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Roses- Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#98

Roses have to be one of the oldest, classic landscape plants in existence. With their plentiful colors, shapes, sizes, and purposes, you can always find a place in your garden for a Rose! These days, growers are striving for lower maintenance and longest lasting blooms but you can't beat the impact of some of the classic varieties.

History & Background:

Roses have been on the plant since for millions of years but it is thought that China was the first country to cultivate roses somewhere around 500BC.

"In the late 1700s and early 1800s, rose breeding was revolutionized with the introduction of Rosa chinensis to Europe. This and other Chinese roses were capable of blooming repeatedly. European roses bloomed for short periods only once a year."

The American Rose Society split roses into three different classifications; Old Garden Roses, Modern Roses and, Species Roses. From there, they were separated into 37 other classes within those three groups. Those classification and several groups is how I will be categorizing the roses below.

Rose Classifications & Varieties:

Old Gardens Roses:

These are rose classes that existed before the Hybrid Tea Rose was cultivated. These types of roses are usually known to be the most fragrant roses.

  • Popular classes include:

    • Alba, Bourbon, Centifolia, Damask, Hybrid China, Hybrid Gallica, Hybrid Perpetual, Moss, Noisette, Portland

      • Bourbon: "Souvenir de Malmaison" Rose, "Zéphirine Drouhin" Rose

      • Hybrid Chine: "Old Blush" Rose

      • Noisette: "Mme Alfred Carrière" Rose

Modern Roses:

This classification started with the new Hybrid Tea Rose classes.

  • Popular classes include:

    • Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora, Floribunda, Polyantha, Miniature, Shrub

      • Shrub Rose: " David Austin" Roses

      • Hybrid Tea: "Peace" Tea Rose

      • Floribunda: "Julia Child" Rose

Species Roses:

These are often referred to as "wild roses" that can range from 2ft to 20ft depends on the variety. They are also only bloom once during their season.

Varieties You See Most While Shopping:

  • Knock Out® Roses  

    • This shrub rose is known for continuously blooming throughout the season producing flowers that come in shades of pink, red, yellow, coral and, white. They come in single or double petal forms.

  • Drift Roses 

    • This groundcover rose is also known for its length of bloom time and abundance of flowers. The flowers are pink, apricot, yellow or, or white in single or double petal forms.

  • Easy Elegance® Roses 

    • These roses marry the beauty of hybrid tea roses with the low maintenance shrub roses. You can find them in single or double petal forms in pink, white, red, yellow, white, or sometimes a combination of a couple colors.

  • Carpet Roses 

    • Up to 8' tall and 6' wide, lavender/pink blooms, hardiness zone 3-9

  • Oso Easy® Roses 

    • Spanning from peach, pink, orange, or red these prolific bloomers are another reliable rose to try.

  • Rosa Rugosa AKA Pavement Roses

    • These are very common in the garden center industry because of their hardiness, larger size, and fragrance.

  • Carefree Wonder

    • This pink variety is also considered a reliable rose to grow at nurseries. With its pink, double blooms it can also bloom all year long.

  • Nearly Wild

    • This pink variety is also considered a reliable rose to grow at nurseries. With its pink, single blooms it can also bloom all year long.

Sun Requirements:

Mostly all roses do their absolute best in full sun or at least 6 hours of direct light.

Water Requirements:

This plant likes average moisture but can be drought tolerance once established.

It is best to water heavier and less frequently than less water and more often.

For the first full season, you will need to keep up with watering. Plants in the first establishing year need 2 inches of water a week. This could be provided by rainfall but if it isn't, a deep soak around out once every 5-7 days in enough water.

In the second and third year, you may need to provide supplemented water if there is a drought but they shouldn't need much more help.

Soil Requirements:

Roses are tolerant of many soil types but it is best to avoid wet or soggy conditions and they prefer a moist, well draining soil. If you have clay soil, I would recommend amending the soil around the new planting area as well. About 4-6" surrounding where the lilac will be planted, combine about about a 1 to 4 part ratio of compost and you original soil. This will allow the root system to get used to your clay soil while still giving them a little easier time to grow strong during that first year.

