What’s A Flowers Favourite Band?… Guns And Roses!
My sincerest apologies for my absence at the market this past Saturday. What I thought was a week long migraine has turned out to be Shingles and let me tell you is this a treat. I hope to be at next Saturdays market however that will only be if the swelling of my left eye is such that I can see out of it and the pain decreases to the point I can raise my head from my pillow and my stomach stops its horrendous churning. This virus is only contagious to those who have not had Chicken Pox or the vaccine that most of us received as children and they will not get Shingles they will get Chicken Pox. This also can only happen when the lesions are open and will end when they scab over. Lovely.
Many people that love Roses think that they are a difficult plant to grow and therefore deny themselves the pleasure of this fragrant beauty. The information I will be providing comes from personal experience and my go to book, Roses for Dummies. There are many types of roses and each has its attributes and of course its place in our yards, gardens and pots.
Climbing Roses grow long canes which need to be supported along a wall, trellis or fence. The flowers grow along the entire length of the cane, they can be grown vertically along the support you provide and also horizontally. Some only bloom once in the spring but newer varieties will bloom throughout the growing season.
Floribundas have smaller flowers that grow in clusters on a shorter stem. The bush is smaller and flowers continually.
Grandiflora are taller and grow the classic Hybrid Tea type rose that one would get from a florist but they grow in clusters as apposed to the single long stemmed rose known as a Hybrid Tea.
Hybrid Teas have large flowers growing on an individual stem. These are the roses grown for flower arrangements. They have fewer leaves at their base and do well with other flowers or herbs growing at their base and do very well in containers with other plants around them.
Miniatures are smaller plants growing the a height of a half foot to 36 inches and are very hardy in a border or even grown in a pot in a sunny area of your home. I’ve even had one bloom so late in fall that the flower froze and remained in perfect shape over the winter. They are very hardy.
Shrub Roses are hardy, easy to grow large plants that bloom continually during our growing season and are ideal to fill a large space with the many options of colour.
Tree roses are grafts that are put on tall trunks and resemble a tree in shape. They can be anywhere from 2 to 6 feet tall and are ideally grown in pots that need to be Brought in to a controlled climate for the winter as they are delicate.
Roses prefer a slightly acidic soil from 5.8 to 6.2 and the soil should contain plenty of organic matter such as compose, manure, peat moss or shredded bark. This will help clay soils loosen up and sandy soil retain proper moisture and nutrients. This organic matter should be mixed with the soil that is taken from the hole you dig for planting your rose. This hole should be generous in size about twice the size of the pot that it comes in. If you are growing it in a pot gently lift it in fall and plant up to the bud union (graft) of the plant the place dirt up and over the graft to protect it from freeze thaw conditions over the winter. In harsher climates that ours they may need to be protected from bitter winds Pruning is done in late winter or early spring and is dependent on the type of rose you grow. Roses planted in fall should be done 6 weeks before a heavy frost to allow the roots to settle in and reestablish the root hairs that are damaged during transplant. Although watering at this time is vital, fertilization should be withheld as you do not with to promote green growth. A few teaspoons of epsom salt in the water when planting will help the roots recover faster. Keep the plant moist and resume fertilization in spring then water as needed when the top 2 to 4 inches of soil is dry and water deeply as apposed to often keeping. Mulching is also a good idea. Watering with overhead sprinklers is fine but be sure to do so early in the day allowing the foliage to dry as this will help with leaf spot and mildew. The Rose requires a balanced fertilizer every 6 weeks and of course the use of epsom salts is a must as this helps flower production and intensifies the colour of your blooms. This should be started in spring once new growth is well under way.
Pruning your roses is not complicated. Begin in spring by removing dead wood that is apparent on your plant. Open up the interior of the plant by removing small and weak stems, this will help with air movement and prevent black spot from developing on the leaves. Prune to keep the plant within its boundaries and to keep an appealing shape and remove spent blooms to encourage them to bloom again.
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