Rosa- Rose

Deciduous shrubs, undoubtedly among the most popular garden plants. The modern assortment is derived from a number of botanical species, such as Rosa chinensis, Rosa odorata and Rosa multiflora. At least 90 per cent of the roses for sale today consist of hybrids; very little space is devoted to the original species.

Situation:

Roses can be used in many ways. Large-flowered roses and floribunda roses are usually grown in beds or as standards, but also in combination with hardy perennials in the border. In Germany in particular, fine effects have been achieved by mixing grasses, roses and blue-flowered hardy perennials.

Next there are the climbing roses, for covering house-walls, fences and pergolas. Vigorous types may also be grown up old fruit trees or even as ground-cover. Dwarf roses or miniature roses are attractive as pot plants, in the rock garden, or among low-growing ground-cover. Botanical species are used in large shrub borders, for hedge making or in semi-wild plantations. All in all there is practically no site for which roses are unsuitable.

However, to be successful in growing roses, one point should always be kept in mind: they require an open position in full sun, which means that during the summer the rose is in direct sunlight for at least seven hours a day. A fresh breeze is useful to prevent mildew – an unpleasant rose disease.

Where roses are planted too much in the shade, under trees or in other dark spots, difficulties in the shape of pests or diseases are practically unavoidable, while flowering will inevitably be less profuse.

Soil:

Roses require deeply dug soil , friable and containing a certain amount of lime, well manured and with a reasonably low water level in winter . In addition it is advisable to mulch with rotted cow dung in winter; this will also provide frost protection. In late spring a little dried blood may be added to stimulate a second flowering. If a new rosebed is to be created in a place where roses have grown before, it is advisable to remove the old soil to a depth of 60-80 cm. This is an expensive operation, but very effective to counteract a rose disease caused by eelworms. If it is impossible to replace the soil, the bed should be used for growing African marigolds for a year or two; it is then deeply dug and manured. African marigolds secrete a substance which destroys eelworms. Planting Roses are best planted from about late autumn onwards; spring planting often gives unsatisfactory results. Naturally this advice does not apply to roses sold in soluble pots or other containers, which may be planted at any time of the year. It is of the greatest importance that the roots be kept out of the sun during transplanting; the best method is to put them in a bucket of water immediately they are unpacked and leave them for an hour or so before planting them quickly and watering them in thoroughly. In spring, when roses start into growth early, plenty of water should be given in dry weather, especially in the case of newly planted roses. This is often forgotten, with the result that the shrubs do not develop fully. After planting the roses must be cut back severely, even the climbers, however unfortunate this may seem. Experience has shown that better rooting will cause the new shoots to grow more rapidly and pruning will therefore not create a setback. It is more than sufficient if 10 cm is left above ground.

Pruning Large-flowered roses and floribunda are pruned in spring until only 3-5 growth buds remain on the branches. The top bud, from which the most vigorous shoots will grow, must slant outwards. It is sufficient to leave 3 or 4 vigorous branches.

Climbing roses are pruned in such a way that a number of well developed long shoots are left; side shoots are shortened to 3-5 growth buds. In summer, after flowering, long shoots will develop; these should be tied in carefully; at the same time branches more than 3 years old may be removed.

Botanical roses are merely thinned out a little in spring. Faded flowers should be removed immediately. Cut just above the first group of 5 leaves. When cutting roses for indoors you should always leave at least one group of five leaves on the branch.

Further methods of cultivation In winter, shrub roses are earthed up in order to protect the graft. In spring the soil is levelled once more. In addition it is advisable to mulch with lawn mowings in summer.

Propagation:

Species from seed; choice roses are always increased by budding – an operation best left to the expert.

The main groups of roses are discussed briefly below:

Large-flowered roses or hybrid tea roses: Height to 1.5 m; flowering season early summer to mid autumn. Shrubs with large, double flowers, usually growing singly or in small clusters; frequently scented.

Floribunda roses: Height to 2 m; flowering season early summer to mid autumn. Single or double flowers, almost as large as those of the hybrid tea roses, but always in large or small clusters; sometimes scented.

Climbing roses: Flowering season throughout summer months. Shrubs varying in origin, but always with elongated shoots, sometimes to 6 m long; single or double flowers, occasionally scented. The flowering season of climbing roses is less prolonged than that of the two first-mentioned groups.

Miniature or dwarf roses: Height to 50 cm; flowering season early summer to early autumn; a miniature version of one of the first two groups.

Standard roses: Strains from either of first two groups bud-grafted on stock, up to 2 m tall. Weeping standards are climbing roses bud-grafted on stock.

Botanical roses: Height to 3 m, spreading habit; flowering season late spring to mid summer. Large shrubs for situations where they can be given plenty of room. Among the most important species are: Rosa moyesii: Height 2-3 m; beautiful semi-double flowers in early summer; colours red, pink, pale yellow or white.

Rosa pirn pin ellifolia, Scotch rose: Height to 2 m; white, pink or yellow flowers, depending on the strain. Very fine.

Rosa rubiginosa, sweet briar: Height to 2 m; pink flowers in early to mid summer; apple-scented foliage. Fine rose hips in autumn.

Rosa rugosa, Japanese rose: Height over 1 m; red, purple or white flowers from late spring to late summer, followed by beautiful hips. Very vigorous for coastal areas.

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