You CAN have roses in your Nassau County garden!

by Jane Brown, Master Gardener

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Maybe you should think about adding roses to your garden landscape. Before making any rose selection, it would be helpful to know about the different types of roses, their growth habits and the amount of care required.

Hybrid tea roses were developed by crossing a tea rose with a hybrid perpetual. Hybrid tea roses are a favorite of rose gardeners for their beauty, fragrance and easy care.

Hybrid tea roses generally produce only one blossom at the end of a long stem, giving them an advantage as cut flowers. They have an open, upright growth form reaching heights of 3 to 6 feet. The blooms come in various colors, and virtually all are repeat bloomers through the growing season. They work well in both formal and casual gardens.

Floribunda roses were introduced to gardeners in the 1940s. They are usually smaller plants with smaller blooms that come in clusters, although there are some varieties where the bloom comes singularly.

The cluster types make great landscape plants. Many Floribunda roses have an intense fragrance.

Pruning Floribunda roses should be somewhat lighter than hybrid teas. They need plenty of feeding to keep up with their abundant bloom production.

Floribundas take a minimum of three years to reach maturity. After they establish a good root system, you will be rewarded with spectacular, showy sprays of blooms. They can be grown in the ground or in large pots. With proper care, they will more than earn their space in your garden.

In 1988, a Wisconsin botanist named Bill Radler revolutionized the way we think of roses with the creation of the Knock Out Rose. Today it is the most widely sold rose in North America.

Sunny Knockout Rose
The Sunny Knockout Rose is a welcome addition to this disease-resistant and drought-tolerant cultivar family. It is in the rose collection at the Nassau County Extension Service Demonstration Garden in Yulee.

 

The Knock Out family of roses is easy to grow and does not require special care. They are cold-hardy, heat-tolerant and the most disease-resistant rose on the market.

Their blooming cycle occurs every 5 to 6 weeks and will continue until the first hard frost. No need to deadhead these roses, as they are self-cleaning.

If unpruned, Knock Out roses can grow to be 3 to 4 feet wide with equal height. Periodic trimmings keep them maintained at a smaller size. Spring pruning about 12 to 18 inches above the ground is all that is recommended.

If you want color in your garden, but don't have time to fuss, this rose is ideal. It is the perfect rose for people who say they can't grow roses.

To ensure you get the most out of your roses, there a few simple steps you can take to have a beautiful, easy-to-enjoy garden:

- Prune in the spring and cut out dead and damaged branches.

- Fertilize regularly during the growing season.

- Water diligently.

- Mulch with 1 or 2 inches of organic material.

- Deadhead (except for Knock Out roses).

- Treat diseased parts of the plant.

Roses promise to be an impressive addition to any garden. The design should be guided by available space, climate conditions, available time and the overall look you hope to achieve.

Hybrid teas, Floribundas or Knock Out roses, singly or in various combinations, can only add to any gardener's satisfaction and enjoyment.

For information on the Master Gardener program and application requirements, contact Nassau County extension director and horticultural agent Becky Jordi at 530-6350 or rljordi@ufl.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly Stormoen

Master Gardener Jane Brown lives on Amelia Island and is an active volunteer with the Nassau County Extension Service and the University of Florida/IFAS.