Roses are a quintessentially English garden flower, although most varieties are actually native to Asia. Hybrid roses were introduced in the 19th century and were hugely popular for more than 50 years, but at least one species was brought to Britain by the Romans. Roses have played their part in history, too, with the War of the Roses.
Today, there are more than 30,000 different types of rose, such as the banksia rose and rosa rugosa. If you want the perfect combination of colour and scent, it’s hard to beat roses. The good news is that now is the best time to plant them!
How to Plant Roses
Choose the right spot for your rose. Prepare the ground by digging in some well-rotted mulch, such as farm manure. Apply general fertiliser over the surface of the soil and fork it in.
Dig a hole that’s as deep as your spade and twice as wide as the roots. Tease out the roots if you are planting a container rose. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring the point where the leaves originate is at soil level. Backfill the hole and press down gently.
Pro tip: if you are replacing an old rose with a new one, remove the soil in the area and replace it with fresh soil from a different section of the garden. This prevents the new rose succumbing to ‘soil sickness’.
Caring for Your Roses
Roses should be pruned back the first winter after planting. Remove dead and damaged stems and any weak growth until only strong stems remain.
Feed your roses in the spring and again in mid-summer if growth is weak. Water in for at least two years during dry spells.
Floribunda Vs. Hybrid Tea Roses – What’s the Difference?
To the uninitiated, roses are all the same, but there are some unique differences between the two varieties.
Floribunda roses are not as scented as hybrid tea roses, but they are much hardier. These roses have abundant flower clusters and they bloom all summer long, well into autumn. Many gardeners prefer floribunda roses because they are more disease resistant and easier to grow. They prefer a full sun setting. You can grow floribunda roses in containers.
Hybrid tea roses are a good choice if you want to cut roses for the house. Hybrid varieties have one large flower per stem and are very fragrant. These roses tend to flower in three stages through the summer and early autumn. They don’t have as much foliage as floribunda roses. Hybrid tea roses don’t mind a bit of shade and are perfect for the borders.
Climbing roses are ideal if you want to add some height to your garden. They can be grown against a wall or up a trellis. Many varieties are very vigorous and will grow quickly in the right conditions.
Ask the team if you have any questions about roses. We’re always happy to offer planting advice!