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ordphien

How wide does Poseidon get, and can I control the height of a rose?

ordphien
6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago

Basically what I asked in the title.

I bought Poseidon last year, and it's going in the ground this year. But I'm finding conflicting info on how wide it gets. The tag says it gets nearly twice as wide as help me find. I really want to know before I plant it.

So what's your experience? How wide does it get?

And can I manipulate the final height of a few roses? Not by much.

I bought an impulse rose last year, and the only place I had room for it was out front with my other roses. The problem is it's planted kinda in front of some other roses.

The roses it's planted in front of reach about 5 - 7 feet. Unfortunately it too reaches 5 - 7 feet. Which really throws off the flow of the rose bed. I'd love to create height difference.

Can I start trimming one lower and leaving the others higher? So that the one in front gets about 2 feet shorter than the ones in back?

Or will they all just grow to 7 feet tall regardless?

Sorry if that seems silly. I've always just planned my roses to fit the space I had before buying them. Never considered controlling the size of the rose.


Edit - The two roses in question are Stainless Steel. Who is the one in back. And Fragrant Lavender Simplicity. Who's in front of Stainless Steel.

Comments (45)

  • zack_lau z6 CT ARS Consulting Rosarian
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Depends on the rose--hybrid teas can often be pruned short and still bloom properly as long as the leaves still get plenty of light. That tends to be the norm in cold climates--someone in Zone 5 isn't going to get 7 feet high hybrid teas no matter what they do--old man winter cuts them down the the ground and doesn't give them a long enough growing season to get really big.

    Climbing roses typically need long canes to bloom--cut back New Dawn's laterals and it will grow long new ones before blooming again. Climbers that die back to the ground are a disaster--they spend all their time growing long new canes.

  • nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska
    6 years ago

    In my zone 5, Poseidon really wants to get tall and doesn't seem to bloom until it's about 5 feet tall. As Zach said, some roses can be controlled with pruning but in my experience Poseidon isn't all that happy being pruned shorter. In your warmer zone, I'd expect 7' to be more like it. For me, Poseidon is tall and narrow, kind of like Queen of Sweden, which would make it fit into a small spot.

    However, my method for making Poseidon fit into a space where you want it to be effectively shorter requires more width to work with. I bend the main canes and any laterals down to a fence support that's about 2-3' high, and the remaining curved canes only reach up to about 3-4'. They bloom nicely off those laterals, so it's a win-win situation. I haven't got handy fencing in around Poseidon yet, so the bent canes are tucked underneath other roses and shrubs nearby that hold the canes down till I can get around to positioning them. It has canes that are pretty stiff when mature, so you'd have to bend this early on in the cane's growth.

    I've done this with both Dame des Chenonceau and Champagne Moment that I planted in front of another bed in the same way you described, where they were blocking shorter roses behind them. I have bent both of them down along supporting fences at the front of the bed and now I quite like the look. It's sort of like treating the rose as if it's a climber, though of course Poseidon isn't a climber. Still, it seems to like the horizontal canes better than being pruned down to a reasonable size.

    Just my two cents

    Cynthia

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  • ordphien
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    I'm not trying to make Poseidon shorter. I wanted to know how wide it gets.

    I'm really disappointed to hear it gets 5 feet for you though. The tag and HMF both said 3 to 4 feet. Maybe I'll try bending it like you suggest.


    The rose I was concerned with making shorter is Fragrant Lavender Simplicity.

  • Brittie - La Porte, TX 9a
    6 years ago

    Mine is 8 feet tall and six feet wide. It is more vase shaped than round, so the base is significantly smaller than the top. It's only three years old though (own root), so I don't know what it's ultimate dimensions are.

  • ordphien
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hmm. Sounds like I don't have room for Poseidon. The place I had planned for it is only about 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

    I wish all the places I checked the height had been accurate.

    I don't know where to plant it now....

  • Prettypetals_GA_7-8
    6 years ago

    I've had mine for prob 4 years now and it tops out about 41/2 ft tall and prob 3 ft wide. I hard prune after it flushes to about 2 ft and it grows to 2 ft again before it buds up. Good luck!!!!

