Florida Southern College professor Malcolm Manners had this to say about which rose varieties are resistant to nematodes,

"There are some roses that are excellent on their own roots. Some of the Chinas, for

example, have been known to live 70 or more years, here in Lakeland, on their own roots.

Old Blush, Louis Philippe and Archduke Charles are among this group of roses. Some

Teas and Noisettes may also be grown for a number of years on their own roots, but I

would caution you that, in nearly twenty years of searching, I have never found an ownroot

Noisette over 5 years old in the Lakeland area, nor have I found a Tea more than

about that age, unless it was growing next to a concrete building or slab. On three

occasions, I’ve seen very old plants of Mrs. B. R. Cant (a Tea) growing next to a building.

We have a plant on our campus that is at least 40 years old growing right next to a

concrete sidewalk. Note that nematodes don’t do well under heavy mulches, and in this

case, concrete is a “heavy” mulch! We’ve never found any other own-root Tea in this

area, regardless of its proximity to concrete. In addition to the roses mentioned above,

here is a list of all of the other roses I’ve ever found in Central Florida, growing healthily

on their own roots: Pink Pet, R. laevigata (the Cherokee Rose), La Marne (Polyantha; it

is FAR better on

For those of us in the deep south, here is a study from Hawaii on controlling nematodes with Molasses.


You should give ‘Ganges mist’ a shot too. It’s fertile.

I am guessing Silver Dawn and Ganges Mist could be tetraploids from their behavior. It would be interesting to find out for sure.

Ganges Mist sounded interesting also since it had Bracteata blood, but I picked Silver Dawn because it had a higher overall % of tropical parentage ( 25% clino versus 6% clino and 6% bracteata in Ganges). SD has some china blood also, which gives it a chance to do well in Florida own-root. Those were my thoughts at the time, I’ll reconsider Ganges for my next order though.

My RU order arrived yesterday, Silver Dawn had some blooms opening on it already, so I collected the anthers this morning, I’m going to try it on Old Blush and BR Cant tomorrow, looking forward to it. I’m going to grow some NON-nematode resistant tomatoes to concentrate the nasty little buggers, and use that soil to test my china hybrids for Florida adaptibility.

This is a well written article about nematodes, although it is about veggies.


A good article on soil solarization as a means to sterilize soil. They missed something important however. The presence of oxygen.

They state the addition of manure, water, and high temperatures improves effectiveness. High temperatures will sterilize somewhat, but it doesn’t penetrate into the soil well. If they use sheeting that blocks oxygen from passing through it (thicker sheets or double sheets), seal the edges air tight, and use candles to consume all the available oxygen (protect the sheeting from the candles). They will find that the effectiveness is much improved and the time it takes to successfully sterilize a field is greatly reduced (very important since that reduces cost).

The reason manure and water helps is that soil bacteria actively begin digesting and reproducing, which consumes much soil oxygen. The currently used sheeting only reduces the incoming O2, the procedure can be improved.


Charles, Do you know John Starnes?

He’s been working on nematode resistant roses for Florida for some time. He has a very good idea of what works and what doesn’t.

He’s developing some very interesting breeding lines with this characteristic in mind.

I’ve ever found in Central Florida, growing healthily

on their own roots: Pink Pet, R. laevigata (the Cherokee Rose), La Marne (Polyantha; it

is FAR better on

I don’t know John Starnes or Malcolm Manners, but we have some similar interests, so I’ll have to introduce myself.

I plan on tinkering with rootstocks, probably next year, as my young garden will be much bigger by then. At first I’ll have two breeding lines, one for China crosses that survive own root, and one line for heat resistance + beauty, then I’ll try to merge them. I might need an easy to use rootstock for a few years though. That’s the current plan anyway. It’s sad that there are so few roses that can survive own root in Florida. It does, however, make it easier for me to make a difference :slight_smile: