Thursday, October 18, 2012

Warning!

Warning! Warning, Will Robinson!

Do you remember the robot from 'Lost in Space'?  These warnings were accompanied by the robot waving its arms, the lights on its head blinking, and its body moving back and forth.

Well, I am warning you!  My arms are waving, my head is shaking, and my body is jumping up and down.  Warning! Warning!

What am I warning you about?  A rose.

Mutabilis

A rose?

Yes, a pretty rose.  A very pretty rose.  A rose by a sweet name - the Butterfly Rose.  That name just doesn't seem to impart danger.  But I'm here to tell you the truth.  And to warn you.

The Butterfly Rose is the nickname of the rose 'Mutabilis'.  Those sweet little blooms look a bit like butterflies all over it.  When I planted Mutabilis in the middle of a corner in my garden, my sister laughed.  Laughed!

"Where's the rest of the plantings?", she asked.

"That one rose will grow to take up the entire corner."  One look at her and I knew she doubted me.  "Really!"

I knew.  Or, at least I thought I knew.  I knew Mutabilis got to 10 ft. tall at maturity.  I knew it would grow to fill in the entire 8 ft. corner.


What I didn't know was that Mutabilis would grow from around 5 ft. tall last year to almost 9 ft. tall this year - only its fourth year!  I didn't know that instead of just filling in the corner, it would outgrow it!  I'm thinking 10 ft. tall is a small estimate of its mature size, and 8 ft. wide doesn't even come close.

I really don't care how tall this rose gets.  The sky is the limit - literally.  But width is another matter.  It covers the sidewalk, and no one can pass by.  I have cut it back twice this year already and I'm sadly realizing I am going to have to keep trimming on it to keep it within the bounds of its corner.  Not what I had planned at all.

No room to walk on this sidewalk!

Last year I waxed poetic about Mutabilis.  I even wrote, "I have it in a corner where it can grow as large as it wishes."  Ha!  This year I know - Mutabilis is an uncontrollable monster in disguise!

 For reference: the fence (far left) is over 6 ft. tall here!

I still recommend this rose.  It's an easy care rose to grow.  But now I'm adding a warning:
Grow Mutabilis at your own risk.  It needs a large area.  
A very large area.

You have been warned.


44 comments:

  1. I loved mine and was sorry it croaked. Yours is a huge beauty.

    Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

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    1. I am sorry you lost yours. I would hate to lose mine. It's a big one, but it really is a beautiful thing.

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  2. Go ahead and let Mutabilis get tall ... limb it up a bit to limit its width and sprawl. This rose develops a lovely trunk. Why not show it off?

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    1. I have seen Mutabilis grown limbed up as a tree. I really like the bushyness (is that a word?) of it, I just wish it would stay off the sidewalk. I may have to limb it up some. I didn't think I'd have to make this kind of decision for several more years!

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  3. I know Mutabilis and I think it's a beautiful rose. I am fond of the huge shrub roses which grow tall, like botanical roses and old French roses. The only problem is "space", they need a lot of space and I reached the limit in my garden.

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    1. Yes, they do need lots of space. It really is hard to realize that that tiny little rose will one day get huge!

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  4. A delicate beauty, but looks like rose that is more high maintenance than first perceived.

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    1. haha - I think you're right! I had planned on not having to do too much with this one, but it looks like it has other plans for me!

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  5. This rose likes the soil in your corner and water!you should do nothing for it and a rose won't grow gigantically.

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    1. You are right - this is some of the best soil I have. I guess I shouldn't have planted a monster in the best soil -I should have planted him in the worst!

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  6. OH hollygarden, that makes me laugh, we had a plant in our backyard with an estimated 4 x 3 metres in 10 years. It grew 3 x 3 in the first 2 years, and took over a whole corner of the backyard, well you know what happened to that plant!

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    1. It's hard to know sometimes exactly how big a rose will get! I have some I wish would get bigger. Then, there are others that I wish the exact opposite!

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    2. I guess you can only go by what the plant tags and other information say. I have a Pat Austin rose, and it's supposed to grow huge and gangly, requiring staking to hold up it's blooms. So I have given it plenty of space, but you never know how it's going to grow, nowhere near as big as your mutabilis rose though. Have a nice Weekend.

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    3. Well, my Pat Austin is very small, too, and it's several years old. I was surprised to learn it's supposed to get 5 ft tall. Which is the opposite of most Austins. They usually are quite gangly. I'm not sure mine is going to make 5 ft, but I hope it does. I hope yours fills out the space you've allotted for it beautifully (and not get too large, either)!

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  7. Wow! Apparently it loves its place in your garden. It's beautiful. Sorry it will end up being more maintenance than originally planned.

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    1. Yes, I'm afraid it may turn into a maintenance hog. In that case, I will definitely limb it up like Connie (see Hartwood Roses comment) suggested!

