Rose Bushes for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide
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Rose Bushes – Buying & Growing Guide
Truly the queens of the landscape plot, roses have a long history of use in both formal gardens and informal cottage beds. Roses benefit from some nurturing by a patient gardener, but they are not nearly as hard to grow as some think; and planting a rose bush or two in your garden elevates it in a way that no other flowering shrub can.
How to Grow Rose Bushes
How to plant rose bushes
If you have purchased a bare-root rose bush, soak it overnight in a pail of water (skip this step if it’s potted). Choose your site carefully. Roses need at least six to eight hours of sunshine a day, in soil that drains easily and has a neutral to slightly acidic pH. If you are planting more than one rose bush, leave at least three feet between them to allow for adequate airflow around the bushes.
Dig a hole somewhat larger around than the root mass, and slightly deeper. Add some well-rotted manure or compost and a handful of bone meal to the hole and dig it in. Loosen up the roots and prune or tease out any that are encircling the root ball. Place it in the hole so that the graft point on the trunk is just underground. Backfill (replace the dirt removed from the hole) with the compost-enriched soil.
Water your new shrub deeply and add several inches of mulch around it to conserve water. While newly-planted, check your rose every few days to see if the ground has dried out—if it has, give it a good drink.
How to achieve maximum results
Rose bushes have a reputation for being finicky and high maintenance, but this is not always the case. Hybrid tea roses, grandiflora, and floribunda roses do, indeed, require consistent care, but shrub roses are happy with occasional watering and feeding, and little else. Choose your variety carefully and you’ll be rewarded with maximum results and abundant flowers.
How to Care for Rose Bushes
Watering and nutrients
Water your rose bush regularly, especially in its first year before it has put down deep roots. Your shrub needs approximately one inch of water per week. A single deep watering is better than shallow waterings every day. Mulch your roses with bark chips or another organic substance to hold water in the soil, and don’t let the plant get waterlogged.
Roses are heavy feeders, and you’ll want to fertilize your rose bush with a balanced, slow-release product, preferably one designed for roses, about every six weeks during the growing season. Stop fertilizing about a month and a half before your first anticipated frost date. If you live in a warm climate with no frost, feed and water your rose bush through the winter.
In the wild, roses pollinate via bees and other insects, hummingbirds, and the wind. Most nursery roses are hand-grafted onto a durable rootstock, however, and it’s also possible to create new plants by hand pollinating.
Newer rose varieties need little pruning, but older and garden varieties of rose bushes benefit from a spring trim. Begin by removing any dead or diseased canes. If your rose is an older variety, continue with a hard pruning of about one third of the growth from the previous year. Reblooming roses also require deadheading—cut the dying flowers back to the first five-leaflet stem and you should soon see regrowth.
Pests and diseases
The best way to deal with rose diseases is to choose varieties that are resistant to disease. Your county extension agent or a knowledgeable garden center employee can tell you what diseases are prevalent in your area. Roses are susceptible to powdery mildew and black spot, so look for resistance to these diseases when choosing your plants.
Common insects that you’ll find on your roses include aphids, Japanese beetles, sawflies, and spider mites. Insecticidal soap can be useful in treating these pests, or consider biological deterrents such as ladybugs, which feed on aphids.
Modern Garden Rose Categories
Modern garden roses are varieties that have been developed since 1867, which is the year that the first hybrid tea rose was introduced. Modern garden roses tend to bloom continuously and produce larger flowers than those in the old garden rose categories. They also typically last longer once cut, making them the most popular type of roses used for floral bouquets.
However, despite their many attributes, there are some drawbacks. Modern garden roses are more likely to succumb to disease than other types of roses as they are typically less hardy, and they lack the heady fragrance we associate with old garden roses. Modern garden roses can be further broken down into more categories. These include:
These roses require more care and attention than most. They do not have a naturally climbing vine habit like you might expect from their name, but they are well adapted to being trained to grow along fences and trellises.
They have stiff canes from which the first flowers of the season will bloom. The subsequent flowers will bloom on the current season’s growth. You can expect roses of this type to bloom at least twice a year, giving the impression of continual blooming. Blooms of climbing roses tend to be large, showy, and are produced in abundance. They need plenty of pruning and training to grow well, but the effort is well rewarded with impressive blooms.
Floribunda roses are shrubs that have upright or bushy branching habits. Their blooms tend to be smaller than many other types of roses, but they flower in such abundance that they make quite a striking effect. These roses tend to be quite easy to care for, making them popular in common spaces. They are fairly disease resistant and hardy against adverse weather. They have a long blooming period, blooming continuously from spring through fall.
5. Julia Child
6. Tickled Pink
David Austin Roses
David Austin roses, also known as English roses, have been around since 1961 when the rose breeder decided he wanted to create a new class of roses which benefited from the classical look of old garden roses, but also the hardiness of new garden roses. He also wanted to develop roses that were both aesthetically romantic but also had a long blooming period.
The David Austin roses are now some of the most popular roses, with over 200 types to choose from—many having received coveted awards.
