Questions and Comments sent to Azalea House Flowering Shrub Farm in Albany County, NY Date in red, Comment or Question in green, my answer in black.

September 21, 2007

I have been told there is a lilac which will grow in Zone 8. Do you carry any of them which will?  Thank you, Fitzgerald GA 31750

Click on this picture for a larger version. Father John Fiala in his book "Lilacs" said on page 13 about the hardiness of Lilacs; That they are shrubs for colder climates doing best in zones 3, 4 and 5, or colder regions of zones 6 and 7. Zones 8 and 9 appear to be too warm though they are said to bloom just fine in Houston, Texas. They grow but don't bloom well in Gainesville, Florida that I understand is in the interior northern region of the state. As the buds of most lilacs need a period of frost or drought any region that is too warm to provide the frost still might have drought. Two possibilities for southern climates are Syringa reticulata (Japanese tree Lilac) and Syringa microphylla. I don't know how well they bloom down there if at all. Of those two I am currently growing only Syringa microphylla 'Superba' which often repeats later in the season with one or two flowers at a time which indicates to me that maybe they don't need cold weather to bloom.

Aug 5, 2007

Just thought that I'd say hello. I've been kind of busy lately and I haven't had much time to chat . On  6/15 I stopped up and purchased a Stanwell Perpetual and a Ferdinand Pichard. Might I say that they are doing beautiful. The Stanwell has a home on Orrs Island in Maine. My girlfriends relatives are all raving about it. The Pichard has found a home in the Syracuse area. Although a storm has done some damage to it. I'm very pleased with it's progress. I had a nice time visiting with you back in June. I enjoyed looking at all of your roses. I found the whole trip quite relaxing. Even the drive along route 20. I still find myself looking at your roses as often as I can. My interest right now is drawn towards your yellow roses. Maybe I'll just have to come back soon.

Aug 4, 2007, at 12:55 PM

Hi, I just found your website while looking for help with a pinxterbloom given to me as a gift in memory of my mom.  Your site mentioned that you lost a few last winter...which is almost what happened to mine, so I'm wondering if I can impose on you with a pinxterbloom survival question?!

My plant was sent in april/may of 2006.  I followed instructions and planted exactly as directed in a location at the back of our yard that borders a scrub oak woodland.  I fertilized and watered and it had lots of tiny pink blossoms.  In the fall, I mulched around the plant with about 1.5" of wood bark mulch.  We had a normal winter (I live on Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Cape Cod in MA.) although we did have a very bitter, cold spell in Feb.that lasted several weeks (wind, 15 degrees etc)  I think we also had a snow that turned to ice at this time.  In the spring, I anxiously awaited my plant's foliage and there was none.  I noticed that the branches were dead- they snapped off(the plant is only a little more than a foot tall), however, I also noticed that the branches nearer the bottom were not dead, so I didn't dig it up.  Then in June, I noticed tiny little green leaves all around the bottom of the plant!  I proceeded to water and fertilize it and now in August, the plant remains with more mature leaves where the original sprouted.  The top of the plant is still dead. 

I don't want to give up on the plant as it has an emotional significance to me.  Is there any way I can save it?  Should I cut off the dead branches?  Should I dig it up and bring it in for the winter?  Should it be dug up and replanted nearer the house where it might be more protected?  Should I cover it up during the winter? I will truly appreciate any guidance you might share.  Your website made me feel that you really love your plants too!

Don't touch it! Or rather, keep a couple things in mind.

THE GREATEST CAUSE OF RHODODENDRON AND AZALEA DEATH IS PEOPLE DOING THINGS TO THEM!

Pruning off the dead wood is the only thing you should do. Disturb it as little as possible.

Read my rhododendron article at http://www.floweringshrubfarm.com/rhododen.htm Note #3 and the part on cutting back a mature specimen in the article.

