Super Star

A colourful star ‘Super Star’ really lives up to its name. Its blooms are so intensely coloured that they seem to glow, and with their elegant form, they are as valuable for cutting as they are for brightening up the garden.

ANNUAL CALENDAR

SPRING

March:

Finish planting bare-root roses.

Prune established plants, removing dead, weak or twiggy growth.

Feed with rose fertilizer.

SUMMER

June-August: ‘Super Star’ flowers throughout the summer. Prolong the flowering season by regular deadheading (removing dead flower-heads).

Watch for mildew and spray if necessary.

AUTUMN

September: ‘Super Star’continues to flower until the first frosts. November: Start planting bare-root roses to allow them to become established before winter.

WINTER

December-February: ‘Super Star’ is frost hardy. Check that newly planted roses have not been loosened in the soil if the ground freezes and then thaws.

Re-firm plants if necessary. 1, PRUNING, .

Prune ‘Super Star’ in, spring. Start by removing, dead, thin or twiggy, growth, cutting back the, stronger shoots to about, one-third of their length each year. Prune with a sloping cut above an outward-facing bud. Prun- ing is particularly impor- tant for older plants as they flower less abundantly.

PLANTING SCHEMES ‘Super Star’ is available as a bush, as a standard (tree-shaped shrub with a rounded head) or in a climbing form. Placing its vivid shade of red in the garden can be difficult, as it may clash with some colours and overwhelm others. Green foliage plants are reliable foils, or try interplanting with blue, yellow or white perennials. For an impressive red-and purple border, combine ‘Super Star’ with Berberis atropurpurea Thun- bergii’, ruby chard,

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ and Lobelia cardinalis.

S ince it was first introduced over 30 years ago, this gorgeous Hybrid Tea (large-flowered bush) rose has enjoyed tremendous and deserved popularity. ‘Super Star’, also known as ‘Tropicana’, was introduced in 1960 and won several international prizes. It was the result of cross-breeding many roses and was the first Hybrid Tea to contain the red pigment pelargonin. ‘Super Star’ is vigorous and upright in growth habit and reaches a height of about 1m. Its foliage is medium green and semi-glossy. Initially the rose bears one flower to a stem, but it may produce up to five luminous blooms on the same long stem in autumn. Flowering stops after the first frosts.

IMPORTANT

Unfortunately, in recent years some breeders have propagated ‘Super Star’ from inferior budwood, making it more vulnerable to mildew and liable to suffer ‘weak neck’, where stems droop under the weight of the flowers. A good specimen of this rose remains a star, so buy from a reputable nursery and make sure you choose a plant in top condition.

Ideal situation

Plant ‘Super Star’ in an airy but sheltered site to prevent it succumbing to mildew. Placing several plants together makes the most of its vibrant colour.

Planting

Buy ‘Super Star’ either as a bare-root plant from a specialist nursery or in a container from a garden centre. Plant bare-root roses between November and March when conditions are neither very wet or frozen. Plant containerized roses at any time, as long as the ground is not frozen.

Before planting, dig the ground well and enrich it by adding organic matter such as garden compost or well-rotted manure. Do not plant roses in soil which has previously had roses grown in it or they may succumb to ‘rose replant disease’. Either choose a new site or replace the soil to a depth of 60cm.

Cultivating ‘Super Star’ blooms all summer until the first autumn frosts. Deadhead (remove dead flower-heads) regularly for maximum flowering. As this cultivar is particularly prone to mildew, make regular checks and apply fungicide as a preventive measure.

As a cut flower

Its Hybrid Tea flower shape, long stems and vibrant colour make ‘Super Star’ a desirable cut flower. For the best indoor display:

Choose flowers that have just started to open.

Pick in the evening or otherwise in the morning.

Stand the roses up to their necks in a bucket of cold water overnight.

Super Star

SITUATION

Sun or partial shade in a well-ventilated but sheltered position. Group 3 or 4 plants together for a dramatic display of colour.

SOIL

Well-drained, neutral or slightly acid soil (pH 6.5-7). Add organic matter such as compost or manure to soil before planting.

CARE

Prune in spring and give rose fertilizer to established plants. Spray against mildew regularly during flowering season. Deadhead (remove faded flower-heads) to prolong flowering.

Either choose equally bold companion plants for ‘Super Star’ or let it shine out from a background of green foliage.

PLANT HEALTH

‘Super Star’ is very susceptible to mildew. Plant it in a sunny, airy position, and give it a preventive spray of a systemic fungicide such as triforine at the start of the growing season, followed by regular applications every 3-4 weeks. Greenfly may attack. Treat a large infestation by spraying with soap solution or an insecticide such as pirimicarb.

BUYING

If conditions in your garden make mildew likely, consider buying ‘Alexander’, a more resistant rose with ‘Super Star’ in its parentage.

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