Soil can influence both the health and fertility of roses (and other plants). I happened across this item that mentions some specifics.
James Shirley Hibberd
"When the utmost has been done to improve the soil, it may still be quite unsuitable for many of the choicer kinds; and where there is any reasonable cause for doubt it would be rash to plant extensively, and especially with expensive sorts. In fact it is not possible to decide to what extent roses may be grown on even the best soils until the thing has been tried, and therefore on one which bears the appearance of unfitness, let actual experiment determine before you risk much in the adventure. Many roses will make a good start in soils quite unfit for them, and when the first flush of youth is over they sicken and become worthless, or die outright; and on the best of soils for general purposes there are some sorts that refuse to make themselves ‘at home.’ Where Gloire de Rosamene does well you are pretty sure to find that La Reine turns consumptive, and vice versa. "
“In the planting of a dry sand with roses those worked on Brier stocks are pretty sure to fail, for the dog rose demands a cool, moist, rich loam: sand, or any kind of loose shifting soil, it abominates. Here it is that roses on their own roots or on Manetti stocks prove especially valuable. Hybrid Perpetuals on their own roots are very accommodating, and when an uncongenial soil has been made the best of, those are the roses to risk upon it. Indeed, wherever there is a doubt about the suitability of a soil, roses on their own roots are to be preferred; for those that are worked are in an artificial condition, and less able to battle with adverse influences than such as from head to foot are ‘all of a piece,’ and carry their sap in continuous currents, the warfare between stocks and inserted buds being often greater than appears for a time, and even if trifling and of no moment when all external influences are favourable, every unfavourable circumstance aggravates it, and a bad soil most of all.”
It may be soil that makes ‘Basye’s Purple’ thrive or fail. The only specimen I have seen looked chlorotic and weak, as though it were being starved of some essential nutrient. I have read that this variety requires a neutral to slightly acidic soil.
Has anyone out there had success with ‘Basye’s Purple’? If so, is it own-root or grafted? And what kind of soil do you have?