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'Gertrude Jekyll' rose Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 119-065
most recent 11 NOV HIDE POSTS
Initial post 11 NOV by happymaryellen
I live in Northern California and I absolutely love this rose. One of the things I’ve noticed is that the canes can get up to 7 feet tall. But when the canes get tall it doesn’t seem to flower much. So my question to those of you who have the same dilemma, is when you are deadheading the rose do you cut it way back? Is it better to keep it at like 4 feet and then get more blooms? Just curious. Thank you for your responses in advance.
Reply #1 of 2 posted 11 NOV by Andrew from Dolton
I would peg down the whole long shoot.
Reply #2 of 2 posted 11 NOV by Margaret Furness
I don't grow this rose, but I would suggest espaliering the long shoot. Pegging down works in climates where the grass and weeds stop growing over winter. In warmer climates, weeding among a pegged-down rose can be a nightmare.
Discussion id : 102-073
most recent 11 NOV SHOW ALL
Initial post 6 JUL 17 by DLEverette_NC_Zone7b
My GJ is being very stingy. Last year (first full season) I tried to grow it as a shrub rose and it didn't produce a flush but once. This year, I decided to let it grow as a climber so I could bend the canes to get more blooms. It did the same thing as last year - It bloomed once in March and just grows and grows without producing more blooms.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong here. It's a fantastic rose when it's in bloom, but it's not repeating very well at all for me. Any idea what might be wrong?
Reply #1 of 7 posted 6 JUL 17 by Andrew from Dolton
This rose never did well for me. However, last autumn I gave it a dressing of lime as my soil is rather acidic. I also gave it the absolute minimum of pruning. This year it is flowering better although because of the cool summers in my location it never grows more than 1 metre high, it is on laxa rootstock not 'Dr Huey'.
Reply #2 of 7 posted 6 JUL 17 by StrawChicago Alkaline clay 5a
Everett: I look over your pictures of roses in pots ... I see pale upper leaves, that's typical of ALKALINE tap water, like my hard-well water at pH 9. For that reason I use vinegar & ACIDIC sulfate of potash & gypsum to fix my alkaline-tap-water and to force Austin roses to repeat fast. See my HMF profile on fixing one's alkaline-tap-water.

Folks in rich-minerals clay-region report Gertrude Jekyll repeats well, if pruned & given enough fertilizer.

Andrew is right about liming if the soil is acidic. Calcium is the building blocks for leaves, stems, roots, and petals. If there's tons of acidic rain (pH 5.6 on the west coast, and near 4 in the East coast) ... that also leach out minerals necessary for blooming. Like my own-root Munstead Wood in a pot refused to bloom with low-nutrients-LOAMY potting soil & tons of acidic rain. But when I put Munstead Wood in my alkaline clay (rich in minerals), it's pumping out 20+ buds right now 7/6/17 for 2nd-flush. To make stingy Austin roses to repeat bloom, a high-dose fertilizer NPK 8-20-40, plus lime (for acidic soil), or gypsum (for alkaline soil). High potassium force roses to bloom. High phosphorus forces more branching, rather than one-cane wonder. Low nitrogen helps to cut down the tall octopus canes (if grafted on Dr.Huey). Credit & many thanks to Perpetua in Romania who shared with me NPK 8-20-40 as the secret to tons of blooms.
Reply #3 of 7 posted 7 JUL 17 by DLEverette_NC_Zone7b
Thank you for the tips! I think you might be right about the soil acidity. I suspect the cause is the run off water from the roof. This year, I've noticed is that all my plants that get a high dosage of run-off rainwater from the roof aren't very happy at all. I lost a baby own root plant earlier this year and almost lost two others. I had a Lady of Shallot in the same spot as the GJ in the picture you saw from last year, and it was having the same symptoms as well. It's not as not growing or blooming much at all either (which is unusual for LoS). I moved it and watered it well and within a week, it started growing again like crazy.

Since I can't move my GJ away from the wall (apartment manager will throw a fit), I'd like to try a fertilizer like the one you suggested. Do you have any suggestions on a brand with that ratio that I can use for potted roses? Will the high numbers burn the roots?

FYI, my local nursery sells Jack's Classic bloom booster (10-30-20). Would that be a good place to start?

Thanks again for your help!
Reply #4 of 7 posted 7 JUL 17 by Andrew from Dolton
Your rose is growing in a container, don't forget that most roses, like Clematis, like to have their roots cool and moist.
Reply #5 of 7 posted 7 JUL 17 by StrawChicago Alkaline clay 5a
Everett: Just saw the pic. of your bush, looks good. I can tell the pH is acidic, from the smaller & spindly & thin canes. At slightly alkaline pH, there's more calcium & potassium & phosphorus for blooming. Just google "plant nutrients chart and pH level" and you'll see.

G.J. at Chicago Botanical Garden is pruned quite short (below my waist) but with more blooms than leaves. CBG has alkaline loamy soil (pH 7.4), and they recommend soluble fertilizer NPK 20-20-20 three times a year.

