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In spite of their high-maintenance reputation, roses are simple to grow.
Climbing roses naturally develop long, pliable canes, so they are good for training on a support such as a trellis or fence.
“Child’s play” is a miniature rose.
“Peace” is a hybrid tea rose.
“Queen Elizabeth” is a grandiflora rose.
“Iceberg” is a floribunda rose.
“Bonica” is a shrub rose.
“Red rose flower carpet” is a ground cover rose.
“Ambridge Rose” is an English rose.
“Double red” is a knockout rose.
Plant your roses in full sun. Choose a spot that receives between six to eight hours of sun a day.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
As with many other gardeners, my mother's favorite flower was the rose - specifically, a yellow rose. My mother grew beautiful roses.
With a flower this gorgeous, there is a tendency to assume that it must be finicky. My mother taught me that roses are actually quite easy to grow. Essentially, they are just like any other shrub. Give them space, light and water and you'll be rewarded with a beautiful plant.
If you've been considering a rose bush for your yard, spring is the best time to plant. Spring planting ensures that the rose has a long growing season in which to get established.
Wait until all danger of frost has past, but then don't delay getting them in the ground. Planting before the heat of summer sets in will make it much easier to keep the roots from drying out, the one essential element of establishing the bush.
Types of roses
The wide variety of roses available can be daunting, but most will fall into one of the categories below. Unless noted, all roses will bloom continuously throughout the growing season.
Roses love the sun, so if you want plenty of leaves and lots of blooms, plant them in full sun. The warmth of the sun is needed to coax the buds to open and it also draws out the rose fragrance. Too little sunlight will result in lanky stems, few leaves and fewer buds, and as the plant weakens, it will become more susceptible to diseases and pests. Choose a spot that receives between six to eight hours of sun a day.
Use some type of windbreak to protect any roses that are growing in the open, or on a hilltop. Other plants or a fence can provide protection. These types of locations will also tend to dry out quickly, so apply plenty of mulch to hold moisture in. Better yet, avoid these types of locations if you can, and instead choose a location in the garden among other plants.
Be sure to give your new roses sufficient space to grow. Crowded conditions will lead to poor air circulation, which can encourage disease. A good rule of thumb is to allow a typical rosebush space that is as wide as it is tall. So, if your rose if projected to grow 4 feet tall, expect that it also will grow 4 feet wide.
For those of you already growing roses, learning how to prune correctly will be beneficial to the health of your plant. Pruning sounds much more mysterious than it actually is.
The best time to prune roses is in early spring when hard frosts are past and the buds are just beginning to swell. The plants will have the necessary energy and vigor to survive your cuts and will begin to generate new growth as the soil and weather become warmer.
Don't wait too late to prune. If the sap is already flowing in your roses, the plants can suffer a loss of fluid from the cuts. This loss won't kill them, but it does slow down their recovery.
You should always prune out dead or dying stems. These will be obvious because instead of being green, reddish or lustrous brown, they will be a dull brown or gray. No new growth will be sprouting from them. Cut these canes off as close to the base of the plant as possible, or to the point where the wood is alive.
Damaged wood also should be cut off. If ice and snow, or some other physical injury, has broken a stem, the stem will not recover. Cut these canes below the damaged area.
If you have stems growing in the wrong direction, cut these off next, again as far back as you can. Also remove any suckers growing from the bulge at the base of the rosebush. These suckers are sprouting from rootstock and won't match the top part of your plant.
If your rose bush has been neglected for years, begin to restore order by clipping out thinner, twiggy growth. Thin out stems that are too crowded or are trailing.
Finally, consider your rose bush carefully and make any further cuts strategically. The goal is an attractive profile with canes growing in the direction that you want. For most roses, aim for a vase shape and try for evenly spaced flowering canes on all sides of the bush with the center of the plant a little open.
If the stem is not damaged or dead, cut it back by a third.
Come join the gardening conversation on my blog at blogs.roanoke.com/downtoearth for more discussion about roses.
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