After its a little more mature you can start grazing on it a little each year (cutting off a little bit here and there as if you were a deer having breakfast). It should be noted that all species azaleas and rhododendrons I have experience with prefer a colony. You might look for a couple others to plant nearby.

It would appear that it likes most of what you've already done. Now the hardest part will be in deciding what you should not do. I suggest you check the pH of the water your irrigating with (check the pH of your local rain water too though that should be OK and you can capture some in a rainbarrell for later watering if your well water is to high). I know the village water we have has a high pH and may raise the pH of the soil unduly (Azaleas like a low pH). Mulches are generally beneficial but when applied to liberally can also provide a nesting area for animals that will eat you plants back (a couple inches thick is probably fine). As long as the root system is healthy the plant should regenerate from the ground for many years (So if it's eaten back it may be beneficial to the roots).

Aldo Leopold commented that Oak trees are commonly eaten to the ground during their first ten years of life from seedlings. Then a year comes when the population of mice, rabbits and deer decreases slightly and the tree grows large in a short time. I'm sure that aplies to all plants growing naturally in the wild. If, on the other hand you want to protect the plant a basket of chicken wire that can be placed over its top when small might help keep nibblers away (and the deer can inadvertantly pull it from the ground until its root system is a bit larger). Otherwise the pinxterbloom is hardy to 20 below 0 but could still be damaged by early morning sunlight in winter causing sun scald. A couple stakes between it and the sun with burlap attached (or something more ornamental) so that the plant is in part shade during winter. Some ask if it should be covered I say whatever you surround it with should be topless and non-constricting so that precipitation can easily get to it.

If in spring it apears lifeless its probably OK. Fertilize it a little and then wait past your regions time for rhododendrons to produce new growth (it seems June is your time). Then prune away deadwood with freshly sharpened pruning tools.

What are you fertilizing with? If your using Miracid its probably all right but be careful not to over fertilize. Stop fertilizing in July (fertilizing with chemicals is best done only just before it blooms and just after). The only nutrients the rhododendron should receive after July should be through the decomposition of the mulch (you can sprinkle a little Espoma cottonseed meal in the mulch if you like). An application of triple phosphate in late winter when snow is still on the ground should help in root and flower bud production. I usually use Espoma triple phosphate.

andy

August 3, 2007

We do mail order after the plant sale. The list of possible mail order recipients is on my web page at www.floweringshrubfarm.com/mail.htm

I will need a federal limited permit for Gypsy Moth. This can be issued by my state inspector or through a USDA PPQ Officer. They charge a rate of $25.00 an hour for the inspection.

My state inspector's contact information: Kim Schlosser Horticultural Inspector #1, 518-788-2006, I also will need to attach a copy of my nursery grower license to the box and a bill of lading should accompany the shipment with the limited permit attached.

Division of Plant Industry, New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, 10B Airline Drive, Albany, NY 12235, Phone: 518-457-2087 Fax: 518-457-1204

July 29, 2007

Would you please tell me if I could order these two roses (or other Portland Roses) bareroot from you, and if so, when to place the order?

I live in the North Texas area (near Dallas). Thank you. Jennifer Bellamy

You might think about subscribing to my picture-newsletter. A couple of times each month I take pictures with the digital camera, add captions and place the pics in my web site. Then I send links to all my subscribers. The subject of the pictures are; may azaleas, lilacs and repotting lilacs, June old roses as they bloom, July roses that are recurrent and propagation etc. In fall the pictures are often hips on roses or other plants currently blooming and chores to set the winter ready for winter, in winter are pictures of roses in the snow and the following spring getting ready for the plant sale. Sometimes there are pictures of old houses etc.

There are two parts to my business. We sell large plants locally in our plant sale and later in July and August we sell mail order in pots. Some of our plants were started as three rooted cuttings in a single pot that are then trained as a single plant. Our mail order plants are usually 3 rooted cuttings in small pots that you should plant together as a single plant.

