Growing the popular flowers is easier than you think
A Rosy Outlook
told you that you could easily grow beautiful rosebushes with dense green foliage bursting with scores of colorful, fragrant flowers, would you be willing to try it? I promise that you will come away with new insight into the world of rose gardening after you read this story. Follow these simple guidelines, and you will be rewarded with rosebushes that bloom every thirty days virtually year- round in Florida. And anyone can do it. Because if you tend to overwater and thus kill most plants, a rosebush will not mind at all.
I fell in love with my first rose at five years old. I wanted to give my mother a special gift for her birthday. A close neighbor had beautiful roses, and I picked the prettiest one to present to my mom. The problem was that I neglected to ask permission from the lady who owned the roses before doing this.
Mother made me apologize to her, and instead of being angry with me, the woman said, “All I ask of you is if you want a rose for a special occasion, please ask first, and I will help you.” Her kindness was remembered by me for the rest of my life, and when I came to be a woman and had roses of my own, that is exactly what I told the children in my neighborhood.
Like so many people starting out, I was not successful with my first rose. But I soon discovered, with a little advice from the experts, what I was doing wrong.
First and foremost, the type of rosebush you choose will determine the measure of your success. Wholesale nursery Nelsons’ Florida Roses in Apopka, Florida, has a superior line of roses ideal for the Florida climate. Roses from Nelsons’ grace private home gardens and some of the most beautiful public gardens in Florida at places such as Busch Gardens in Tampa, Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World, and SeaWorld.
Mark Nelson, owner of Nelsons’ Florida Roses, attributes their superior growth and flower production to the Rosa fortuniana rootstock they use. Good building blocks like that are far more important than the shape or hue of the flower. “Unfortunately, people let their eyes determine their selection, and that is sometimes a mistake,” he says.
Instead of being drawn in simply by a rose’s color, home gardeners should initially begin with a rose variety that is hardy and requires very little maintenance. “Some of the roses such as Belinda’s Dream, Carefree Wonder, China Doll, Knock Outs, Summer Snow, and Sunflare are virtually carefree roses,” he says. “Louis Philippe and Souvenir de la Malmaison are also good choices, especially for a new rose enthusiast.”
LIKE SO MANY PEOPLE STARTING OUT, I WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL WITH MY FIRST ROSE. BUT I SOON DISCOVERED, WITH A LITTLE
ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS, WHAT I WAS DOING WRONG.
After choosing a plant, gardeners must pick the proper location for the rose bed. A rosebush needs a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day. If you plant a rose in a shady area, it will not thrive, nor will it produce abundant flowers. It could even possibly die.
Once you’ve determined the proper location, dig a hole that is at least twice as wide as your rosebush. Make it deep enough to allow the bush to be planted at the same depth as it is in the pot. Add potting soil to the bottom of the hole, place the rose plant in the hole, and check the depth again.
Then add a little something extra before filling the hole back up. “Always sprinkle a handful of Osmocote slow- release fertilizer evenly around in the hole when planting,” says Emmanuel Jean, a longtime employee and rosarian at Nelsons’ Florida Roses. “This very important step gives the plant a quick jump in growth.”
Now it’s time to fill the hole with potting
INSTEAD OF BEING DRAWN IN SIMPLY BY A ROSE’S COLOR, HOME GARDENERS SHOULD INITIALLY BEGIN WITH A ROSE VARIETY THAT IS HARDY AND REQUIRES VERY LITTLE MAINTENANCE.
soil. Pack the soil firmly around the plant and thoroughly soak it with water.
One of the reasons to use potting soil instead of regular soil is to permit drainage. Rosebushes are heavy feeders and need an abundance of water, but the roots should not sit in water for long periods of time. Water the plants daily for a period of at least two weeks. After that, water them twice a week.
Fertilizer should be applied around the plant once a month. Sprinkle a handful of 66- 6 fertilizer around the bush about twelve inches away from the main stalk. I alternate that treatment with a foliar spray of MiracleGro mixed with one- quarter cup of dishwash- ing soap in a hose- end sprayer, applied to the leaves two weeks after the 6- 6- 6 has been applied to the roots.
So don’t just ask for a bouquet of roses on a special occasion; ask for the entire rosebush. Now that you know just how easy it is to successfully grow roses, what’s stopping you from planting your own enchanting rose garden today?
GARDEN Pinata Sunflare A simple, colorful, and fragrant rose can attract more than just human admirers. Christian Dior