Growing Roses for Beginners: Secrets to Success in the Garden

KIDERÜL that in the case of roses, as in most of life, space matters the most. This is the most important tip for inexperienced growers who come across a variety and fall in love. “You really need to make sure the rose will fit where you live,” said Peter Schneider, editor of the annual Combined Rose List, an international reference guide. Mr. Schneider, who noted that Instagram lovers are often bred overseas, suggested visiting a nearby botanical garden to see what’s good there. Alternatively, you can find relevant information on the rose’s label, catalog, or online description, said Matthew Norman, a rose companion at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Make sure the rose is in the hardness zone (find your own on the USDA website). “The right plant, in the right place,” Mr. Norman said.

To gather even more intelligence for the young rose grower, I initiated a conference call with these two pros. Here is their wisdom.

Catherine Romano: Do ​​you recommend buying roses with bare roots or pots?

Matthew Norman: In my experience, I have observed a stronger growth response when planting bare-rooted roses. Bare-rooted roses have a higher root mass than potted roses.

Peter Schneider: If I could choose, I would choose bare root instead of container, but today there is a huge variety of varieties available in the container compared to bare rooted ones. Also, don’t want to plant a bare-rooted rose when the spring is already hot, because then it’s hard to make sure it doesn’t dry out before you start growing and creating new roots. And in the fall, it’s almost impossible to find plants with bare roots. So you have a limited period of a few weeks in the spring to ideally plant them.

The New Dawn climbing rose “really thrives during the growing season,” said Matthew Norman, a rose vendor at the Missouri Botanical Garden.



CR: When is the best time to plant roses?

MN: Spring and autumn. Spring is a great time to plant because the temperature is just right for root production and stem growth. Spring is the period when crèche stocks are highest.

PS: Container or potted roses can be planted throughout the growing season when there is no frost, especially when planted in the summer heat. It’s autumn [my preferred] it is time to plant roses because the root system will have time to develop without supporting new growth until spring. The result is a plant that germinates in the spring.

Matthew Norman

CR: Where is it worth buying a rose?

PS: Anyone with internet access is not limited to shopping in a large store. Still, you need to look for brands you trust [there]. I trust Kordes and Easy Elegance the most. But if you can buy it from a rosewood school, even by mail [via catalog or website] or by visiting the nursery in person, buy from someone who actually grows roses and can answer your questions about roses. This is amazing.

MN: The most popular growers or nurseries I buy from are David Austin Roses, Jackson & Perkins, Kordes Roses and Weeks Roses. If you buy roses at your local hardware or garden store, look for roses with solid, strong canes and healthy green foliage.

CR: Do you have a rose that requires less than 6 hours a day?

PS: In general, the fewer petals a rose has, the more shade it can withstand. I would add that many species of roses — native roses that have not been hybridized by humans — bloom only once and bloom in the spring. So if the shade comes from deciduous trees, these trees will in many cases have no leaves when the rosebuds of the species are formed. [and they’ll get more sun].

MN: There are some roses that tolerate partial shade well [see below]. However, more light is needed for the intensity of the scent and flowering.

Peter Schneider

CR: Is it possible to grow potted roses on the balcony for city dwellers?

PS: I think growing roses on the balcony is completely feasible and logical. The problem is what to do in the winter. If you have a wall in the building, not glass, but some solid wall to which you can push the plant up, then cover the whole thing in burlap and possibly insulate it beyond …

MN: You can cut it back and take it out of the pot and just put it in the fridge for the winter and let it rest. But if you don’t survive the winter, you can always get another one and try again.

CR: Are there any roses that are great for re-flowering?

PS: Among the repetitive blooms, the fewer petals the rose has, the faster it will bloom again.

MN: More energy is needed for a plant to produce more petals. For example, New Dawn blooms about 40 petals faster per flower than Madame Anisette, which has dense 65-70 petals.


What successes and challenges have you had with roses, and which varieties do you like best? Join the conversation below.




The best for scent

“When Madame Anisette came out, I thought, okay, she’s a rich lady in France, but she actually has exactly the smell of anise,” Mr. Schneider said. “Ivory is cream-colored and blooms throughout the growing season.”



Best for color

“Firefighter is super good if you want to get a nice bright red in another rose that is often found in garden centers,” Mr. Schneider said. “It’s a hybrid tea rose – an urn-shaped flower, from one to the stem. It’s fragrant, too. ”



Best climber

“In our zone in St. Louis, 6a, New Dawn is indeed starting during the growing season,” Mr. