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'Rosa X odorata 'Mutabilis'' rose Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 21-892
most recent 9 FEB 09 SHOW ALL
Initial post 8 OCT 07 by mlubrick65
A Mutabilis, china rose was supposedly planted in my garden in September of 2006. It bloomed once in the spring. I was under the impression that the rose was a frequent bloomer. The other shrub roses in my garden are blooming year round. We are feeding the Mutabilis a general plant food fertilizer. My nursery told me to try a 0, 10, 10 plant food to get it to bloom. Any suggestions?
Reply #1 of 10 posted 9 OCT 07 by Cass
Mutabilis does bloom a lot, but it also needs to grow to some considerable size to really be at it's best. Is it in full sun? It's too soon to know how this rose will perform. It can be very large in California, and that doesn't necessarily happen overnight, especially with the drought we've had in the past year.

How large is your plant and are you sure that you got the right thing? Labels sometimes are switched.
Reply #2 of 10 posted 9 OCT 07 by mlubrick65
The shrub is in California, on a drip system. It looks very green and healthy. There is growth at the base by about 3-4 feet, yet the most amount of growth appears to be on these long shoots that are about 5-6 feet long and there are about 15-20 of them. No buds at all. It has grown considerably since planting. Thanks for the reply.
Reply #3 of 10 posted 9 OCT 07 by Cass
Own root or budded? If it's own root, it's just doing what it should be doing. You need a tiny bit of patience to let a large rose grow into itself. Sounds like it is a very happy plant. That's what you want!

If it's budded onto a rootstock, you need to check that the quality, shape and color of the 15 or 20 shoots are all the same as the flowering top growth that has produced Mutabilis flowers. Just make sure the rootstock isn't suckering.
Reply #4 of 10 posted 10 OCT 07 by mlubrick65
Own root or budded. That is a good question. I looked at the stem coming out of the ground. It looks like a bulbous mass with stems coming out equally in all directions. All the stems are of the same quality and the plant is balanced. I am having difficulty identifing if the plant is suckering because it all looks the same.
Reply #5 of 10 posted 10 OCT 07 by Cass
I'd bet your plant is own root. Do you know which nursery it came from? It's very unlikely that a rootstock would sucker that much, uniformly, everywhere.

If all the shoots, new and old, look the same, then your plant is growing in a vigorous manner, all is well, and you can look forward to a large and floriferous plant. Just be a little patient. Mutabilis needs to grow up a bit. Also, I assume you're fertilizing it fairly heavily. That isn't really necessary. A moderate 10-10-10 type fertilizer is more than adequate. You will love this rose.
Reply #6 of 10 posted 11 OCT 07 by mlubrick65
I guess I am impatient because I know just how beautiful it will be. It came from POW nursery in Wilton, CA. What our library books say is it will bloom in mid to late spring and repeat until hard frost. Hopefully next year it will be big enough to bloom! Thanks for the tip on the fertilizer. I have looked in the stores for 0 10 10 yet all I see is things like 12 24 20, I was told not to put on nitrogren in the winter as it will drop off the buds. Any ideas on where to buy 10 10 10?
Reply #7 of 10 posted 11 OCT 07 by Cass
I found a relatively low nitrogen fertilizer at one of the big box stores. I think it was considered an azalea-rhododendron fertilizer. Keep the N (nitrogen) component no higher than about 12. Your rose will start to bloom in the spring, so fertilize in March for the spring flush.

Try not to over-fertilize with high nitrogen fertilizer. High nitrogen fertilizer promotes lush growth at the expense of bloom. In the Valley, you probably have good, rich, clay soils that don't need a lot of fertilizer. I fertilize once a year in the Sonoma County wine country. I could do more, but I have other things to do with my time.

I would skip 0-10-10. This isn't the time of year to fertilize, and it's getting too late for bloom in the valley in any event.

