Update your garden today with a beautiful array of roses. The rose is said to symbolize many things. Some believe the flower is destined to bring balance and new beginnings into one’s life, while others associate them as a romantic gesture of love — but, no matter what the meaning, there’s no better sight than a rose garden in full bloom.
Planting roses in Florida may seem like a daunting task because of the constant heat and sandy, non-nutritious soil, but choosing just the right type and understanding exactly how to care for them will get you beautiful blooms almost year-round.
When selecting just the right type of roses to add to your garden in the Florida climate, be sure to take the following into account.
- As their name suggests, high-maintenance roses require lots of upkeep, including frequent grooming, fertilizing, watering and pest management. Modern roses like hybrid tea, grandiflora, floribunda and polyantha roses all fall into the high-maintenance category.
- On the other hand, low-maintenance roses require minimal care and attention. In this category are old garden roses and shrub roses.
- Differences between modern roses and old garden roses can include everything from difference in size, flower fragrance and amount of blossoms. For instance, old roses almost all have a fragrance, while modern roses may not give off quite as strong of a scent.
- Make sure to buy roses grown in Florida. This is important because rose bushes that are field grown in climates very different from ours oftentimes do not live long because of the change in climate.
- Plant roses in an area with rich, but well-drained soil.
- Old roses (a species of roses that have been around since before 1869) thrive well on their own, meaning they are disease resistant and rebloom throughout the season.
Cydney Wade, owner of Rose Petals Nursery, offered a few tips to keep your roses in tip-top shape.
■ Scope out a place in your yard that will offer full sun (6–8 hours preferably).
■ Watering is necessary to establish your rose, but after the roses have taken hold, hydration is only needed in dryer conditions.
■ When planting your roses, dig the holes twice as big as the pot, and amend the hole with compost.
■ Backfill the hole and top with compost and mulch to about 3 inches thick (mulch helps to retain moisture).
HEALTHY ROSES, HAPPY GARDENER
Pruning, although not mandatory on old roses, is the process of removing anything that looks dead, injured or diseased. You should always cut at a 45-degree angle.
Grooming depends a lot on the type of rose you decide on, but mostly refers to trimming off any faded flowers and removing leafy shoots that begin to grow from the rootstock.
Cutting roses should be done with a sharp knife or pruning shears. When making the cut, start from an angle and work your way up the stem to where it meets a new leaf line. Then simply snip!