  • farmerduck NJ Z6b
    6 years ago

    Mine got really tall with one stiff, main canes shooting up to about 6 feet tall. The blooms are ruined by the heat and perhaps thrip, and have been really ratty looking. So I took out lopper and cut down to about 3 feet. It figure it is still early enough to do that in the season. I am hoping to get some basal breaks or at least promote the exisiting lateral canes.

  • farmerduck NJ Z6b
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    It is tall, unbalanced plant, but very healthy

    What remains of the top section.

  • Holly Webster(7bNC)
    6 years ago

    At the risk of hijacking the thread: farmerduck, I have 2 roses doing the same thing. I have been afraid to lop off the giant, shooting up cane. The bushes are a mess. Is it safe to lop off 12-18" of an out of control main cane in the summer?

  • ordphien
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Holly - I don't really mind lopping off an unbalanced cane.

    It's early summer so any growth it pushes out should harden off by winter.



    So now I'm left with a choice.

    Plant it where I originally intended. And hope it stays the size it says it does. Which it seems it does for some people. Or try and hedge it, which it was mentioned it didn't like.

    Or squeeze it into a small space in back, and pray it reaches a height of at least 6 feet. If it doesn't I'll never be able to see it. And after the rose in front grows I won't really be able to get back there to move it out.

    Perhaps I can plant it on the left side of the bed. But that area gets alot of shade.

  • Brittie - La Porte, TX 9a
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I don't know why Poseiden grows differently for people. Very mysterious! I can say that my garden is very humid and we get a lot of rain during the year and maybe that contributes. I'm near Houston, so we're also hot in the summer with very mild winters.

    I would probably try it where you were originally going to place it and see how it goes.

  • farmerduck NJ Z6b
    6 years ago

    ordphien - i would say try it. Maybe prune it hard while it is growing? It is a vigorous rose, and should be able to handle the abuse, if it is early in the season.

  • modestgoddess z6 OH
    6 years ago

    Some people are growing it on root stock and others just have long growing seasons

  • ordphien
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm pretty sure mine is on doctor huey. And I have a very long growing season.


    Maybe I will just try it in its original planned spot...

  • blueKYstream
    6 years ago

    I planted an own-root Poseidon last year. It shot up a vertical shoot and has some growth up top, but so far it's been an awkward shape. It hasn't put on much leaf growth height or width this year, but the Japanese Beetles have been reeking havoc on her. I don't know the mature width but hopefully the picture helps in some way.

  • blueKYstream
    6 years ago

    chris2486: The vertical cane on mine grew so fast, I didn't catch it in time. Do you think I ought to cut it down and pinch it slightly?

  • Holly Webster(7bNC)
    6 years ago

    Chris, I am SO grateful for your input!!!! I have same ? as blueKYstream. I was ill last year & have 3 roses with this problem. They almost look like rose trees this year, with a fat, bare at the bottom main cane & leafy laterals starting about 12" up. Dk what to do to help shape them at this point. Am resigned to it taking a couple of years of careful tending, but am afraid to whack roses in summer o-O

  • ordphien
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you Chris. A few questions.

    Am I to assume that my Poseidon was already trained like this?

    Because mine is in a large pot from a local nursery. I don't believe it was only a few months old when I bought it.

    I've also owned it in its pot for a year.

    If not. How high do a let a cane grow before I pinch? How do I correct a plant that's been in a pot?

    And since I'm in Southern California should I assume that it's grafted on Dr. Huey? Or is it own root perhaps?

    Does that depend on who supplies my local nursery?

  • enchantedrosez5bma
    6 years ago

    Chris- I would love more info too. My 'Poseidon' is own root. Some were bought this year, some last year. I also have 'First Crush', 'Summer Romance' and other Kordes hybrid teas. All are either from last year or this year and all are own root. By pinching do you mean pruning back? How short should I go? Some are only about a foot tall, others have some long unsightly canes, 'First Crush' being the worst. Any explanation of how to go about this is appreciated.

    Sharon


  • chris2486
    6 years ago

    Pinching is a reference to a soft prune where green growing branches are either cut or snapped off to force growth lower on the plant. We do it when there is a large fast growing cane that will be too tall compared to the rest of the plant. Pinching a soft cane will the force the plant to make several new smaller canes lower down. It can be done all summer long with out a problem. I think you will do no harm pinching and shaping a plant in summer.