When you receive the 3 you plant them in the garden 6 inches apart in a triangle and train them as a single plant. Currently we have plants of Rose du Roi and Rose de Rescht for the plant sale but not for mail order. We don't sell bare root either. We also grow Comte de Chambord but dont have for mail order there either. sorry. I am rooting cuttings whenever possible and wont know what we'll have until they flower but check my rose guide at www.floweringshrubfarm.com/avirtual.htm for 5.5 inch pots. I think I'm out of pretty much everything mail order. To bad your not from up here we have some for the plant sale. andyvancleve

Thank you. I wish I were from up there. I'll check your rose guide often. Jennifer Bellamy

July 29, 2007

Dear Andy, Thank you for your message. I may not have responded, but I have been following the news from your nursery. The problematic plant was the "Rose de Provins", the Apothicary's Rose. It finally leafed out in mid-June and actually produced a flower, albeit a very stunted one. Happily, the Rosa Mundi that I acquired from you is hanging in there. If you are able to send plants, I would be a very willing customer. The trip to Voorheesville is a daunting one, but it would be good to continue to be your customer. Should you send any plants, I would of course pay for shipping and handling as well as any plants. With best wishes.

I have been growing multiple sets of rooted cuttings in a single pot. It works out fantasticly well. The plants like being grown that way (I guess they're conversationalists at heart). I'm working on having 3 rooted cuttings in the same pot grown as a single plant. Combinations of different roses can also be worked out. So for $30 you would receive 3 plants of the same variety to be planted in a triangle 6 inches apart and trained as a single plant. I suppose there would be some people who would plant them in individual spots or give two away as gifts. Their loss. Growing plants with multiple root systems produces a really sumptuous plant (and makes it easier to send mail order). andy

July 16, 2007

I am looking for Konigin Von Danemark Alba rose.  Do you have it available now or next season?

This is the entry on my rose guide at www.floweringshrubfarm.com/avirtual.htm

117) KONIGIN VON DANEMARK Alba Rose, (1826), 5 feet tall, non-recurrent, 'Queen of Denmark', 'Naissance de Venus', ("Best Rose Guide" Phillips & Rix, 52, zone4 (-30f) one of the best), ("The Encyclopedia of Roses" McKeon, 124, zones 3-8), ("Growing Roses Organically" Wilde, 167, zones 3-10, DR-0/0), ("Beautiful American Rose Gardens" Dorra, 153), (Scanniello, 64), ("Classic Roses" Beales, fllf:201), ("500 Popular Roses For American Gardeners" Barron's, 76) (Taylor's Guides "Roses" Ondra, 35, zone 4-8), XX10-087AG7$30, 10-196AG7$30, 10-661G7$20, 10-662G7$20, 10-663G7$20sold6/17, 10-664G7$20, 10-665G7$20, 10-835G1$15, 10-836G1$15, 10-837G1$15, 10-838G1$15, 10-839G1$15, 10-878G1$15, 10-879G1$15,

You can see I have 4 $20 plants in 7 gallon pots probably a couple feet tall and wide. This also shows 7 $15 plants in 1 galllon that are somewhat smaller. If you wanted one mail order I would take pictures and email them to you. Then you could decide if it was big enough or mature enough. After fed ex charges were added it would be a bit more of course. If the plant died I'd give nursery credit at least once more.

I will be in your area in mid August.  Is this too late to plant in Pittsburgh, PA area?  If I have them shipped, what is the approximate shipping charge?  Do you ship with dirt or bare root?  I am also interested in one or two vintage climbing roses that are very hardy.  Do you have any recommendations?

For many years I worked for others and received next to nothing for doing what they wanted. At the same time I salved my anxiety by running a small horticultural business. Now I run a horticultural business that goes where I want it to on a shoestring budget. My customers keep me afloat.

I ship plants with the soil on. Usually nurseries that send them bare root have a large refrigerator. In fall, after plants become dormant they hook them out of the ground and refrigerate them until spring. Way beyond my budget. A portion of bare root plants don't break dormancy in spring and have to be replaced which is another reason for me not to do it. I try to produce the best product you can get anywhere for little enough that people can still afford to travel long distances to buy it.