7. Princess Alexandra of Kent
8. Lady Emma Hamilton
9. Graham Thomas
These roses categorize those which are crossed between hybrid tea roses and floribunda roses, offering the dainty flowers of hybrid tea blooms and the long blooming period of floribundas. Grandiflora roses typically have large, showy flowers that grow on tall stems. The shrub of the Grandiflora rose is usually larger and more erect than hybrid tea shrubs. They make long-lasting cut flower bouquets.
10. Cherry Parfait
12. Queen Elizabeth
Hybrid Tea Roses
These high-maintenance roses are probably the most beautiful of all the modern garden roses, but they also have a reputation as being the most troublesome to care for. They are not very hardy, but this is balanced by the fact that they produce incredibly striking blooms in an array of colors, as large as 5 inches across. Many of these roses have pleasant scents and make excellent cut flowers.
13. Dark Night
15. Double Delight
These roses have spreading or trailing habits, typically being wider than they are tall. While some can reach up to 3 feet in height, many will top out at 1 foot. These roses are easy to care for and are typically hardy and disease resistant, blooming nonstop. These work well on sloping banks, providing a colorful carpet of beauty.
16. Flower Carpet Coral
18. Flower Carpet Amber
These roses are popular because they are easy to care for and have a long blooming period. Their blooms tend to be quite small, but a healthy plant will bloom profusely from mid-spring right through to fall, therefore putting on quite a show. The flowers grow in clusters and are usually pink, white, or red. They work well in pots or as bedding plants.
19. The Fairy
20. Gruss an Aachen
These roses have a similar climbing habit to climbing roses, being suitable for training up fences or along pergolas. They work well for covering unsightly areas or buildings, as the stems tend to be heavily covered in flowers. Unlike climbing roses, rambler roses are easier to care for and require much less maintenance. However, they tend to only bloom once each year for several weeks. These roses are quite hardy, being tolerant of partial shade, disease, and poor soil conditions.
21. American Pillar
22. Dorothy Perkins
Shrub roses are typically hardy and easy-care plants. They flower continuously with small flowers that bloom profusely. The dense mass of flowers make shrub roses ideally suited to creating screens or pretty hedges. These roses were bred from crossing old and modern garden roses.
23. Peachy Knock Out
24. Double Knock Out
These are miniature versions of hybrid tea roses. They bloom for several weeks at a time, with dainty stems, foliage, and flowers. They make versatile plants, working well as container plants, bedding plants, and also as houseplants.
Old Garden Roses
Old garden roses are also known as heritage roses. They are those which were in existence before 1867 when the hybrid tea rose was introduced. They are renowned for their romantic blooms and strong heady fragrance. They are also typically quite hardy and disease resistant. However, their drawback is that they only bloom once a year in the summer. Categories of old garden roses include the following.
Alba roses are some of the oldest roses in existence and also present some of the hardiest roses available. They are tolerant of cold temperatures, shade, and are resistant to disease and pests. They are typically low-maintenance and bloom once each year in summer.
These roses were first introduced in France in 1817, and they are suspected to be crossed between China roses and damask roses. They are typically found in shades of pink or red and have strong fragrances. Often, bourbon roses will be thornless or have very few thorns on their stems. They can be trained to climb up or along structures and can bloom more than once each season.
These roses tend to be resistant to disease, but they are tender and will succumb to cold weather conditions. They bloom repeatedly throughout the summer, with small flowers that have a strong fragrance.
29. Louis Phillipe
These are also known as cabbage roses because the petals are packed together so tightly, resembling the head of a cabbage. The blooms are so large and heavy that they tend to have a drooping appearance because the stems cannot keep them upright under the pressure of the weight. These roses are stunningly beautiful and heavily fragrant, but they only bloom once each year. They are more likely to succumb to disease than most other types of roses.
Damask roses have a romantic appeal. They are heavily scented and are therefore cultivated for use in the perfume industry. Some damask roses bloom just once, while others have the ability to bloom twice in a year.
Some species of gallica roses date back to the 12th century. They have strong fragrances and bloom just once each year. They typically come in shades of pink and purple and are tolerant of low light conditions and cooler temperatures.
34. Tuscany Superb
Hybrid Perpetual Roses
These roses have large blooms and are able to flower repeatedly during a single season. It’s not hard to see why these were the most popular type of roses available before the arrival of the hybrid tea rose came along. These roses generally have strong scents and come in shades of pink, purple, and red.
35. Baroness Rothschild
36. Ferdinand Pichard
These roses produce tall flowers that bloom continually. They hail from China and are available in a wide range of colors.
These roses bloom once each year with fragrant blooms available in a wide selection of colors. They are named moss roses because of the growth that covers the top of their stems, which resembles moss.
39. Portulaca Grandiflora
These roses have very short stems, so the flowers appear to be growing directly out of the foliage of the plant. Very few varieties of Portland roses still exist, predominantly flowering in summer.
40. Comte de Chambord
These roses originate from China and are named because their scent is reminiscent of Chinese black tea. These flowers bloom repeatedly, with delicate-looking roses that peel back on the outer petals. They are resistant to disease and produce large and aromatic blooms.