"There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence."--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Roses always look beautiful in the pictures we post on our blogs. I am guilty of this and probably so are you. We want others to believe we have healthy, vigorous roses all summer long. But many times, this may not be the case….
But here are some things I have realized about growing roses. Especially in my humid zone 6 Indiana garden….. All and all, despite extreme heat and almost no rain this summer, I would call 2010 a good year for roses. Last year we struggled with blackspot and too much moisture, this year was the complete opposite. I had very little if any spots… but I also had fewer blooms and foliage.Even my healthy roses have very few leaves this year, but since they are still blooming, I am content.
Do not stop feeding your roses. I used a granule fertilizer over large areas of my borders instead of “Spot feeding” my roses…. and I regret it. Next year I am going back to a rose food product. My leaves looked much healthier and fuller last year and I think they rebloomed quicker.
Make sure your roses always have good drainage. I had roses in an area that was watered automatically from the run-off from my air conditioner and they cannot handle wet feet. Even as dry as I thought this summer was, they need a break from the water now and then.
Rugosas bloom twice as much with more waterings. These guys are so tough, I really just let them go. But this summer I really started watering them heavy and have been rewarded with more blooms than ever before.
Rose like to share the bed, but they have to see the light. I had perennials way to tall with some of my hybrid teas, and they stopped blooming. As soon as I cut back and moved the other flowers, they shot up new growth and bloomed.
Landscape roses are real roses. This year I found the Double-Pink Knockout Roses and fell in love with them. I have used knockout for color and know how fantastic they can be…. but my heart was still with my teas…. this rose has changed my tune. I have three in this bed and believe I will be adding more in other areas next spring.
Rugosas do need deadheaded…. but do so with clippers. Mine got much bushier and prettier once I started cutting them back every few weeks.
This year I learned…. Groundcover Roses aren’t for me. Sorry, I have four different kinds and they simply take up too much space, for too little bloom. I have had my hands scratched up weeding under them and they are simple a lot of green and little blooms. I am not removing them (yet) but not adding anymore either.
Don’t be so quick to cut back your roses. I was frustrated last year from blackspot issues and cut my roses back to 12 inches or so in early spring. I would not recommend this again. I had slow growth and then some shoots that went in opposite directions that eventually broke off entirely. I would cut them back in October to half and then leave them alone in the Spring. I know other my do this differently, but this is what has worked best for me.
Last but not least…. the old fashioned ramblers do fantastic in the Midwest. Those roses that are dug up from old estates…. with no tags…. just cannot be beat. If it has grown for 40 years in a shaded lot somewhere, it will grow at my house. I have about 8 now and they are the best, most reliable ones I grow…. and I have no idea the names of any of them. And most were free or only a few dollars at the garden club sale. New doesn't always mean better!
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Gardening!