The most important thing for you to remember is that root hardiness is generally 40 degrees higher than stem hardiness. This means that when a plant is hardy to zone 5 the stems are probably hardy to around 20 below 0 F. But the roots are hardy to 20 above 0 F. After air temperatures remain at 20 below for a couple days soil temperatures 6 inches down are probably still above 20 degrees F. So the number 1 important thing or rule # 1 is for the plant roots to be deep enough and insulated enough so they don't get damaged by winter cold. In Minnesota where temperatures may drop further and remain cold longer plants are planted even deeper. Immature plants who's roots may not penetrate as deeply are often killed by winter extreme temperatures. So number 2 importance or rule # 2 is plant maturity so that roots penetrate deeply. Number 3 importance or rule #3 is drainage. If you have a compacted, badly drained soil and you dig a hole in it and plant your rose the surrounding soil will probably squeeze out its water and drown your plant in its own little pond. Usually the way around that is to plant in pots or raised beds but the soil mass in these pots has to be large enough not to break rule #1 or #2.

All my plants are stored in winter on the surface with their pots mulched. Check them out in this page on the pot-in-pot growing method.

www.floweringshrubfarm.com/potinpot.htm

As you can see they have optimal drainage (rule #3) and the roots, being in contact with the soil conduct warmth and moisture up into the pot (rule #1). The 7 gallon pots being surrounded by mulch are insulated against extreme winter temperatures (rule #1). The roses being planted in the pots at the level they should be in the ground are deep enough (rule #2). The following spring we pull the pots out of their winter storage area (that is also in the shade to prevent sun scald) and truck them to the plant sale to be sold. Last winter we only lost 3% of the plants mostly because some weren't properly mulched.

I'm not telling you what you should do. I'm just telling you what I do. You can more easily determine your drainage or if the roots wont be properly insulated than I can. But by knowing what we do and why we do it you can more easily determine what you should do.

Next you asked about vintage climbing roses. That depends. Maybe you'd be interested in training a complicata against a wall or fence, www.floweringshrubfarm.com/crop016.htm

016) 'COMPLICATA' Old gallica Rose, (<1800), non recurrent, 10X6, 5 petaled flowers 4 inches across, ("Best Rose Guide" Phillips & Rix, sh33, zone 4), ("Roses" Beales, 148, exceptional, even in poor soils.), ("The Encyclopedia of Roses" McKeon, 97, zones 4-8), ("The Art of Gardening with Roses" Thomas, sh34 & 35), (Cruse, 62), ("Roses Of America" Scanniello, 60), ("Classic Roses" Beales, 155), (Taylor's Guides "Roses" Ondra, page 53, zones 5-8), X 10_696G7$20, 10_697G7$20, 10_698G7$20, 10_699G7$20, 10_700G7$20, 10_701G7$20, 10-817G1$15, 10-818G1$15, 10-819G1$15, 10-820G1$15, 10-821G1$15, 10-774G3$45, 10-775G3$45, 10-776G3$45, 10-777G3$45 (these $45 dollar three gallons contains 3 rooted cuttings of 'Complicata' to be devided within a year or two of outdoor growing),

A Fantin Latour can be trained as a reasonably large climber on a fence www.floweringshrubfarm.com/crop023.htm

23) 'FANTIN_LATOUR'_Old Centifolia Rose, (1900), zone 5, 8 feet tall, non-recurrent X 10-114AG7$30, 10-772G3$45, 10-773G3$45 (these $45 dollar three gallons aren't meant for sale, instead each pot contains 3 rooted cuttings of 'Fantin Latour' to be devided within a year or two of outdoor growing), 10-870G1$15, 10-871G1$15, 10-872G1$15, 10-873G1$15, 10-874G1$15, 10-875G1$15, 10-876G1$15, 10-877G1$15,

