re: How important is own root

Post: # 70643Post roseseek
Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:18 pm

"I am noticing a significantly higher portion of seedlings descended from certain grafted varieties are exceptionally weak in their growth, when compared to the own root varieties." Though there may be other factors involved, you may have answered your question there. I do sometimes use some weak own root types, but I only select seedlings which are very good own root. "The Industry" has, for a century, produced types which demanded budding to be as "meh" as they have been. So, if we are to succeed own root, perhaps we should at least, primarily be using those which are successful own root?
California Central Coast
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Karl K
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Re: How important is own root

Post: # 70664Post Karl K
Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:01 pm

It is a bit amusing (or pathetic) that people can forget that evolutionary adaptation occurs even when we are not paying attention.

In the late 19th to early 20th century, Sweetpea breeders were so obsessed with larger flowers and more interesting colors, they failed to notice that some of their "best" new strains had lost their perfume.

Early growers of Amaryllis species and hybrids noted that some required a stiff (clayey) soil to perform well. But centuries of breeding Amaryllis forms that could easily be removed from their pots and soil have resulted in cultivars that don't know how to act in clay. The same could be said for potatoes, but with more centuries of breeding behind them. When selection, whether natural or artificial, takes a holiday, unselected traits can wander where they will.

Each seedling is a unique individual (though with family resemblances). This individuality extends to their roots. Some species favor acidic soils, while others need lime. Some species reach deep for water, while others scavenge widely though shallowly to capture whatever rain falls.

Hibberd (1864) wrote, "Where Gloire de Rosamene does well you are pretty sure to find that La Reine turns consumptive, and vice versa."

One could choose one or the other, depending on the soil available. Or one could bud both to a stock that likes your garden.

Imagine the difficulty a commercial grower of cut-flowers would face catering to the individual needs of every variety. But when all are budded to the same rootstock, the problem is solved. The same is true on the smaller scale of a private rose garden. Find a stock that does well in your soil, and will accept a wide range of scions.


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