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Easy–Growing Roses

Don't shy away from growing roses!

Although you may hear rumors that roses are a problem plant, many varieties of roses are easy growing flowers and thrive with just a minimum of care.

yellow roseThroughout history, roses have been the preferred gift to express the emotions of love, friendship, and compassion. The rose has also enjoyed favored status in literature, art, and music. Around 600 B.C.E. the Greek poetess Sappho named the rose the "Queen of Flowers". Since then, hundreds of quotes, jingles, lyrics, and verses praise roses and dozens of artists have tried to emulate their beauty in painting and sculpture.

Thirty-five rose species are indigenous to the United States. In 1986, the United State paid tribute to the rose by making it the US's national flower. The rose has been a favorite flowering perennial among gardeners for over 2,000 years and you'll find roses growing in nearly every corner of the world.

Rose Selection

Roses (Rosa) contribute tens of thousands cultivars to an already large family, the Rosaceae (rose-AY-see-ee), a family that also includes raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Three thousand varieties of roses are available commercially and over 100 species of roses are classified as Species Roses or wild roses. So, from this large rose selection, how do you choose the rose plants that you want to grow?

Roses are rapid growing perennial plants that reach maturity in as short a time as three years and return to full height each year despite fall and spring pruning. Roses range in size from 8-inch tall miniatures to rose trees that reach heights of 50 feet. Of popular roses, floribundas grow up to 4 feet tall, hybrid tea roses to 6 feet tall, and most pillar and climbing roses reach 8 to 15 feet in height.

Although many modern hybrids survive for only six to ten years, some species and old garden roses may produce for over 50 years.

Select roses by the type of growth you want to see in your rose garden, but most importantly, select roses that will thrive in the space you have to give them.

What Roses Need to Grow

  1. Roses grow best in a full day of full sun, but thrive where they receive at least 6 hours of sun each day. Morning sun is essential, since it gives rose leaves a chance to dry but a location with light afternoon shade may even help your roses if you live in a hot climate.
  2. Adequate circulation is also important to easy growing roses. As well as sunlight, good air circulation helps rose leaves to dry. On the other hand, roses need protection from high winds, which can damage foliage during the growing season and snap canes in cold winters. Protect roses from wind by shielding them with a garden wall, windbreak, or planting them near a building. Yet do be careful to plant them away from areas like eaves and overhangs that make them susceptible to rain deluges and snow or ice avalanches!
  3. Roses need loose, well-drained soil. Although they are tolerant of most soil types, your roses will fare better in soil that you amend with rich organic matter. Use peat moss, compost, leaf mold, manure, or bark to amend rose soil and help provide drainage. Raised bed gardening, with its excellent drainage, makes an ideal platform for easy growing roses.
  4. Although they're tolerant of poor soil conditions, give your roses a dominant position in your garden, away from other trees and shrubs that may introduce pathogens and pests or compete with your roses for light, water, and nutrients.

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