I picked up a regular Martin Frobisher in a clearance sale. The main
cane was straight and tall around 4'. I trimmed off branches. It
looked like a rose tree. I call it poor man's rose tree.
I put it in a 7 gallon plastic pot. It looked nice. I'm thinking about
getting more of them.
Question 1: Can Martin Frobisher be trained as a tree?
Question 2: Is Martin Frobisher grow well in a container? (I know it's
not optimal condition for rose in a container. I just want to survive
and bloom some)
I'm in zone 5.
Roses in pots are subject to a lot more cold than roses in the ground. The
general rule is to select roses at least 1 or 2 zones hardier than your
climate zone for pot roses. Martin Frobisher is pretty hardy, even for a
rugosa, down to zone 3 I think, so it might do OK in a BIG pot up close to
the house and protected with burlap and some insulating leaves. 7 gallons
is way too tiny for a rose though. You'll need a minimum of 15 gallons, just
for him to thrive the first year, and he'll want bigger than that after he
gets on down the road.
Training it as a standard isn't going to work. It will just send up new
suckers from the base next spring as that is how it reproduces. Rose
standards are produced by disbudding the growth eyes from a long long
*thornless* cane and then rooting it at the bottom. The desirable variety
is then grafted onto the cane near the top. Rugosas are way too thorny to
be treated like this. Some people have, with a LOT of effort, trained roses
as standards by cutting off all the new growth from the base, but it's least
likley to work with a rugosa, which sucker profusely--and did I mention the
thorns? Martin would really prefer a spot in your garden where it can
stretch out to it's 6x6 size. It has lovely red canes in the winter, so
plant it someplace that will be a focal point in the winter garden.
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