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Purchasing an Antique Rose Bush from Heirloom Roses in Oregon

mutabilis rose

I have been wanting to expand my antique roses collection for some time. This summer, I had my sights set on purchasing a Mutabilis rose bush but there were none available… I assume due to the heat of summer and potential damages during shipping. The only place I could find is one of the more expensive vendors from Oregon. I searched and searched and searched for something different, but Heirloom Roses was the only game in town for a month or more.

This was my only experience with the company, so please don’t judge them by my say so. The roses came during the promised timeframe, they were excellently packaged, and the bush looked extremely healthy. I was very happy with my purchase.

Then, I planted it directly out in the August or September sun, and it went into a rapid decline and lost nearly all of its canes save one. I noticed after the fact that the directions said to gradually acclimate the plants to the new space in my hot weather conditions, but I did not. I could see black necrotic tissue taking over the bush and I thought it was a goner for sure. I almost dug it up to put it in the “infirmary” area of my yard… typically where sick plants go to die. Much to my surprise, the little bush started to recover and bloom and bloom and bloom.

I wanted Mutabilis because I love the way it looks with yellow, pink and crimson roses dancing like butterflies en masse. I also like that it’s on its own rootstock and it is a hardy, Earth-Kind rose. This is a special designation by Texas A&M to only those roses that demonstrate superior pest tolerance, easy care, outstanding performance plants that help the gardener conserve resources including limiting the use of water, fertilizer, and pesticides.

A few months have lapsed since I received this mail-order shrub and I wanted to share her beauty with you. In the first short video, I share with you the unboxing of Mutabilis. In the second video, I provide a three-month update on her progress.

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