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23 MAY 21
This is copied from part of a private message I sent to an HMF member asking how I acquired my roses.

I didn’t actually purchase many of my roses. Of course I did buy a few… from a vendor on eBay called “long ago roses” and online from high country roses in Denver. (Both great vendors). These were own root
plants grown by dedicated rosarians. They would arrive tiny and I remember thinking “how will this pipsqueek of a plant thrive?” But they did… most of them. I started doing my research into vintage, own root roses. I acquired many more “own root” rare and heirloom roses, rather serendipitously, from a member on here. He is/was an avid collector of vintage, “own root” roses which he had acquired from many now “out of business” rare rose nurseries such as Vintage Roses in Sebastopol, CA., as well as through trades with fellow rose enthusiasts. After a life changing event, he graciously donated many of his roses to me.

Before I met him, I like many others new to roses tried the regular “store bought” roses. Almost every hybrid you see nowadays is GRAFTED onto rootstock. Climbing roses are often grafted onto Dr. Huey rootstock. All those “Knockout” roses you see everywhere are grafted onto multiflora rootstock.

The problem with grafted roses is multi-fold—- not that each “fold” of the. “Multi” is a problem in and of itself—- but in combination with another “fold” it becomes problematic. Several multi-fold reasons that can lead to problems:
1.) Grafting involves scarring ( growing the graft onto the root) opening up opportunity for disease.
2.) The rootstock is almost ALWAYS hardier than the graft— if the parent graft dies, you might have a very hard time getting rid of the rootstock.
3.) Many of the rootstocks ( like multiflora, an invasive Chinese species that is a vector for the eryophid mite that spreads rose rosette virus—- fatal for any rose that gets it) and other diseases.

Years ago, I must have bought dozens of grafted roses.
( FYI: I took great care in soil prep, pest control, and all the maintenance that many people dread when they associate “labor intensity” with roses. Roses do require work… any plant does…but grafted roses are why roses have earned such a dreaded reputation.)
Roses that grow on their “own roots”, are hardier and don’t need nearly as much high maintenance.

All of my grafted roses died after a year or two,but the rootstock would survive. I don’t have a grafted rose alive today.
A couple of my roses died of dreaded rose rosette disease.
It didn’t matter if they were bought at fancy places ( Family Tree Nursery ) or Wally World. They all died, whether they were gorgeous Austin Roses or old hybrids from the 1950’s.

I don’t remember the first “own root” roses that I acquired. Probably from “long ago roses”. Own root heirloom roses are wonderful, often fragrant, and stand the test of time. I grow many species which are also very hardy.
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