Rose In My Thorn Garden

lone-roseBush roses are generally upright-growing plants that bear flowers mainly on top of the plant. Needing no support, these roses may grow from 5 or 6 inches to 5 or 6 feet tall, depending on the type and climate. The types of bush roses include hybrid teas, polyanthas, floribundas, grandifloras, miniatures, and heritage, or old roses.

* Hybrid teas are the most widely grown of all roses. The long, narrow buds open into large, many-petaled blooms, one each to a long stem. Blooming throughout the growing season, a wide range of colors are available and many are fragrant. The upright, branching plants grow 3 feet or more tall.

* Floribundas, recognized as a group since the mid-1940’s, are derived and refined from the hybrid teas. The hardy, compact, 2- to 3-foot bushes bear great quantities of flower clusters on medium-length stems all summer long. The foliage, flower form, and color range is similar to hybrid teas, with many varieties being fragrant. They among the easiest roses to grow and are excellent for landscaping.

* Grandifloras exhibit the best attributes of hybrid teas and floribundas, although the upright bushes usually grow much larger than either, sometimes reaching 5 or 6 feet tall. This makes them striking accent plants for the back of the flower border, for example. Beautifully formed flowers are borne in clusters on long stems. They are hardy and continually in bloom.

* Miniatures roses are a tiny version of any of the other types, usually growing less than 2 feet tall. Blooms and foliage are proportionately smaller, too, but still quite perfect in form. They are hardy and excellent for edgings and mass plantings, among herbs, and in raised beds and container plants.

* Heritage, or old, roses are those that were developed by plant breeders prior to 1867, the date established by the American Rose Society in commemoration of the first hybrid tea rose, La France. Basically direct descendants of the species roses, there are many different plant and flower forms among the heritage roses. Some of these antique types include the Albas, Bourbons, Centifolias, Damasks, Gallicas, Mosses, Noisettes, and Rugosas.

Climbing Roses have long, arching canes that don’t actually climb but must be attached to supports such as trellises, arbors, posts, or fences. There are many different colors and types of blooms available. The large-flowered climbers have stiff, thick canes 10 feet or so long and bloom either continuously or at least several times during summer and fall. Ramblers have longer, thinner canes with clusters of small flowers borne once in late spring or early summer.

Shrub and Ground Cover Roses grow broadly upright with gracefully arching canes. Most are very hardy and require little maintenance. Depending on the variety, they may be 4 to 12 feet tall with many canes and thick foliage, making them ideal for hedges as well as background and mass plantings. The flowers may be single (five petals), semi-double, or double and are borne at the ends of canes and on branches along the canes. Some types bloom just once in the spring while others flower continuously during the growing season. Shrub roses frequently produce red, orange, or yellow hips (seed pods) after flowering. These are high in Vitamin C and can be used in cooking; plus, the birds like them for winter food, and they can be used in flower arrangements.

Ground cover roses are prostrate or slightly mounding plants with canes trailing along the ground. Flowers may be produced just in the spring or repeatedly throughout the summer at the ends of canes as well as on branches along the canes.
texas-yellow-rose
Care and feeding: your feeding program, like your spraying, should be done regularly. Roses are heavy feeders. To keep them growing vigorously, an organized program should be followed. Water rose bed thoroughly before and after food has been applied.

* January thru February — As the weather and ground warm up, around mid to late February, organic fertilizers may be applied. Give each large bush. one to two cups of a mixture of alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, fish meal and blood meal, scratch in lightly and water in well.

* March thru May — The initial feeding should be chemical, either liquid or dry. It is applied when spring pruning is completed. Carl Pool, Green Light, Miracle-Gro, Peters or Rapid-Gro are all good soluble fertilizers. Give each Hybrid Tea or other large bush, one tablespoon of fertilizer dissolved in a gallon of water.

For miniatures use one teaspoon of liquid food per gallon of water. Give each plant about a quart. Dry rose fertilizer can be applied in place of liquid. Use according to directions. Liquid feeding in this period should be once a month. Mature climbers should be given double the amount given to Hybrid Teas.