Mme Plantier is often used as a short climber where the stems may be stretched further than they grow when planned as a shrub. www.floweringshrubfarm.com/crop160.htm

160) Madame Plantier, Alba Rose, (1835), zone 3, 4 feet tall, non-recurrent, double, white, fragrant X 10-122AG7$30, 10-123AG7$30, 10-124AG7$30, 10-125AG7$30, 10-126AG7$30, 10-127AG7$30, 10-128AG7$30, 10-129AG7$30, 10-130AG7$30, 10-131AG7$30, 10-234AG7$30sold4/21, 10-235AG7$30,

This is also true of Leda the Painted Damask. In my garden I have a Leda with canes 8 or 9 feet in length. Trained sideways on a wire they would produce lots of upright growth www.floweringshrubfarm.com/crop034.htm

34) 'LEDA'_Old Damask Rose, (1827) non recurrent, ("Best Rose Guide" Phillips & Rix, 44, zone5 (-13f)), ("The Encyclopedia of Roses" McKeon, 126, zones 3-8), ("The Art of Gardening with Roses" Thomas, sh73), ("Classic Roses" Beales, fl:187), ("500 Popular Roses For American Gardeners" Barron's, 80) ("Growing Roses Organically" Wilde, 142, zones 4-10, DR-0/0), (Taylor's Guides "Roses" Ondra, page45, zones 4-9), 3x4 feet, pink to white with red edge, damask shrub, Early summer bloom, DR 0/0, X 10-595G7$20sold6/9, 10-596bloomedG7$20sold6/29, 10-597G7$20, 10-598G7$20, 10-599G7$20,

or perhaps you'd rather stick with rambler roses from around 1900 to 1910 then I have several but I might suggest growing 'New Dawn' that is a sport of one of those ramblers 'Dr W. Van Fleet'. Van Fleet will grow larger and more vigorously than New Dawn because roses either grow or they bloom. Dr W Van Fleet blooms in June, then grows vigorously to new heights. New Dawn is recurrent so doesn't grow as fast or rampantly but does repeat for those who dont do much pruning and yet understand how it must be trained. www.floweringshrubfarm.com/crop040.htm

040) 'NEW_DAWN'_CL. ("Best Rose Guide" Phillips & Rix, 131, zone4 (to -22f)), ("The Encyclopedia of Roses" McKeon, 138, zones 5-9), (Taylor's Guides "Roses" Ondra, 214, zones 5-10), ("Growing Roses Organically" Wilde, 187, zones 4-10, DR-1/0), ("Climbing Roses of The World" Quest-Ritson, plate 124), ("Beautiful American Rose Gardens" Dorra, 26), ("Designing With Roses" Lord, 52, 64), ("Classic Roses" Beales, 60), X 10-535bloomedG7$20, 10-536bloomedG7$20, 10-537bloomedG7$20, 10-538bloomedG7$20, 10-539bloomedG7$20, 10-794G1$15, 10-800G1$15, 10-799G1$15, 10-941G1$15, 10-942G1$15, 10-943G1$15, 10-944G1$15, 10-945G1$15, 10-946G1$15,

andy

Propagation in July, 2007 (Call 765-2917 and leave your phone number on the answering machine, I'll call back or Email me if you want to make an appointment to look at the rose bushes).

I took cuttings; june 25 from 'Scabrosa' (no) and stuck them in my propagating box. july 7; I took cuttings from 'Great Maidens Blush' (no) and 'Fantin Latour' (yes). july 11; snow dwarf (yes), Baseys purple (yes), Prairie Princess (yes).

July 05, 2007

Hi Andy,

So what’s the scoop with the Rose de Rescht?  Still not ready?

It was ready. It's done blooming. It should bloom again soon, but they're all leaves now. I only remove faded flowers sporadically in the nursery until July. This means that the majority of the roses are out of bloom right now but will come back into bloom within a few weeks. You see, most plants don't grow much when they're in bloom. By allowing plants to stop blooming in July I get a lot more growth on them. Of course 'New Dawn' is still in bloom (if your interested I have 5 plants).