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  8. Definitely a rose for a country garden, I'm thinking. We had a similar problem with a Banksia Rose and eventually I got tired of continualy hacking it back and got rid of it.

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    1. I have two banksias that I know need transplanting NOW - before they get too big! :O

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  9. It's very pretty and yes is obviously quite big. Maybe you could dig it up in the Spring and move it in a little to give it room enough to grow without being on the sidewalk. It's so hard to get things to grow like we want. Darn!
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. I don't think I'm going to be moving this monster. That's one fight I don't think I would win! As much as we talk to our plants you would think they would mind us a little better! :O

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  10. It is a lovely rose indeed! I have learned my lesson with any rose - not to plant where people (that you like) walk by as roses have that nasty way of catching you as you pass! Ouch! I have a rambler called 'Grouse' that has to continually be cut back to prevent people from getting caught on as they get out of their car. I cant bear to rip it out!

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    1. Thankfully, this one is almost thornless. But, I always feel like I'm being pushed off the sidewalk, and I don't like being bullied by a rose! I do have some other roses planted next to my front door, and they do like to grab visitors. I think they just want a little attention! ;)

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  11. You are in Texas and roses grow much larger than the labels say in Texas...I have a thug of a rose, Maggie, and it is getting tiresome, but I will be moving her once again this winter as she is just beautiful. Are you familiar with the garden nursery Redenta's in Dallas - they have a Mutabilis that grows up a utility pole. Seems to me it is more like 20 feet not 10. If you come up with a "solution", let us know.

    Why don't the nursery folks carry a sturdy rose frame to make it easier on the gardeners. I would take a dozen!

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    1. I have not been to Redentas, but I'll have to make a special trip just to see their Mutabilis! I think I'm going to have to do a lot of thinking about this rose. Maybe limbing it up into a tree form like Connie suggested is the way to go!

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  12. I have a Rosa setigera in an out of the way corner. It's also supposed to be a space glutton, but it's been two years and I'm still waiting and wondering if I'll regret planting this one.

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    1. Isn't it funny how some roses can get overgrown while others just won't do anything! Guess they have a mind of their own!

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  13. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Mutabilis isn't hardy in my zone. But good to know in case I ever have a southern garden. :-) Plants that grow quickly and freely do fascinate me, though! Like Corn here in the Midwest that grows nearly perceptibly to the human eye on a hot summer day. Or similar growth with Bamboo. Also evergreen plants that survive many degrees below freezing. You have to give them credit for their robustness! Great post!

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    1. Plants are very fascinating, and it's amazing to me all they can put up with as far as heat, drought, floods, and cold. And grow, too! The robust ones just don't seem to realize they're outside in the elements!

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  14. Kind of like the plant in the Little Shop of Horrors. It is a good thing you like it though.

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    1. haha - I do love it. I will now think of it as my own little Audrey 2. :)

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  15. Oh, I do remember the Will Robinson warning, lol. I've been gone too long, Holley. What a rose, wow, that's a whopper. But look at those blooms, too. I don't grow roses very well, I guess I'm rose-challenged, but I love coming here to see yours.

    And on your earlier post about the mosquitoes, oh, I hear you. The only good thing about our drought was the lack of the pests this year.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Maybe my mosquitoes are all hiding in the big rose bush! :) I can't believe how many there are this year. Maybe due to your drought, they all moved down here! ;)

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  16. Replies
    1. hahaha - This would be a good experiment!

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  17. Some roses have a mind of their own! And people say roses are hard to grow.

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    1. Not all roses are hard to grow, obviously! :)

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  18. My fairy rose is out of control as well in front but not in back...those perfect spots will allow some plants to grow larger than they are supposed to...then I move them and they die or grow very small...plants with a mind of their own fascinate me.

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    1. My flower carpet rose gets out of control, too. Thankfully, it's small enough for me to deal with it! I guess I'd rather have a plant that's happy and a little too big than one that unhappy and dwarf!

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  19. I wonder if it would grow here? We don't get enough water during any season....

    Hmmmmm

    Oh and I loved those "warning Will Robinson" I still have that memory from childhood.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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    1. The things we remember from our childhood! haha As for the rose - it doesn't mind not having a lot of water, but it hates the cold. It only grows in zones 7 through 10. Maybe that's why it's so big - it doesn't ever get a very cold winter so it continues to grows all year long! I guess it is a lot like that plant on The Little Shop of Horrors!

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  20. Both of the red Knockout roses I planted are taking up more room than I had expected as well. Just cut off all the limbs of the first one and plant to dig out the rootball next weekend. That should leave enough room for the other one to continue to grown and allow me to tuck in a tree for shade next spring. Think I can tuck smaller, miniature roses nearby too.

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    1. Roses do seem to have a habit of getting much larger than we ever think they will! They look so innocent when they're first planted out!

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