    The question of hard pruning a bush that has been growing several years is a bit more nuanced. I think the climate will dictate whether it should be done in summer or if it is better to do this next early spring. If you severely cut back a rose and it then has to grow new branches it will need enough time to regrow the foliage and to store carbohydrates in the roots for winter. I think in my USDA Zone 8 where roses grow until mid-October it is possible but I am not sure it is advisable in colder climates. I think I would recommend waiting until February/March just to be safe.

    What I did this past spring to a 4 year old Plum Perfect that was growing unbalanced to one side was prune the entire plant down to about 8 inches tall - pretty drastic. I then fertilized and mulched high around the base of the plant. The mulch is to keep the base soft and so it is able to create breaks. I was rewarded with two large thick canes growing where the plant was uneven. I let these 2 canes grow out about 12 inches and the I gave a soft pinch to the growth tip to encourage more branching on these canes. By fall this plant will look full and balanced.

    Ordphien, you may not need to do this. The well grown plant looks like a vase with an open center and the outer part of the bush having well spaced strong canes. What brand was on the tag? I can probably tell you what kind of plant it is if I see the tag.

    Sharon I would soft pinch the branches on anything bought this year to encourage a vase shaped plant. When you see a really thick basal cane coming up that is clearly going to outgrow the rest of the plant top the growth tip a few inches below the height rest of canes to encourage more even growth. I would pinch back all ugly tall canes. to encourage these to branch.

  • enchantedrosez5bma
    6 years ago

    Thanks Chris. Would you wait until the cane flowers if it has buds. or would you also disbud?

    Sharon

  • chris2486
    6 years ago

    No we do not wait until buds but as soon as we seed we need to pinch we do. This puts the energy to the new growth rather than to flowering.

  • ordphien
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you again Chris.

    A nice vase shape is what I've been aiming for. I'm not really sure who supplied it. I've lost the tag in this past year. Perhaps I can take a trip down to the nursery soon and see who is on the tags on their Poseidons.

    My final question is what height do you prune to?

    I'm a very timid pruner. I think I need to be more ruthless.

    And what do you think of the experience posted in this thread where hers doesn't like to bloom until it's tall?

  • enchantedrosez5bma
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    @Chris- Would you recommend pruning all the Kordes the same way to encourage branching? I have Summer Romance, Summer Sun, Savannah, Sunny Sky, Winter Sun, First Crush, Pink Enchantment, Poseidon, Polar Express, Fiji, Out of Rosenheim, Brothers Grimm, Madame Anisette and more that have not branched out. Madame Anisette is probably 4 feet tall from RU this year. They are all own root purchased this year or last. Also what is the minimum height that would be safe?

    Thanks again for all your help.

    Sharon

  • chris2486
    6 years ago

    No I don't think treating all Kordes varieties the same is the idea, nor does my advice pertain to just Kordes. In general I think HTs require more effort to ensure an own root bushes branch well and shrubs are usually the easiest.

    Its in my experience in growing own root roses that some varieties need more work on shaping the plant. It also depends on what happens early in the life of the plant. We start pinching and shaping as soon as the small plants have roots and are sending up the first growth and then we will give another 2 pinches to new growth before we pot into a band pot. I don't know what other growers do. Just to be clear we do this same technique in the budded plants in the field -we remove the top of the first growth in the first few months of growth in order to get these shrubs to branch out.

    I think when you receive a plant you should look at the form of the shrub. I see photos on this site of plants just received where the buyers are gushing over having a bloom and I am wincing over the plant and the thin whip like canes.. Blooms on small plants are not all that desirable. What counts is really strong roots systems which are almost over filling the pot and many short well developed canes- thick and well branched. If that is not what you receive then prune the canes back and work toward having thick, well spaced canes with an open center. Once that shape is done then let the flowers come. When I plant out small plants in April I will typically have this result and a nice bloom by early September.

    Ordphien - I prune Poseidon back to 2-2.5 feet tall every February with a gas powered hedge trimmer. In fact all of our roses get the hedge pruner treatment. If they can't take this- well they probably are not going to get a commercial introduction. With this type of pruning I can maintain Poseidon at about 4 feet tall. As I said earlier it is relatively narrow shrub by nature. After first flush I generally remove spent blooms and 6 inches of top growth.