My plant sale is at an end as of July 4. Of course this means nothing except that its even more important than ever to insure that I'll be around before coming to buy. You can email me and I'll get back right away unless I'm out of town. My cell phone is posted on the door of my barn so if you do come you can call it and I'll answer even if I'm away (but I'll probably be at the other Nursery and able to be there within 10 minutes. Of course if you dont have an email address you can leave your phone number at (518) 765-2917 and I'll call back sometime.

Best time to plan on coming is still between 10 AM and 2 PM after verifying with me but I'm probably available at any time that its light out, not raining, when the ground is not slippery and I'm somewhere around town.

July 2, 2007

Hi Andy, The roses you sold me last summer are absolutely wonderful (great maiden's blush, autumn damask, rose de rescht), but I'm still looking for a stanwell perpetual.  Do you have any?

In my rose guide it shows; 59) 'STANWELL PERPETUAL' Hybrid Scotch Rose 5'x5', fragrant pink flowers, hybrid spinosissima (Best Rose Guide" Phillips & Rix, 189, zone 4(-30 f)), ("The Encyclopedia of Roses" McKeon, 180, zones 3-8, DR-0/0), ("Growing Roses Organically" Wilde, 175, zones 4-10, DR-0/0), ("Roses Of America" Scanniello, 45), ("Classic Roses" Beales, 145), ( and quartered. Stephen says this rose is "reliably recurrent". , X 10-640bloomedG7$20, 10-641bloomedG7$20, 10-642bloomedG7$20, 10-643bloomedG7$20sold6/7, 10-644bloomedG7$20, 10-645bloomedG7$20, 10-646bloomedG7$20, 10-647bloomedG7$20, 10-648bloomedG7$20sold6/15, 10-649bloomedG7$20,

This indicates that I have 8 in stock as of July 2, 2007

June 30, 2007

Hi Andy,

Nice photos—thank you.

Are you propagating the ‘Francois Juranville’ wichuriana rose?

I’d love to get one—it sounds great in a wildish border.  

In my rose guide it shows; 186 Francois Juranville Introduced in 1906, (wichuranna x china), zone 4 thru 9 Rambler up to 25 feet wide, non-recurrent to semi-recurrent, shade tolerant, strongly fragrant, salmon X 10-728G7$20, 10-729G7$20, 10-730G7$20, 10-731G7$20,

that indicates there are 4 in stock as of June 30, 2007.

February 2, 2007

Hi. I was just looking through "The Adventurous Gardener" and there you are on the first page. I live in Delmar. It would be nice to come visit you sometime and feature you on my Blog and in general just get to meet you.

My place looks like hell at this time of year and there really isn't anything to see. On the other hand, have you checked my web site at www.floweringshrubfarm.com

I would love to get together with you but the best time for old roses is definitely in June and you can peruse my picture newsletter and get an idea.

or check some of the pictures in my catalogs. "We sell no plant before its time" which means we sell them in bloom. So, I may be growing plants but wont sell them until they bloom at least once verifying the variety.

Most of my customers (over 90%) are from more than 50 miles away. One customer drives from Pennsylvania. Many come from NYC, Boston and Hartford. All originally discovered me on the internet.

When a plant comes into bloom I take a picture, post it in my picture-newsletter and send a link to all my old customers. They share that link with their gardening friends. Many contact me via email which I check 2 or 3 times daily. Some send me a phone number so I can call them back. All this allows me to wander around the several growing locations I have without having to answer the phone. Every couple hours I return to my office (the living room couch) and check my laptop (wireless network) for email, then make phone calls. Then I wander off again.