Fertilizer Requirements:

The type of fertilizer is up to you BUT you need to avoid a high nitrogen fertilizer! Using a high nitrogen fertilizer could prevent the flowers from blooming since nitrogen focuses on the foliage health. If you look at the NPK (Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus) measurement on the package, you will see a combination of numbers like 10-10-10. If the first number is the largest (example: 30-10-10) that is a indication it is a high nitrogen fertilizer.

There are LOTS of companies that sell rose specific fertilizer which is fine to use but is really unnecessary. You just need a fertilizer that is focused on bloom growth which can be used on many perennials and shrubs as well.

Other Facts:

  • All part of the Rosaceae

    • Other plants in the this family are Lady's Mantle, Geum, Burnet, and Potentilla

  • Native to Eastern Europe and temperate Asia

  • Some varieties are considered deer resistant- but keep in mind, deer will eat anything if they are hungry

  • Cut Flower- perfect, colorful additions in your home!

  • Attracts Pollinators

  • Continuous deadheading on rose varieties that bloom multiple times in a season, helps force new blooms. For roses that bloom only once, you can prune them after they are done blooming or for shaping later in he season. Allowing enough air flow through the plant can help prevent diseases.

  • For more Landscape information, check out the following podcasts and blog

Instagram Q&A:

I always ask followers if they had any specific questions, opinions or hot-takes I can address in this podcast and blog. Here are what people told me and and my answers for this topic:

"What is the best mulch for covering inground roses for Zone 6 (NE KS)?"

  • Any natural wood mulch that is usually found at your local nursery is reliable. If they have dyed mulch, I would confirm it is a vegetable dye before using that kind of mulch.

  • You can also use plant debris from the yard from the end of the season. BUT if you aren't 100% sure the foliage you are using for coverage wasn't diseased, I would NOT do that.

"How to harden off a mini rose that's been grown inside so that it can be grown outdoors?"

  • Since your mini rose is used the indoors, I would start by placing it in a shady spot outside before exposing it to full sun. I would also bring it outside and plant it in spring so it has plenty of time to acclimate. Covering the root system with mulch could also help your mini rose get through winter.

"Red roses are my favorite: Red Velvet, Victor Hugo, Perle Noire, Don Juan..."

  • CLASSIC looking red roses! Love those as well and I would high recommend searching them to see the beautiful flowers!

"I love my David Austin Desdemona. It changes color and smells beautiful."

  • This is a BEAUTIFUL! The website says it has "peachy pink buds open to beautiful, white, chalice-shaped blooms, with a pinkish hue." It also says the fragrance "has hints of almond blossom, cucumber and lemon zest."

"I LOVE roses. My hate is black spot and sawflies. My love is smell and beauty."

  • If you can keep the foliage dry when watering and allow for air flow around the plant, this cold help prevent black spot! As soon as you notice it, it is good to destroy the diseased foliage and you could start using a fungicide.

"In a new home this year, and my outdoor mini rose bush has a lot of browning on the leaves. Any ideas what could be causing this? Not sure if it's a nutrient deficiency or fungus."

  • If this was a transplanted plant, it could be acclimating to the outdoors. If there was a significant change in light, it could be scorched from too much light. Another possibility could be lack of moisture.

"How many different varieties and colors are there?"

  • There are over 150 species of roses and thousands of cultivars (I saw 30,000 in a couple sources).

"Indoor roses... the mini ones. Like?? Dislike? How do you grow?"

  • I am not a huge fan of them myself because I think they can be deceiving. It feels like they should be able to survive outdoors but every source says many of them are actually more hardy ten some hybrid tea roses! The care is the same as most other roses and continuous deadheading is probably needed also.

Resources, References, & Additional Knowledge



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Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly (Owner & Creator of Houseplant Homebody LLC)


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