Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rose School-Choosing Your Plant

Today we will explore how to choose your new rose plant.
A lovely fat happy rose from our garden
We now know what new roses are out on the market and the differences between the rose types. So armed with that information we head to the nearest nursery, big box DIY store (such as Lowe's, Home Depot, Kmart), or even online.

When looking at possible rose plants to purchase, you want to choose a bare-root if possible. A healthy bare-root should have three or more 'canes' or stems that are plump, green and spread out around the rootstock rather than clustered on one side. This way the sunshine can get all the way inside the rose.

Of course, no pests or bugs should be present.

If you choose to buy an established rose plant, look for solid green canes with no decay. Avoid plants showing considerable dead or twiggy growth. Look at the flowers, if possible. The more petals a rose flower has, the more solid a flower bud looks, the longer it takes a flower to open, and will last much longer in the pretty partly open stage. Fully open flowers tend to lose petals more quickly after they have been pollinated. A rose flower designated as a 'single' has only five petals, and has an open look to it.
Beautiful tea roses from our garden
In cool-summer areas you should try to avoid varieties having a great number of petals; many of these have a tendancy to 'ball' (open poorly or not at all). Also varieties with deep color tones can look muddy in cool summer climates.Pastel colors are a much safer bet.

In hot-summer climates, roses grow vigorously but hot sun causes flowers to open quickly, fade and even sunburn. In these areas the best flowering is in spring and fall and even winter, with plants going almost dormant in the summer.Varieties with fewer than 30 petal count are usually disappointing because in hot weather they can go from bud to full bloom in a few hours.Fuller petal flowers open more slowly and last longer.
Bare-roots are graded as either a 1, 1 1/2 or 2. Numbers 1 and 1 1/2 are the best (in that order). Number 2's may develop into a nice plant but might take longer.

Stay tuned tomorrow as Rose School continues and we explore planting your new rose!

1 comment:

Mary in Oregon said...

I've got a "Rose School" question for you. The previous owners of my house planted about 6 rose bushes WAY TOO close to house (about 4") plus they're in the shade. I'd like to move them out into the sun. Should I leave them where they are because they're surviving OK as is? When would be the best time of year to move them?