Our plant sale starts May 15; 10 am to 2 pm but actually I don't have many customers until I start sending links out from the picture-newsletter. Sometimes a rose will flower, I'll take the picture, post it and it will sell out 2 days later. I grow Old Roses (those introduced before the Civil War) that are hardy, disease resistant and fragrant locally along with modern roses that share those qualities (we don't use fungicide so if they are susceptible its evident). We sell plants in 7 gallon pots (both own root and grafted on Rosa multiflora). I use to sell them in smaller pots but they grow much better in a 7. I also grow classic lilacs, native azaleas (flame azalea, pinxterbloom and rosebay rhododendrons in as small as a 1 gallon as long as it has bloomed), blueberry bushes, and espalier trained fruit trees. Again, we only sell them once they start blooming so sometimes we leave them in the field and don't even bother setting them out in the plant sale because they haven't bloomed yet (lots of our growing areas are on residential land being grown in a "natural fashion according to me" fashion. What that usually translates to is insects are handpicked or allowed to infest plants that are then pruned, cutting away the damage and the insect. Weeds are allowed to grow up around the plants, in pots that are watered via drip line. I usually apply Espoma Rose, Holly or Plant tone twice a year (spring and July). No one sees plants in these growing areas except the ag inspector and me.

The plant sale which is located presently at my 2 family home on Voorheesville Ave has a series of benches set up along with a coldframe for overwintering rooted cuttings.

Feel free to email me as often as you like or leave your phone number with a time that I can try you on the answering machine at (518) 765-2574. As you see I have a tendency to be rather talkative.

Great to hear from you. All of this sounds very interesting and I may cut and paste a few items for my blog and mention your Web site. As you suggest, I will keep in touch, awaiting warmer weather (February 6, 2007).

My place is still something of a wreck as my brother wont be in town to help until almost May 10 with the plant sale starting the 15 th. You know doubt would like to show up when the roses start to bloom (usually within the first week of June). I usually work between 10 AM and 2 PM potting, doing inventory, the first feeding, repotting, weeding pots, watering etc, then go on the computer and enter the numbers. I just thought it might be time to open a dialog with you and figure what time works for you (April 22, 2007).

yes. First week of June sounds good (May 14, 2007).

With luck the roses will be in bloom. Lilacs are just beginning now (May 14, 2007).

March 2, 2006

One of the questions that I have not been able to find an answer for is whether or not it is possible to grow roses in containers here. I live above Troy in Center Brunswick, where we are Zone 5 during a good winter. Do miniature roses make it through the winter in a container? I have had no luck with them in the ground, but they were purchased from Jackson and Perkins, with whom I have become disillusioned. I am anxious to purchase some of your locally grown roses.

Generally the secret to growing roses in containers is hardiness. The hardiness of the roots of a plant are sometimes 40 or 50 degrees less hardy than the stems and buds. A plant whos stems are hardy to 20 below zero may have roots that are hardy to 20 above zero. Out doors when temperatures drop to 20 below zero for 5 days the soil temperature 6 inches deep in the ground may be 20 above zero but if the temperature remains that low for another 5 or 6 days the soil temperature could drop another 5 degrees, killing a zone 5 plant. You see where that argument is going? Choose roses hardy to zone 3 that are mature (maturity increases hardiness too). Several Rugosa and Kordesii roses have been experimented with in pots including Hansa, Champlain and William Baffin. Many Alba Roses are also hardy to zone 3. Two other things; your pot has to be in contact with the soil so that warmth from the ground can be conducted to the soil in the pot. Second, it has to be a big pot with lots of soil and plants have to be protected against wind desication (stored in a place sheltered from the winter wind and winter sun (check out my newsletter during fall and winter when I am storing plants outdoors protected from desication).

As to miniature roses; they are generally zone 5, they are generally in smaller pots. Both are problems. As far as growing miniatures in the ground it depends on the variety. Look to the parents. Remember the old saying "the acorn doesn't fall to far from the tree". If the Parents are strong vigorous stock that is reasonably hardy (zone 4 is better in zone 5), it should do fine.

