|Facts on "Own Root Roses vs. Budded/Grafted Roses
The term "own-root" refers to roses that have been rooted from cuttings, divided, layered or tissue-cultured which
caused a piece of cane to produce roots of its own.(kinda like rooting a piece of house plant)
In contrast, a grafted or budded plant is one in which a very small piece(the bud or scion) of the desired rose variety is
removed from the cane and attached to a root system from another rose (the rootstock or understock usually of rosa
Multiflora or rosa Canina). These two parts heal together, to become the roses bushes we buy.
Budding is a type of grafting, and the terms are often used interchangeably. While methods of nursery production
differ slightly, budded and grafted plants should grow identically in the garden. For the most part the two methods are
Own-root plants have some significant advantages and disadvantages over grafted plants. They tend to live longer
due to not having a bud or graft union that calluses and hardens over time leaving little space on which new shoots
can emerge. Also, if a less hardy, own-root plant freezes to the ground, it will usually sprout back out from below the
soil surface. The new growth is still the original variety, so you haven't lost the plant.
Own-root plants are usually more expensive, since they grow slower into saleable stock and the grower has to use
more of his stock plant to create new cuttings. For example a grower can get approx. 6 to 8 plants out of one 12" piece
of bud wood whereas that same piece will only produce one or two good sized rooted cuttings!
Own root roses are true to the variety's growth traits & habits. If you read that, for example, a Henry Hudson rose is
supposed to grow only between 3'-4' tall & wide then that's what it will do on it's own roots. Budded or grafted Henry
Hudson's can grow up to 5' or more depending on whether its rootstock is robust and vigorous. So you can expect to
get the true rose bush in every way when you buy them on the own roots. Also hardiness is effected by
budding/grafting. As the root-stocks growth trait can be to grow on into late fall early winter it will force the rose variety
attached to it to do the same even though it's genes tell it not to. Thus you can get a lot of winter kill on what was
supposed to be a "hardy rose bush variety".
There are many factors besides these that effect if a rose will be hardy or not. Although this is just the tip of the
iceberg we're dealing with here, a lot of the hardiness factor does depend on whether or not the variety of roses is
hardy for your climate in the first place and that if it is budded/grafted, it is planted deeply into the soil (4"-6") to protect
the graft from freezing & thawing.
Budding & grafting rose bushes have been the common practice for centuries. While many root-stocks have been
tried, there are only a few used in cold climates like Canada.
Rosa Multi-flora is the most popular rootstock used here. It is hardy to zone 4 and is very robust in size and vigour.
Thus, this will effect the performance of the rose variety attached to it. Rosa Canina is also used for the same reasons
as Multi-flora although it seems to send out unwanted suckers more than Multi- flora.
What exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of own-root roses over those that are budded or grafted? Alot of
what has been written has everything to do with the climatic zones the grower lives in. From a hardiness point of view,
"own Roots" of a hardy variety are no doubt the best selection. For longevity of the rose bushes "own roots" are the
best selection also.
A point of interest we would like to bring to your attention is the fact that roses that are budded/grafted onto hardy,
robust rootstock generally grow at a faster rate and produce larger bushes than that same variety that you would buy on
it's "own roots". So don't try and compare roses you've purchased that are budded/grafted to new ones you've now
purchased that are on their own roots. The same age of plant will generally be much smaller and will grow only according
to what its genes dictate. It will not be pushed by a robust rootstock such as the rosa Multiflora commonly used here in
|Own root roses vs Budded/grafted Roses