Growing Roses

Roses are perhaps the most beloved flower of all time. For centuries people from around the world have grown them for their stunning flowers.
Growing Roses - Shopping For Roses - Choosing the Site - Preparing the soil


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Florida Roses:
Climbing Mister Lincoln

Rose, Climbing
Rose, Floribunda
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Roses


Rose growing is fun and rewarding. Some people are intimitated by their bad reputation recently as being tempermental, chemically dependent, high-maintenance. This is true of some species, but not all.

For centuries, people have found roses to be both captivating and mysterious, and have grown them for their stunning flowers as well as for their practical uses. Rose fruits, usually called hips, are an excellent source of vitamin C and are often used to make a delicious tea. The petals of cabbage rose (Rosa centifolia) are used to make rose water, which is a common ingredient in both cosmetics and food. True attar of roses (also known as oil of roses) is extracted from the petals of R. damascena 'Trigentipetala'. Rose petals are also sometimes candied and eaten as a sweet.

While roses clearly have a practical value, it is ultimately their beautiful blooms that make them garden favorites.

GROWING ROSES: Rose growing should and can be fun and rewarding. The rick is to put your energy into the species and cultivars that are consistantly good performers. Roses have received a bad reputation in recent years as tempermental, chemically dependent, high-maintenance plants. Of couse this is true of some roses, but not all of them deserve to be cast aside. For instance, some gardeners are discovering the virtuesof the long-neglected old cultivars growing untended in cemetaries and abandoned places. There are even rose groups around the country, like the "rose rustlers" in Texas, who go places where roses have survived, take cuttings of the plants and grow them for garden use. Modern rose breeders are also attuned to gardeners' demands for hardy, problem-resistant roses, and are releasing many excellent new selections. These recent introductions, along with the old cultivators, give both ardent and would be rose growers a great selection of roses to choose from.

SHOPPING FOR ROSES: Always buy roses from a reliable grower. Bargain roses for sale at a local discount store may be inexpensive, you'll get what you pay for. Its worth paying a few dollars more to a reputable garden center or mail-order source to get a healthy, vigorous plant that's more likely to thrive in your yard.

When you buy your plants, you may have a choice between "grafted" and "own-root" roses. Many roses are sold as grafted plants, sice grafting is a fast way to propagate a large quantity of similar plants. Grafted plants usually have a knob or swelling just above the roots. This area, called the graft union, is where the top part of the desired rose was joined to the roots of another. Own-root roses are just that - the top and the roots are from the same plant.

If possible, try to buy roses that are on their own roots. That way, if the top of the plant is killed by the cold, the roots can then send up new growth that will be just like the original. When the tops of grafted roses die back, the new shoots that come up from the roots will look completely different, and will probably not be what you want for your garden.

CHOOSING THE SITE: Starting with durable, dependable plants is one part of successful rose growing; the other is choosing the right site. A minimum of 6-hours of direct sunlight per day is essential for good rose growth. If you can only choose from sites that are shaded for part of the day, a spot with morning sun and afternoon shade is preferable; the morning sunlight will dry the leaves off faster and possible decrease disease problems.

Roses generally prefer soil that's moist but not waterlogged. Tree roots tend to dry out the soil, so avoid planting your roses near trees. You will also need a spot that is big enough for your roses to mature without being crowded. Dense, crowded growth limits air circulation around the plants and can lead to disease problems.

PREPARING THE SOIL: Roses grow best in well-prepared soil. For good root growth, work the soil deeply, lossening the top 2 feet. As you dig, add ample amounts of organic matter, such as compost or manure, (Some gardeners recommend using chicken manure which is rich in micronutrients.) If possible, dig over an entire bed rather than just a single hole where the rose will go. This will encouragewide-spreading, healthier root growth.

Check the soil pH; it should be between 6.4 and 6.8. If your soil is too acidic, add ground limestone to raise the pH. If it is too alkaline, add sulfur or leaf compost, or both. If the pH is out of balance, nutrient deficiencies will show up later. For example, the leaves may turn yellow, or the plants may not grow as vigorously as they should.

SOURCE:  Burpee: The Complete Vegetable and Herb Gardener

Burpee: The Complete Vegetable and Herb Gardener

REVIEW:   An excellent resource for those starting a garden from scratch or redesigning your landscape. The Burpee Complete Gardener provides the information you need. Covers garden basics such as pruning, soil, propagation, staking, harvesting, division, advice and more! Includes a fully illustrated plant information with more than 420 descriptions of annuals, biennials, perennials, bulbs, roses, vegetables, herbs, ground covers, vines and wildflowers.

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