August 29, 2005

Do you sell Rugosa roses?

Currently 15 or 20 varieties with new ones being propagated each year. Go to www.capital.net/com/azaleahs/rugosa.htm

My Moss roses wont rebloom.

I dont know about yours but my Madame de la Roche-Lambert bloomed very nicely. A mass of bloom at first, then a delay with no bloom for about 2 or 3 weeks before presenting 1 or 2 blooms at a time til last week. Have you fertilized and watered it regularly? Well, dont do it now. We stop fertilizing (except with liquefied seaweed), pruning and disbudding within 6 weeks of frost (for our area thats mid august). Check out my Picture-Newsletter linked to my home page. I take pictures each month of each crop of plants we are growing, I make comments in the caption on care.

Climbing Rose Dublin Bay. Zepherine drouhin. Althea Coelestis. We might carry any one of these from time to time. Go to www.capital.net/com/azaleahs/intro.htm

May 25, 2005

What do you sell?

Best thing is to check the list of plants on my home page at www.floweringshrubfarm.com because I add new varieties occasionally.

Old Roses, Classic Roses, Rugosa Roses, Disease Resistant Roses, American Azaleas, Classic Lilacs, Spiraea, Vaccineum corymbosum Highbush Blueberry (native), & any number of other flowering shrubs that are hard to find in the Capital District. I choose roses that are easy to maintain (both old and new). They can be left to fend for themselves or improved slightly in appearance and flower production by systemic or organic insecticides and fertilizers. I highly recomend Espoma Rose Tone, Liquefied Seaweed and Fish emulsion. More on my growing practice can be obtained at www.capital.net/com/azaleahs/growing.htm . American Azaleas include Seed propagated Flame Azalea and Pinxterbloom Azalea as well as the Rosebay Rhododendron and hybrids between them. Classic Lilacs include; 'Sarah Sands', 'Monge', 'Adelaide Dunbar' and more chosen by me as being classic examples of their color group. More at www.capital.net/com/azaleahs/lilacbuy.htm and www.capital.net/com/azaleahs/lilaca2z.htm .

May 20, 2005

Do you sell retail?

www.capital.net/com/azaleahs/intro.htm

May 16, 2005

You have been described as an organic nursery and as a sustainable nursery. Which one are you and why?

I am a sustainable nursery. To be sustainable you have to recognize that there is a global environmental crisis and to alter your practice (whether your a bottler, a nurseryman or any other trade) to be as non polluting as possible while still producing a superior product.

I use insecticidal soap on buds and new growth from a hand held pump sprayer. I hand pick insects on everything most of the time. I cut flowers from my plants and present them to the waitresses and customers at the diner across the street. More information is provided in my growing page at www.capital.net/com/azaleahs/growing.htm and my insect page at www.capital.net/com/azaleahs/insects.htm .

May 14, 2005

I was told you sell grafted lilacs but it doesn't say that in your web pages. Please explain.

I do graft lilacs but not for sale. When I sometimes can take a cutting from a lilac (or other plant) at a time when a cutting wont root I graft it on another lilac I already have. Later when conditions are favorable I take cuttings from that stem (which I had also clearly labeled). Many of my lilacs started out as a 2 inch rooted cutting I purchased from a contract propagator. Others are taken as cuttings by me then sent to a contract propagator to be rooted. Some are taken as cuttings by me and rooted by me in my own home made propagating frames. I often will put 3 rooted cuttings in a pot and train it as a single shrub. They often grow better that way and you end up with a plant that is much better branched. I can also grow plants that have more than one flower color on a bush by doing this too.

May 10, 2005

Are your roses virus free?

Some rose growers are grafting buds onto rootstock that is virus infected.

Because viruses cant penetrate the seed coat, root stock grown from seed is virus free (even if the parents were infected).

Because I sell only plants propagated from virus free plants or plants grafted on Rosa multiflora, my finished stock is also virus free.

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