Growing roses, a wonderful past time, and something you should be doing if you are painting flowers!
I’m not a master gardener, but I have found that growing my own is a nice way to have a fresh rose to pick as a subject for a painting, so I’ve grown my own for quite some time now. Some years, I do better than others, and I will be the first to admit, I’ve lost a few due to not caring for them properly.
But my mistakes are your gain, because I can walk you through the process here so you too can enjoy this wonderful hobby and not make the same errors I have in the past. In doing so, it will also keep you from having to spend to much at the florist getting flowers to paint!
So lets get started!
Selecting the site:
Roses prefer a rich, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic (pH between 6.0 - 6.5). They like plenty of water and sun -- at least eight to 10 hours -- and growing roses is best done when protecting them from harsh wind and cold.
If you can, select an area that will receive the morning sun as opposed to evening sun, as it allows for the morning dew to burn off quickly which helps with fungal problems. Roses are tolerant of most soil types, (mine being red-clay), but will thrive in humus rich soils.
Avoid growing roses near gutters and eaves to prevent snow and ice damage.
They’ll need some room to grow too. Give them space to allow air circulation, again, the fungal thing.
Also think about your watering source. Roses can be tolerant of dry spells, but they won’t bloom as well. Keeping them well watered with bi-weekly deep waterings (1” to 2” of water) will keep your blooms coming!
You may also decide that container gardening is your right choice. These will need watering daily during the summer, but when your apartment living doesn’t allow for a proper planting in a bed, well, bring on the terracotta!
Picking your rose:
Now that you’ve decided on the where, lets talk about the what in Growing roses! What variety of rose do you want?
Firstly, check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for advice. They can quickly give you a list of roses that are hardy to your area of the country. Don’t have an Extension Service nearby? Then check any local garden shop/center. They will usually keep in stock those roses that will perform well for your area, and will have the knowledge to help you should you get stuck.
Your local book store or library may have reference books on growing roses specifically for your area, that can help you in selecting a few good plant varieties too.
The larger chain store home improvement centers may or may not have varieties best suited for your area, and most will not have someone knowledgeable enough to help in selection.
Now here’s a great website to locate an expert in your area.
So here is a partial list to get you started:
I have a Climber, an Antique, a Miniature Shrub and the rest are <b>Hybrid Teas,</b> which for me, are the most prolific and hardy.
How to Plant Roses:
So you’ve got the site selected, and you’ve purchased a few plants.
Most plants today are offered as containers or potted. Varying from ½ gallon to 1 gallon container plants. The later being larger with a more established root system will have a much better chance at surviving the shock of transplant. If your budget will allow for it, stick to the larger plants.
Of course you’ve got to dig a hole! Unless you’re doing the container thing. Check out this video! It will help in both cases:
Your hole size will depend on the size of your plant. Just leave yourself plenty of room for the plant and adding potting soil mix to amend the soil. Another great reference site:
And just in case you're wondering "why grow your own roses?" Well, let another fantastic flower artist give you her opinion!
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