* June thru August — With the introduction of timed release fertilizers, a summer long feeding in one application is possible. These fertilizers are formulated to feed continuously for three to six months in our climate. Feed each average sized bush at least three or four ounces, working it lightly into the soil. Water thoroughly. If you don’t care to use this type of product, continue feeding with a water soluble food (twice a month), or a monthly application of dry food. As the weather becomes hot, you may want to switch to soluble fertilizers as they are more readily available to the plants. Iron
occurs at this time; Sprint 330 can correct this deficiency.

* September thru October — With the advent of cooler weather and rain, your roses will begin their heavy fall blooming season. Once you have done your light fall pruning, you can apply a cup of organic rose food per bush and follow this two weeks later with a liquid feeding. Don’t feed with either liquid or dry foods after the beginning of October.

Spraying, prevention is critical in keeping your roses free of fungus and insect problems. A hit and miss program will get you and your roses into trouble. Basic spraying can be divided into three different phases.

* March thru May — Once bushes have been pruned, a clean up spray consisting of Ortho Funginex and Malathion should be applied to both the bush and the ground area around the bush. This will take care of any over wintering fungus or insect problems. Once your new growth starts, spray every seven days with Funginex, a liquid product. This fungicide has three advantages over others in that it leaves no residue, protects against mildew, blackspot and rust and needs no sticker spreader. Rust is not a big problem in this area, but does appear on occasion. Spray top and bottom of the leaves until the foliage glistens to obtain complete coverage. If your bushes should become infected with either mildew or blackspot, spray every five days until control is obtained. Insecticides such as Diazinon or Orthene can be used about every 14 days to combat most insect problems that occur during this period. Use according to label directions.

* June thru August – By this time of the year, if our weather is normally (hot and dry), you can lengthen your spraying interval for fungus problems to every 10 to 14 days. Insecticides should be used sparingly. The biggest problem that may occur at this time is an infestation of spider mites. A good way to treat this problem is to apply a hard spray of water to the bottom of the foliage every three or four days throughout the summer. This will interrupt the mites’ breeding cycle. (The bushes will also benefit from the washing). A miticide such as Green Light Red Spider Spray may also be used.

* September thru November – Once the weather begins to cool off and the early morning and nights become more humid, follow the same spray program used during the spring for both fungus and insect problems. To prevent spray bum of foliage in all seasons, water rose beds thoroughly before spraying. in hot weather, spray in early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler.

Mulch
Using mulch, especially an organic one, is about the closest thing possible to a garden panacea. A mulch keeps weeds to a minimum, the soil moist and loose and adds nutrients.

Apply mulch in the spring just as the soil warms and before weeds start coming up. Mulch can also be applied anytime during the growing season if the weeds are removed and the surface lightly cultivated. Spread 2 to 4 inches of mulch over the bed, leaving some space open around the base of each rose. Replace the mulch as it deteriorates during the year.

For organic mulches, you’ll want to use whatever is locally available and cheap. Some options include wood chips and shavings, shredded bark, pine needles, or chopped oak leaves. Extra nitrogen fertilizer may be needed when these mulches are first applied. Mixtures of materials are usually more satisfactory as they have less tendency to pack down and, moreover, permit easy transmission of water and fertilizers. Many compost mixtures are available — also a light layer of manure may be applied under the mulch.

Watering
Adequate soil moisture is indispensable to the vitality of roses. (For more information, see the American Rose Society: Watering) Seldom can you rely on the natural rainfall to be adequate. The rule-of-thumb is 1 inch of water each week, but the actual frequency of watering will depend on your soil and climate as well as the age of the plant.

The goal is to slowly water until the soil is soaked 12 to 18 inches deep. Soaker hoses or a hose with a bubbler attachment are inexpensive solutions and keep water from splashing onto foliage and spreading diseases. Soil-level and drip-irrigation systems are more expensive but make watering a breeze.

