A Primer on Rose Care

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Five basic types of Roses:

  • Hybrid teas-Flowers are large and shapely, generally produced one to a stem, can range from 2 ft. to 6 ft.
  • Grandifloras-Sometimes 8-10 ft tall with hybrid tea-type flowers borne singly or in long-stemmed clusters.
  • Polyanthas– Vigorous, generally low-growing plants, small flowers borne in large sprays.
  • Floribundas-Developed from hybrid teas and polyanthas, produce quantities of flowers in clusters on vigorous and bushy plants. They provide mass color and work well for informal hedges, low borders and barriers and as container plants.
  • Climbing roses – Needs lots of room. Spread the canes so they are as horizontal as possible, which will stimulate the production of the vertical flowering branches.

Rose Care
Roses need regular water (a deep soak 2-3 times a week) and a regular fertilizing schedule. Fog does NOT count as watering.

There are several choices for fertilizers; Maxsea can be applied every two weeks, EB Stone Rose & Flower can be applied every two months. You can even apply Sul-Po-Mag when planting with the Rose Grow mix…and don’t forget the SureStart.

Roses should be planted where they receive full sun and plenty of space around them for good air circulation. Mulching will help reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool in the hotter areas.

Watering should always be done in the morning, this will lessen the chance for disease (powdery mildew, rust). Preventive use of Rose Defense before diseases get established will reduce large outbreaks. You can even thin out the center of the bush to promote good air circulation.

Thrip damage can cause the petals or sepals to be streaked with brown, use the blue Sticky Thrip Traps. Rose curculios will leave holes punched in flowers and canes, and the blossoms may be ragged. Use Tanglefoot, or apply beneficial nematodes.

For more general rose information check out “Growing Roses in the Bay Area” lovingly researched and compiled by the SF Rose Society, ($39.75) and the newest Sunset Western Garden Book.

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