Hybrid Tea rose

The most elegant of roses

With its distinctive flowers, vigorous growth and long blooming season, the Hybrid Tea is the most popular of all roses. Each year new cultivars are introduced but the older ones are also well worth growing; the choice is vast.

ANNUAL CALENDAR

SPRING

March:

The last month for planting. Apply a balanced fertilizer.

April:

Apply a mulch of rotted farmyard manure, compost or leaf-mould.

May:

Remove any suckers (shoots from the root below ground).

SUMMER

End of June:

Most bushes are in full flower. Keep well watered, and feed again. Watch for pests and diseases. July-August: Deadhead blooms, cutting just above an outward-facing shoot, to promote repeat flowering. Keep watering.

AUTUMN

September:

Deadhead, cutting off just the flower.

Pick up fallen leaves. Prepare beds for new roses, digging in plenty of compost.

October:

Plant new bushes from now on.

November:

Trim established roses.

WINTER

December-January:

Continue planting, as long as ground is not frozen or waterlogged.

February:

Prune, removing damaged and dead branches. Cut back to buds facing in the direction you wish the new shoot to grow.

Medium roses ‘Alec’s Red’ has brilliant red flowers which are marvellously fragrant. The bushes grow to about 90cm tall. ‘Precious Platinum’ is another red rose, this time a deep crimson, and also fragrant. ‘Lovers Meeting’ is a deep, rich orange and has a good scent.

Taller types

The highly popular ‘Peace’ set a new standard for rose growers. The flow- ers have pale yellow petals edged with pink and are lightly scented. It is excellent for cut flowers. ‘Pascali’ has milk-white flowers and few thorns. There are also some beautifully scented Hybrid Teas.

BUYING

You can buy Hybrid Tea roses bare rooted, which is best, or in containers. Buy from a reputable nursery or garden centre and check that the plant is healthy. If the stems are shrivelled with no sign of life and no growth buds, return the plant. If the roots are dry, soak them before planting.

The Hybrid Tea owes its existence to a few dedicated nurserymen in France and Britain, who vied with each other to produce a new, splendid type of rose.

The Hybrid Tea rose has large (10-15cm), semi- or fully double flowers, usually a single bloom to a stem, with tightly packed and high-pointed centres.

The stems are usually thorny, while the mid- to deep-green leaves, glossy or matt, are divided into five oval leaflets. The bushes produce flowers very freely and for a long period, from June until November.

Rose gardens

Hybrid Tea roses are traditionally planted together in bedding schemes, with no other plants to detract from them.

There are drawbacks to putting roses on their own. Any pest or disease problem, such as aphids, spreads much faster. In winter, the rose-bed looks bare and dull. But planting ground cover among a bed of Hybrid Tea roses both suppresses weeds and hides bare earth.

Short roses ‘Silver Jubilee’, a fragrant rose with apricot-pink flowers, is a very popular Hybrid Tea. ‘Freedom’ is a rich yellow, very vigorous and with plenty of flowers. ‘Pink Favourite’ is dusky pink. ‘Just Joey’ is rich coppery pink with frilly-edged petals.

LARGER FLOWERS

Hybrid Tea roses are excellent as cut flowers. Pruning the bush back hard in February produces fewer, larger blooms. Another way to increase flower size is to remove the flower buds on the sides of the stem, below the main bud, which leaves more nutrients for the remain¬ing bud. Deadheading produces more flowers. .-POPULAR VARIETIES

All these Hybrid Teas flower throughout the, summer.

Type, Colour, Height (cm)

Alpine Sunset’, peachy, 60-75 ‘Blessings’, salmon, 100 ‘Blue Moon’, mauve-pink, 150 ‘Ena Harkness’, crimson, 90 ‘Lovely Lady’, rose-pink, 80 ‘Piccadilly’, scarlet-yellow, 100 ‘Pot o’ Gold’, golden, 75 ‘Royal William’, crimson, 107 ‘Ruby Wedding’, clear red, 90 ‘Silver Jubilee’, apricot-pink, 90

Hybrid Tea rose-

SITUATION

An open, sunny site protected from winds, which can loosen the roots. Do not plant new roses where roses were planted before, as the soil may have become infected by micro-organisms.

SOIL

Any, except extremes of clay, chalk or sand, but it must be rich and very well drained. Ideally, it should be a slightly acid loam. Add well-rotted manure or compost when you prepare the bed.

CARE

Add bone meal at planting. Mulch with leaf-mould, compost or manure in the spring. Feed twice during spring and summer, and keep well watered. Cut off dead blooms.

The petals of Hybrid Teas curve back on themselves, so that they look pointed. The edges of the petals are also rolled.

PLANT HEALTH

Black spot can develop on the leaves, which turn yellow and drop. Powdery’ mildew may coat the buds, stems and leaves. Cut out diseased parts. Rust may appear in the spring. Remove diseased leaves and burn them. There are also chemical sprays available. Keep the bush well fed, mulched and watered. Aphids are the biggest pest.

Wipe them off by hand or spray with water. There is now an organic pesticide on the market, designed specifically for roses.

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