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Why are roses usually grafted?

CraighBCraighB Posts: 738
Hi guys,

I just received some bare root roses from David Austin and it got me thinking about grafted roses Vs own root.

So why are theirs and many other rose growers roses grafted? And are there any advantages of own root roses?

Craigh :)


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,162
    One advantage, any suckers are the rose you bought.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 738
    I did read that, which is definately an advantage.

    But I did read conflicting information online in regards to the hardiness and the vigorousness. Some say they are more vigorous and hardy but some websites say they are less so, which is why they are grafted... To make them more hardy by grafting them onto a hardy rootstock.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,162
    I think it would depend on the rose, some are naturally stronger growing than others. I can't see that it would affect hardiness

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 738
    So are some roses grafted to reduce vigour and stop them getting too big?
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,154
    I expect it is something to do with vigour for shrub, rambling and graft roses.

    I shall be exchaning rooted rose cutting with gardening friends in the next year and windered about how well they would do.  Found this info from an American rose grower who reckons grafting i  not the way to go -

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,323

    CraighB said:
    So are some roses grafted to reduce vigour and stop them getting too big?
     Can't answer that, I would like to know too. Would it not have been done with some old vigorous types like Madame Alfred Carriere? Or maybe there is one.  I guess it would work both ways like fruit tree grafting?

    But I thought a lot of the grafting is because it produces a marketable larger plant faster than own root.
    All a bit of a black art to me.
  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,338
    edited November 2018
    Well I know that when you come to buy a fruit tree it will have been grafted onto a particular rootstock to manage the size of the fully grown tree and to improve disease resistance and general vitality.

    Also to allow the plant to flower sooner than it would have if grown from seed - like with Wisteria.

    So I assume it's a combination of those things.

    David Austin sells some of their Roses in multiple sizes and forms - shrub or  climber.

    I assume it's by grafting the rose on to a particular root stock that either limits the size or encourages vigorous growth.

    I suppose that growing their roses in a very managed way through grafting also limits the variation and mutation that you'd get from growing large numbers of plants from seed. Also reduces the length of time it takes to have a rose plant ready to sell
    East Yorkshire
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,317
    There's an article here that gives some info
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,902
    The main reason is that they are usually quicker to grow to marketable size, so less time consuming for the vendor, and more cost effective... other reasons are that because of the variety in types of roses available, some of them will not tolerate alkaline soils - on their own roots - grafting ensures they grow anywhere in the country regardless of your soil type... better for vendors, they won't get people ringing up complaining that their roses are not thriving and all the leaves have turned yellow..

    Some old roses like Gallicas, Spinossimimas and other specie types will sucker readily from their own roots and could cause havoc in some gardens... the popular old rose 'Charles de Mills' for example will sucker like mad on its own roots, but grafted tends to temporize it somewhat in our gardens... 

    The British rose buyer generally wants to see a big healthy looking rose which is what you get from a grafted bare root [providing it's a Grade A - some vendors, I'm not going to mention, will sometimes send out a Grade B at a Grade A price]…
    ... not some flimsy thing with thin canes - own root roses are an acquired taste for us here, they can be a bit of a shock when you see them, and it's unlikely they would sell well in the current economic climate... however, elsewhere in the world own root roses are the preferred option because of local soil conditions, and they are often cheaper...

    Some of the best own root roses that grow quickly are China roses, they can sometimes be quicker than grafted, and grow much larger... but not many people buy these types...   modern roses may not be so vigorous own root..

    Here are two photos, the first one showing what you get as a grafted rose in the post... 

    The 2nd photo is a group of own root roses sold commercially....  not much difference in the price, yet would you buy these?  I'm not sure many British consumers here would, apart from collectors like myself,  because they would think they're not getting value for money..

    ..a good strong Grade A rose..[at least 3 thick canes - 5 in this case] a Grade B rose would only have 2 canes, and one could be quite thin...

    ..there are no less than 5 roses here, all are the same age as the grafted one above..

    East Anglia, England
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,323
    @Marlorena . Spinosissima...sucker... don't they just! Mine behaved impeccably for a number of years before misbehaving. I had no idea.
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