    Sharon. If they are tall awkward plants then take them down to about 12 inches to encourage low side breaks. If you get some basal break coming out of the soil all the better. I would do this once ASAP and provide plenty of fertilizer and water to promote growth. I would not do this again this season, but depending on the results I might prune hard again in early spring if correcting the form is still needed. That should correct the form but it could be repeated again the following spring pruning if it still is not balanced. I planted and then neglected a Sunny Sky band pot in my home garden and ended up with an ugly narrow bush after 2 years. It took 2 season of hard pruning but it is a beautiful rose bush today.

  • Holly Webster(7bNC)
    6 years ago

    Chris, you are a total gift! Last year all my roses were neglected due to my medical issues. I have several now in their second year and looking just terrible. I am absolutely terrified of cutting them back that short, but I trust your knowledge. I have Alaskan fish fertilizer concentrate and some alfalfa tea. Are these adequate for fertilizing after the pruning? In an earlier post, you stated that you mounded mulch high around the base of a rose whose shape you were correcting, to keep the lower cane growth soft. About how high up on an own-root do you recommend piling the mulch to facilitate lower laterals or basal breaks? Thank you so, so much!

    Btw, my medical specialist found out I grow roses, and asked me all sorts of questions. I steered him to the Newflora website to check out the awesome Kordes roses for here in the hot, humid South.

  • enchantedrosez5bma
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks again Chris. I will definitely prune down the gangly Madame Anisette. I like to see at least one flower to make sure that the correct rose was sent. I received two mislabeled Kordes Floral Fairy Tale so I'd rather make sure it's the correct rose before I remove all of the buds.

    Is it still early enough to cut the roses back? We usually don't get a killing frost until mid to late September. I don't want to compromise the health of the rose.

    Sharon

  • chris2486
    6 years ago

    Hi Holly,

    I hope you are continuing to recover. I think all of us have garden projects we start and then can't follow through on, but not so many of us have a medical emergency get in the way. The good thing with gardens is we can often correct problems. I just cover the crown so just a 3-4 inches. The crown is where you want to see some new can development and also hopefully there will be some basal breaks coming up from below the soil. Thanks for the plug for Kordes.

    Sharon I think it will be fine - I had to think about this as I don't know everyone's climate. What I would be careful of is not fertilizing after mid-August so there is not too much tender growth when you have a hard frost. As I am sure you know when you prune hard it stimulates a lot of new tender growth. This past week we just supplied more stock to RI of Floral FT. Not sure what happened.

  • enchantedrosez5bma
    6 years ago

    Thanks Chris, I don't fertilize the first year since most advise against it. Who is RI? Did you mean Roses Unlimited? I would love to get my Floral Fairy Tale roses.

    Sharon

  • chris2486
    6 years ago

    Yes sorry RU. They requested more cuttings sourced from our stock. We fertilize young roses as soon as they grow a few root initials and continue to do so until we start to slow down growth for preparation for frost. I cannot imagine why anyone would advise against fertilizing young plants - they need nutrition to grow even more than more than mature plants. I think industry-wide young own root plants are fertilized from very small young plants onward.

  • enchantedrosez5bma
    6 years ago

    Chris- Would the Floral Fairy Tale be ready to purchase or are they too small? What would you recommend for fertilizer. These are in raised beds with compost based soil. I have several of the Epsoma organic granular fertilizers. Would you use something with a higher phosphorous and potassium and lower nitrogen? I have Rose Tone but that is 6-6-4. I have added mycorrhizae when I planted them but no fertilizer. I also have kelp liquid fertilizer since I use only organics.

    Sharon

  • chris2486
    6 years ago

    I think they would not be ready until next spring - we just sent cuttings.

    We use balanced formulations on new rose plants as we are trying to promote tissue growth and are not trying to promote flowering. The Rose Tone would work but I think a fish emulsion or alfalfa tea would also work if you are staying with organics.

    We in Oregon, with the legalization of cannabis, have some pretty interesting new "natural" fertilizers available at the farm stores. They are looking to promote really fast plant growth in the cannabis trade and these have mycorrhizae and all kinds of different ingredients in a liquid form. One of these days I going to buy some of this and experiment with it.

    We make our own formulations for our organics. It is really hard to get nitrogen as high as we need in the commercially available organic fertilizers for our fruit production and stay within the OMRI designation.

