A Rose for Every Garden

Sharon Lance
Adams County Master Gardener

One classic favorite of gardeners everywhere is the rose. Once known as a planting that required much work but returned great rewards, the rose has gotten easier to care over the years thanks to the development of hardier cultivars and easy-care products on the market today. If you don't have any roses in your garden, try one - you are in for a treat!

Various rose types classified as modern roses are climbing, floribunda, hybrid tea, grandiflora, and miniature. One reason for their popularity is their universality. Roses are sun-loving plants that require 6 to 8 hours of sun daily and need to be planted in an area with good air circulation. They grow in all types of climates, come in many varieties, colors, shapes and fragrances as well as size and usage. They can be used for borders, hedges, trellises, formal gardens or just for the plain enjoyment of it.

But, before you make your rose purchase make sure the variety you are considering can be grows successfully in your area. Also, a soil test is essential. Roses require good soil drainage and prefer a near-neutral soil pH of 6.5 - 7.0. Regardless of the rose classification you are considering when making your plant selection, check to see if the roots are firm, moist, and that the soil hasn't dried out. Also, check the canes which should be " to " thick with blooming flowers or some flower buds. Leaves should have a deep green color and free of pests - don't forget to look on the underside of the leaf.

Each of the rose classifications has different characteristics and a short summary of each is listed below:

The HYBRID TEA is the latest development in the history of roses and is considered to be the most popular rose class in the United States. The flowers from this variety are upright, rather angular and their flowers and buds grow on a long stem. The hybrid tea rose is considered ever-blooming, which means it blooms all summer - off and on every 6 weeks or so starting in late spring thru fall. Most varieties require special attention to keep the plant vigorous where winters are severe. They are a good specimen shrub and can be mixed in a flower bed or grouped in a special rose bed/garden. The plant ranges in height from 2 " to 5 ft. Examples of hybrid tea roses are 'Mister Lincoln' which is dark red and deeply scented and 'Peace' - Ivory with a pink blush and has a light fragrance.

FLORIBUNDA roses are a cross between the polyantha rose, which is a cluster-flowering variety rose and the hybrid tea rose. They were developed in an attempt to bring about larger flowers and 'repeat' blooms. This means they bloom early in the season, stop, and then bloom again closer to winter.. Roses in the floribunda class have blossoms shaped like those of hybrid roses but the flowers are usually smaller and often grouped in clusters. They make a good specimen shrub or hedge and are around 3 ft. in height. Two strongly fragrant varieties are 'Angel Face' which is lavender and 'Scentimental' - burgundy-red with creamy white swirls.

GRANDIFLORA roses came about as a cross between the pink hybrid tea and the red floribunda. The flowers have the size and form of hybrid teas but are more freely produced, singly or in clusters, on taller exceptionally vigorous canes. They make a good shrub or hedge plant which can surpass 6 feet. Examples of this rose are 'Petals' which is bright red on top with silver on the underside of the bloom and 'Gold Medal' a colossal yellow rose.

CLIMBING roses have long, stiff canes that are ever-blooming: they can be hybrids or variants of hybrids. This type of rose can be tied onto or woven into a support structure such as a wall, trellis, arch or lattice. Also, this variety is somewhat disease resistant. To mention a few good climbers you might try 'Fourth of July' which has red, white and pink stripes or 'America' which is bright pink.

MINIATURE roses have small leaves, flowers and stems and are considered hardy ever-blooming. They can be grown outdoors as well as in containers and make a great edging plant because they usually grow less than 2 feet tall. 'Rise'N'Shine' is a lovely little continuous yellow rose and 'Renny' is a thornless pink flowering plant..

In closing, make sure the variety you are considering can grow in your area. Consider having your soil tested before you plant your rose. Choose a sunny location that has good air circulation. Also, take a few minutes to closely examine the overall appearance of your plant then enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

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