About Mutabilis blooming from spring to frost. That is true, but it's true for a mature plant. Do you know how large this rose can be? Think 6 x 6 to 8 x 8 (or much larger). It takes a while to get there. Once it's full grown, that's when you will see the constant bloom.
Reply #8 of 10 posted 12 OCT 07 by mlubrick65
Thanks for all your good advice! I feel much better about my Mutabilis and how to care for it.
Reply #9 of 10 posted 21 JUN 08 by Unregistered Guest
It is now 8 months after I started to inquire about my rose, Mutabulis, bush. It had a zillion burgandy blooms in the spring. It was absolutely beautiful. The bush is now, oh my gosh, BIG. It is sending 7-8 shoots out in the range of 8-10 ft. high. I don't think it will bloom again this year, but your right about it needing time to mature. I have a feeling the bush is going to be 10X10.
Reply #10 of 10 posted 9 FEB 09 by Jeff Britt
Sounds like your plant is not Mutabilis. If it has only flowered once this year and is the size you describe, it could be you have Dr. Huey growing instead. The doctor is often used as rootstock and could have taken over your scion Mutabilis.
Discussion id : 29-280
most recent 24 JUL 08 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 24 JUL 08 by Beth Dewsbery
Mu Mutabilis is actually doing very well for being so young, really blooming well, despite only about 4 hours of sun per day & only 18 months in the ground. However, I am wondering whether to prune it this winter, heavily or lightly, or just leave it as is to continue on its merry way?
Reply #1 of 2 posted 24 JUL 08 by Cass
Hi, Beth, if it were my plant, I'd use a light hand. I prune nothing but dead wood from mine. Once it is more mature, in four or five years, you can prune to shape as necessary. It's a twiggy thing by nature here in the desert West, where our summers are dry. If we had summer rain, I'd be more comfortable with more pruning. I've seen very mature plants grown as a traffic median strip hedge in Milano. It rains there through the spring and into early summer, so Mutabilis has lots of soil moisture to grow all summer.
Reply #2 of 2 posted 24 JUL 08 by Beth Dewsbery
we're lucky here in Johannesburg, South Africa, that winter itself is very dry, needing irrigation, but lots & lots of rain in the summer so I am looking forward to Mutabilis showing her stuff. I love the architecture she shows, with the scattering of delicate flowers even now in midwinter.
Discussion id : 27-388
most recent 17 JUN 08 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 15 JUN 08 by Chris
I had always wanted to plant Mutabilis, but i am in northeastern Connecticut, zone 5b,I did read in this months' American Rose that someone heard that it can survive in zone 5. Does anyone have any experience with this? chris
Reply #1 of 2 posted 16 JUN 08 by Karen
I have also been interested in planting Mutabilis in my zone 5 garden and settled on Chireno which comes from a cross of Mutabilis and Carefree Beauty. Chireno is hardy to zone 4. I planted it this year and really look forward to seeing it develop into a full grown bush.
Reply #2 of 2 posted 17 JUN 08 by Chris
that's well worth finding out about! I can't wait! chris
Discussion id : 11-591
most recent 14 MAY 07 SHOW ALL
Initial post 16 MAR 06 by I Love Roses
More people should grow this rose! It stays covered in blooms and it is a constant show of changing colors. Also, it's not a bad looking shrub for shape and foliage. Very hardy and seems to repel blackspot in all but the most humid weather, although it does like a little shade to keep from getting "wilty" in the hottest part of Summer. Depending on where you grow it, it can get very large. (My original plant is now 8' plus high and 5' plus wide) It really should be grown more!

When I accidentally cut too much one day while pruning, I stuck a piece of what I cut in the ground and forgot about it. That turned very quickly into a three foot tall shrub from which I have rooted 6 more plants. I now have a "Mutabilis hedge" and my neighbors are envious...
Reply #1 of 3 posted 20 AUG 06 by Unregistered Guest
I've been on the fence but with your comments and the photographs of the bush itself (not just the flowers) you've convinced me.  Any idea of how high it will likely get in zone 8 (Portland Oregon USA)?
Reply #2 of 3 posted 21 AUG 06 by I Love Roses
My original plant came from the Uncommon Rose in Oregon so you should do just fine with this rose in Oregon. I have heard tell of it reaching 10 feet or more, but it depends on the soil and your pruning regimen more than your area I think. You will love this rose, not just for the flowers but the bush is lovely too. Best of luck to you!
Reply #3 of 3 posted 14 MAY 07 by kelli
If you haven't bought as yet, this rose on clearance at Wayside Gardens online. My two are 5 yrs old and doing great so ordered 6 more. With the clearance prices, you could give the rose a try without hurting the budget! Good luck!
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