  • blueKYstream
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I cut mine back today (with a heavy heart), because it looked scraggly. Poor thing was just about to throw out some buds too :(. Hopefully, I did this correctly. I put a bit of mushroom compost at the base as well and gave it a good drink of water with Miracle Gro. Before and After pictures

  • enchantedrosez5bma
    6 years ago

    BlueKYstream- I feel your pain, lol. We wait so long after winter for our roses to bloom and Chris is telling us to whack off the buds!! And cut our roses to the ground!!! But I'll be following her advice too and cutting my roses back severely to encourage new growth :-) We'll be rewarded next year with nice full bushes instead of one cane wonders. I have a Buck 'Folksinger' rose that's about 15 years old that suffered horrific cane breakage last winter. I cut her to about 6 inches. She grew like crazy and flowered on schedule. So it looks like she didn't mind her haircut at all.

    Chris- Another question. When I plant the own roots should I bury part of the canes below the soil like you would with grafted plants? Would this help with basal breaks? So much to learn. Thanks for your advice and patience with all the questions.

    Sharon

  • chris2486
    6 years ago

    Hi Sharon - I do not live in a cold climate so I am no expert, but the reason for burying the graft under the soil is to protect the graft so even if there is die back you still can grow the true variety from the crown and not have just the rootstock survive. That is not needed with an own root so I would think it is not necessary. I would be interested in some other opinions....

    I share everyone's pain is cutting off blooms. I hate the job of doing the cut backs on the young plants.

  • enchantedrosez5bma
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks Chris- I was just wondering if some of the cane was below the soil line if it would promote basal breaks since it would probably develop roots. I might experiment with a couple of roses just to see what happens.

    Even though it will KILL me t cut off buds I will do it if it results on a fuller bush. I guess we can just consider this a form of tough love ;-)

  • chris2486
    6 years ago

    Oh good I love to see and trial and you might be right it will help with basal breaks. Keep us informed on this. I will plant a few deep here and see hoe this works in a warmer climate.

  • Holly Webster(7bNC)
    6 years ago

    Enchantedrose and BlueKYstream, I am taking the big haircut plunge on 3 of mine this weekend! And, of course, the top few inches have a ton of buds. Sigh. Blue, I think you showed remarkable fortitude in whackiing down Poseidon with that big, beautiful, perfect bloom looking at you! If you can do it, I can do it!! I agree with Enchantedrose: next year, we will have beautifully shaped bushes as well as beautiful blooms!

  • enchantedrosez5bma
    6 years ago

    Chris- I'll keep everyone posted on how the trial goes.

    Holly-I know, this is just so hard!!! It seems like winter lasts forever here and then w'ere told to cut all our rose buds off!! I want to let the new ones flower at least once to make sure that they're the correct plants since I got a couple of mislabeled once this year but once they flower out with the pruning shears!!

    Sharon

  • Holly Webster(7bNC)
    5 years ago

    Ok. I just came in from taking the leap of faith & cutting back my roses which were trying to become rose trees. I think I need a cup of tea ; ) An earlier poster stated she was a timid pruner; I think I am a paralyzed pruner! I am normally fairly bold & brave, but turn to jelly at the thought of cutting back a rose in summer. We won't have frost here for probably 5 months, so my brain knows it's safe. I am ridiculous! Anyway, pinched back a couple of recently planted roses, & whacked Veldfire, Sugar Moon, Century 2 and Lasting Peace. Fed w/alfalfa tea & fish emulsion, then mounded w/mulch over crown. We had 1/2" rain last night & will have more rain this afternoon. Chris of Newflora, I hope I did this correctly!

  • chris2486
    5 years ago

    You did good! I feel your pain I have about 400 baby plants in a new trial getting the same treatment. Send us some images when they start to send out new canes.

  • Holly Webster(7bNC)
    5 years ago

    I will! I am sure I will be hovering over them, checking to be sure I didn't kill them!

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 8b)
    5 years ago

    My Poseidon is only 3 ft wide and now 7ft tall. It is climbing just like a climber now. I put it on an arch and its going right up. Blooms good too.

  • Rose Whisperer
    5 years ago

    Here, Poseidon easily grows to about 4 ft. tall and about 2 ft. wide for it's first flush. By end of season, with minor pruning between flushes, it will reach 6 ft tall and at most 2.5 ft wide. It grows very much like a Hybrid Tea or Grandiflora.

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