To force GJ to re-bloom: Any fertilizer LOW in nitrogen would do. Chemical nitrogen has acidifying action .. which makes the pH even lower with acidic rain. Dolomitic lime (calcium & magnesium, pH near 10) is expensive, a cheaper sub. is a 40 lbs. bag of pea-gravel (different colors) sold for $3 at local stores. Alkaline pea-gravel provide solid-minerals to neutralize acidic rain. In that assortment of colorful pea-gravel, the red/pink ones provide iron, the beige ones provide calcium, the gray ones provide magnesium .. but stay away from black-pea-gravel (high aluminum). Aluminum is toxic to roots.

The pea-gravel will neutralize acidic rain, plus provide solid minerals for blooming. Pea-gravel don't shoot up the pH like garden lime, it's a constant steady-release. If you have loamy/sandy soil, there's plenty of phosphorus, just need to aim for neutral pH (7) for phosphorus to be released. However, acidic rain does leach out calcium, potassium, and magnesium (in that order). Pea-gravel can add calcium & magnesium, but one still need potassium, either potassium chloride (very salty, but no acid), or potassium sulfate (sulfate of potash, 1/3 the salt, but with 21% sulfur). Only Amazon or Kelp4Less sell sulfate of potash, I like the sulfate of potash from Kelp4less better, it dissolves easily if sprinkle on the ground. Kelp4Less is free shipping. Years ago I posted a picture in HMF of Frederic Mistral going from 5 blooms per year to 40+ blooms in one flush, via sulfate of potash.

Potassium needs calcium and magnesium for best blooming. In hydroponic studies, the best ratio is 4:2:1:1, 4 part potassium, 2 part calcium, 1 part magnesium, and 1 part phosphorus. Rose tissue analysis done by University of CA at Davis showed similar ratio: twice more potassium than calcium, and much less magnesium and phosphorus. So either dolomitic lime (calcium & magnesium) or pea-gravel will help to activate sulfate of potash.

Also some Tomato-Tone (higher in potassium than Rose-Tone) will provide bacteria & mycorrhyzal fungi to help with phosphorus uptake. Espoma-Tomato tone is higher in calcium, sold for $10 for a HUGE bag at all stores (Walmart, HomeDepot, Lowe's). That has slow-released organic nitrogen, and doesn't lower pH like chemical nitrogen.
Reply #6 of 7 posted 19 JUL 17 by DLEverette_NC_Zone7b really know a lot! Thank you for taking the time to write that! I think the first thing I will do is test the soil, then use a low nitrogen fertilizer if needed. I'm gonna look into the pea gravel/kelp4less combo too.

As far as Tomato Tone goes, should I use the same amount as I would with Rose Tone?
Reply #7 of 7 posted 11 NOV by happymaryellen
Where would one find 8/20/40 fertilizer?
Discussion id : 116-506
most recent 1 MAY HIDE POSTS
Initial post 1 MAY by jmile
Boy do the descriptions of Gertrude Jekyll vary all over the map. My GJ is in constant bloom. It has a strong wonderful fragrance. This is one of the best performing of all of my David Austin roses. Last fall we cut down an old tree and stacked the wood close to my GJ rose bush. Some of the wood fell across one of the GJ branches. Then we stacked the wood chips next to the wood completely burying the branch. This spring we had a wonderful surprise---the branch rooted and we had a new GJ bush growing out of the chip pile---blooming its head off. We live in zone 9B and just had a wet winter.
Discussion id : 105-282
most recent 30 SEP 17 SHOW ALL
Initial post 3 SEP 17 by BenT_TX
Easily the worst rose I have ever grown in 40 years, bar none. It quickly forms an unbelievable thorny thicket sprawling in all directions 5x5 feet within a few a wild multiflora that has invaded the southeastern US , minus the spring flower flush. The few flowers it produced were miniature rose size, paper thin , fleeting, with a modest and mundane scent. I cannot imagine using it for bedding, cutflowers, landscaping or any other functions that a cultivated rose would traditionally perform. I do think it'd be unparalleled as an 'organic barbed wire', so perhaps it could be repurposed for theft deterrent, keeping out wild animals, prison plantings, frightening off undesirable children and adults alike, etc.
Reply #1 of 5 posted 5 SEP 17 by Lavenderlace
Hi BenT,

Thanks for the vivid review, LOL! Sounds like this one would be out of control here. I was so curious about the fragrance but might take this one off the list!
Reply #2 of 5 posted 5 SEP 17 by BenT_TX
You're most welcome, Lavenderlace. It seems England's Favourite Rose (twice! according Austin marketing) is my Texas Chainsaw Massacre nightmare bush.
Reply #3 of 5 posted 5 SEP 17 by Lavenderlace
Sounds like how New Dawn is for me!
Reply #4 of 5 posted 30 SEP 17 by GRH_England
Clearly Gertrude isn't suitable for that particular climate. I can assure you that in temperate climates as we have in England, it grows very well and has a beautiful scent.
Reply #5 of 5 posted 30 SEP 17 by BenT_TX
Mrs Jekyll had a very unfortunate encounter with my newly sharpened spade. Otherwise, I'd happily return her back your way.
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