Landscaping With Roses

Rose Growing Tips For December

Red Beauty
A Dark Red Miniature Rose

December is the time to start planning for rose pruning. In the Central Valley, some people always do their pruning in December. I like to wait until mid-January because of frost. Pruning roses encourages new growth to start. If new leaves have started popping out a hard frost could damage the new growth. If you prune your roses in December and frost is in the forecast, protect them by covering them. I am going to discuss rose pruning next month. You really have until mid-February to finish rose pruning. If you really want to to prune now, e-mail me and I will send you a guideline.

A Pink Blend Floribunda Rose

All types of roses can be used in your garden-climbers, old garden roses, shrubs, grandifloras, hybrid teas, floribundas, polyanthas and miniatures.

Sharon's Delight
A White Miniature Shrub Rose

Climbers are excellent background roses. When secured horizontally along a fence, the canes will bloom on the high points giving lots of color. If not secured and the canes are left vertically, there will only be bloom on the tops of the canes.

Graham Thomas
A Deep Yellow Shrub Rose hybridized by David Austin

Climbing roses have been developed to bloom on the highest points of their growth. In next month's discussion on pruning, I will explain how to prune climbers so you can have this affect.

A White Hybrid Tea Rose

Old Garden Roses are not as popular as they use to be. Because many of them only bloom once a year, people are planting other varieties that bloom more. However, there are some that bloom more than once a year and are worth having in your rose garden. Every rose has a place in a garden and the old garden roses are no exceptions.

Heritage is a light pink Shrub Rose hybridized by David Austin. Its' form is similar to an Old Garden Rose.

Shrub roses have become popular the last few years and probably have taken up the space where the old garden roses use to be. Shrub roses come in all heights from two feet to ten feet. They have all forms from five petals to the old fashioned look of the OGR's with many petals, quartered centers and button centers. They have a variety of colors from the soft pinks, whites, apricots, yellows, deep pinks, reds and mauves. Depending where you want to plant them, they can fit anywhere in your garden.

Alexandra's Rose
A pink blend Shrub Rose hybridized by David Austin. It is a very low growing plant.

Grandiflora are roses that are generally taller than hybrid tea bushes. They usually have more but smaller flowers than hybrid teas.They have sprays of roses as well as sinlge blooms per stem.

Sunny June
A deep yellow Shrub Rose

Hybrid teas are the most popular roses to grow. There are hundreds of varieties available in a color range from white to russet. Hybrid teas usually grow 5-6 feet tall. Generally hybrid teas bloom one bloom to a stem. Some varieties produce sprays of flowers. Which ever varieities are chosen for your garden, hybrid teas are the "Queens of the Garden."

A Mauve Hybrid Tea Rose

Floribunda roses are planted in a garden for their color and continuous blooming ability. The plant usually stays compact and short-generally three to four feet. The flower form is not as formal as the hybrid tea, but can range from five petal open blooms to decorative forms with many petals. The blooms are usually in clusters of flowers called sprays and not often bloom one bloom to a stem.

Sweet Vivian
A single-petal Pink Blend Floribunda Rose

Polyantha roses were really forerunners of the floribunda roses. They have lost their popularity in the garden to the floribunda and shrub roses. There are a few varieties that have stayed in commerce and are seen in older rose gardens as border plants.

A Pink Blend Floribunda Rose

Miniature roses have really taken their place in the rose world. Miniature roses come in every color and form as the bigger types of roses. There are varieties that stay short that make excellent borders and there are varieties that grow very tall. Miniature roses grow on their own roots, so propagation of the plants is very fast. This makes hybridizing new varieties much faster than their bigger sisters. No matter what form, color or growing habit you want, there are probably at least a dozen miniatures you can find to fit into your landscape.

Peggy 'T'
A Medium Red Miniature Rose

The roses I have pictured on this page represent a variety of types of roses that are available to plant in your landscape. There are many companion plants that can grow with roses. Your local nursery can provide you with a list of othr plants that grow well with roses for your area.

A Red Blend Floribunda Rose

Remember, when planting roses they like lots of sun, good drainage, a good pruning before spring and fertilizing throughout most of the year. By selecting roses that grow well in your area and following a few basic rose growing techniques, you can have a beautiful garden with the "Queen of the Flowers."

Sally Holmes
A single-petal White Shrub Rose

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Last updated: December 7, 2010
1997 Linda Burg