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Roses are one of the world's most popular flowers. The many types of roses available offer selections for almost any situation. Their beauty and delicate fragrance have universal appeal. Roses are well adapted to many different environmental conditions. They are useful for cut flowers and many landscape effects. Since they are the product of centuries of breeding and selection, many shapes, forms and colors provide endless types to select from and use.
One of the most popular roses today, knockouts offer season long flowers, with little to no care. Colors range from deep red to yellow, although the yellow and white varieties are not hardy in our zone. We carry reds and pinks at Casey’s.
Their solitary blooms are ideal for cutting, and many are fragrant. The bushes are of medium to tall height. Hybrid Teas are what most people think of when they see the word "rose". Florist roses are usually Hybrid Teas, but they are grown in greenhouses with strict training for long straight stems with only one bloom at the top.
Their large flowers are often borne in clusters, but with stems long enough to make the individual flowers good for cutting. Grandifloras are usually taller in habit. A typical grandiflora has the flower quality of the classic hybrid tea (long-stemmed, high-centered bloom), but produced in clusters like a Floribunda.
Free flowering, these plants produce masses of clustered blooms or single flowers. Some of the longer-stemmed varieties are good for cutting. They are good in mass plantings or in mixed plantings. Floribundas are easier to grow and demonstrate greater disease resistance than the Hybrid Tea Roses while their cold hardiness varies.
Very compact roses, they are ideal for containers, borders or in window boxes. Dainty little rose plants are replicas of their larger relatives. Flowers are small and plants range from 6 to 12 inches in height. Leaves and even thorns are perfect miniatures. Plants are bushy and most are quite hardy. They are useful for low edging and in rock gardens.
This is a diverse group with a full bushy habit. Vigorous and hardy, they are the most trouble-free roses, and are usually grown on their own roots. They were created by various breeders who crossed older roses with various types of modern roses. Shrub Roses are useful in the garden as relatively carefree and vigorous specimens, blooming later than most other roses.
Climbing roses can bloom on old or new wood, depending on the variety, and many bloom repeatedly throughout the summer. Their long canes appreciate a support such as a trellis, fence, or wall.Climbing roses generally have larger flowers. While many are fragrant and disease resistant, some have lost the sweet perfume of the older varieties through hybridizing, and are more susceptible to blackspot.
Arching, wide-growing roses suitable for growing over banks and walls, providing dense blankets of color. These roses have very pliable stems that make them suitable for use as groundcovers because the stems normally lie close to the ground. They may be trained upward, however.
What type of light do roses require?
Roses grow best in full sunlight. If full sun is not possible, locate them where they get a minimum of six hours of bright sunlight each day. A location where they get only morning sun is to be preferred to one where they get only afternoon sun. Morning sun helps dry leaves quickly and reduces disease problems. Afternoon sun in midsummer fades and burns petals.
Do I have to do anything special to the soil to prepare it for my new roses?
Roses will not tolerate soggy soil. If well-drained areas are not available, consider planting them in a raised bed or installing subsurface tile drainage.
Roses prefer loamy soil with a high humus content. An ideal growing medium includes 1/3 loamy soil, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 composted cow manure and 1/2 cup bone meal or superphosphate.
What do I need to do to prepare my roses for winter?
Here in Zone 5b, you will need to protect your roses from the damaging effects of harsh winters. Most of all, remember that healthy roses are stronger - fertilizing and watering regularly during the growing season will make your plants better able to withstand harsh winters.
Once you have had a few good frosts, leaves will start falling. Once the plant has gone dormant, or after Thanksgiving, apply a dormant spray such as lime sulfur and/or spray oil. This will kill pests and fungal diseases that might try to overwinter on the plant or surrounding soil. It can also help nudge those final leaves off. Rake leaves from around your plants to prevent the spread of diseases. Mounding a heavy layer of mulch around the root zone or base of the plant is also a good technique. But be sure you don't apply mulch until the plant is dormant and to remove it in early spring, as bugs and diseases can become an issue.
For Hybrid Teas and Floribundas: Cover the crowns with a mound of soil about 6" high, then cover the plants and mound with straw. Don't prune your roses at this time, unless there is a concern that canes and branches could be broken when loaded with snow.
Climbing and Groundcover Roses: Cover the base of your climbers with soil. Tie the canes and wrap them in burlap.