Pruning controls the size and shape of roses and keeps the modern varieties blooming repeatedly all summer long, as they flower on new growth. The supplies you’ll need include a good, sharp, curved-edge pruning shears; long-handled lopping shears; a small pruning saw; plus a pair of leather gardening gloves.
loving-white-rose
Well-established varieties of modern rose bushes such as hybrid teas, floribundas, and grandifloras should receive a major pruning each spring after the winter protection has been removed and just as the buds begin to swell (usually about when daffodils bloom). Harsh pruning makes bigger, but fewer blooms. And, there is no report that anyone ever killed a plant with a pair of pruning shears.

All that’s needed otherwise during the growing season is to remove and destroy any diseased foliage or canes and to dead head, or remove the faded flowers, cutting their stems just above the first leaf with five leaflets.

Most old-fashioned and species roses as well as the climbers that bloom only once a year flower on wood from the previous year’s growth. They are pruned right after flowering.

Container Gardening
Container rose plantings are not only a decorative addition to any part of the outdoor living area, they are also a perfect way to change the look of the landscape from month to month or year to year. Roses in pots extend the scope and possibilities of gardening. Wide walkways can be highlighted with tubs of roses spotted here and there. Steps to the front or back door can be graced with the beauty and fragrance of roses. Miniature roses can dress up window boxes in the summer, and then be brought indoors in winter to perk up the house.

Patios, decks, and terraces have become favorite spots for entertaining and relaxing on warm summer days and evenings. Add to the pleasure of these moments with planters teeming with the color and fragrance of the world’s favorite flower. In an area used at night, select a white or pastel rose, such as Cherish, French Lace, or Rose Parade. Bring color right down to the swimming pool with pots of roses set on the paving. If you have a spot to hang a basket, fill it with miniature roses for a continuous display of summer color, then move the basket indoors for the winter. Select a trailing variety and let the flowers cascade from tree limbs, overhangs, and brackets.

Gardening without a garden: Containers make it possible to grow roses on balconies, terraces, and roof tops high above city streets. The limited gardening space that comes with condos, town houses, and brownstones can be multiplied with portable planters. Movable roses should be the shorter-growing varieties of the modern-day hybrid roses as they are more compact with great quantities of flowers all summer.

Good selections are:
* New Year * Showbiz * Impatient * Intrigue * Sun Flare * Mon Cheri * Marina * Charisma * First Edition * Cathedral * Bahia * Electron * Redgold * Gene Boerner * Angel Face * Europeana * Garden Party * Sarabande * Ivory Fashion

Containers can be any shape, round, or hexagonal as long as they are 18 inches across and 14 inches deep for proper root development. Use pots made of plastic, clay, terra cotta, ceramic, metal, or wood. All they need to be effective is drainage at the bottom. If you’re working with a planter that does not have drainage holes, add a thick layer of gravel at the bottom of the container so the roots do not become waterlogged. Pots can be heavy and difficult to move about, so casters are an excellent addition.

Roses need at least six hours of sun a day ideally place movable roses where they receive morning sun and some protection form the midday heat. Also try to keep them out of drying winds. If the plants receive uneven sun and start growing in one direction to reach the light, rotate them often to keep growth straight. Roses in containers will need more water than the same roses in the ground. Not only are all sides of the container subject to drying sun and winds, there is also no ground water to fall back upon. Watch planters carefully and water whenever the growing medium starts to dry out. Water until moisture runs from the bottom of the container. A mulch on top of the planter will help keep the roots of the roses moist and cool.

Planting soil should be rich and well drained. A packaged or homemade mix of half organic matter, such as peat moss or compost, and half perlite or vermiculite is ideal. As roses in pots must be watered so often, they must also be fertilized frequently. Feed each week with soluble fertilizer at one-quarter strength for even growth and flowering.

Winter storage, move the pots into an unheated but frost- free area, keep the soil slightly moist, cover with plastic, and return to the outdoors in spring.

Why is common sense so uncommon?
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