This is the time of the year to plant your roses, and just about every retail outlet in the valley has packaged or bare root roses available. So which one should you buy? Roses are graded by the commercial grower based on the number and thickness of their canes.
1 – Grade 1 is the best! They have most canes, generally 3 or more, and are thicker than any of the other grades.
1½ – Grade 1½ is the second choice; it has fewer canes and is not as vigorous in growth.
2 – Grade 2 roses are often sold at a very cheap price. Most experienced gardeners will advise against the purchase of these roses, no matter how inexpensive they are, because they rarely develop into quality roses.
There are several types of roses you can purchase, but for simplicity we are going to cover the 3 basic rose bushes and climbers available.
Grandiflora – They are a large shrub that grows to 8-10 feet, and make great background plants. The flowers are like both the hybrid teas and floribundas.
Hybrid teas – This type can grow from 3-7 feet tall, but most stays around 5 feet at maturity.
Floribundas – These are the smallest growers reaching only 2-4 feet tall. Floribundas make great border plantings and hedges. They are very heavy flower producers.
Climbers are extra vigorous mutations of the roses mentioned above, but left unsupported will eventually form a mounding shrub.
The American Rose Society (ARS) members rate new roses each year and list their findings in The American Rose Magazine. Each rose is evaluated on a 1 to 10 scale and after five years of rating an average is given to the roses; 10 being a perfect rating and a 4.9 being a very poor rose.
Now that you know the Grade and Rating of the rose, it is time to select and plant your rose. Look for a location that receives at least 6 hours of light per day. Plant your roses 2 ½-3 ½ feet apart in holes that are approx. 2 feet wide and 1 ½ feet deep. Leave a small mound in the center of undisturbed soil to keep the rose from settling in too low. For your back fill soil mix: 1/3 organic matter, 1/3 sand and 1/3 native soil. Form a cone over the mound to accommodate the root structure of the rose. Make sure as you plant that the bud union is 1 to 2 inches above grade. The rose should be firmly planted and then thoroughly water the rose to settle it in.
In the first year of growth, cut just under the flower to the first lateral bud leaving as much foliage as possible to insure greater strength to the plant. Once the rose is established, cut back to a five leaflet leaf when pruning flowers.
Pruning and Fertilization of established roses will be discussed in the next addition of “Helpful Hints”
If you have questions on this article, or any other horticultural problem, please contact us at the nursery 623566-2248