Dr. Huey Rose on My Sunblest Rose Plant!

One of the best parts of gardening is that I always stumble upon something that I did not yet know about my garden, really great learning opportunities! The latest has involved my gorgeous, healthy Sunblest rose plant. This yellow hybrid tea rose has been an absolute pleasure to grow: many large flowers in flushes during the growing season, requiring modest care. This plant has been in my garden for nearly four years.

Over the past few weeks, I noticed that this plant was producing what looked to be unusual red flowers that were growing from a cane near the base of this plant. A bit of investigation indicated that the red flowers are Dr. Huey roses.

Dr. Huey, a climbing, hybrid wichurana rose, is a rather polarizing figure: great love or great dread.  Most varieties of roses with less vigorous root systems, including Sunblest,  are grafted onto roses with more vigorous root systems. Sunblest uses Dr. Huey as a rootstock plant. The top of the rootstock rose (Dr. Huey) is then to be removed, allowing the desired rose (Sunblest) to grow. The resulting plant, ideally, supports just the desired rose alone.

This presents an interesting situation:  try to find all parts of the Dr. Huey plant and cut them out, or risk it overtaking an possibly killing the Sunblest rose by doing nothing. I will likely attempt to cut out the Dr. Huey parts of the plant and attempt to propagate it through cuttings.

This apparently is no small feat as some gardeners have remarked that even a small piece of Dr. Huey inadvertently left in the soil may be all that it takes for it to re-emerge in the garden (among those who dread Dr. Huey roses).

This has been a really interesting development, and I hope to learn more about this. For more information about the kinds of rootstocks used for rose plants (it’s not just Dr. Huey!), please visit: http://scvrs.homestead.com/rootstock.html


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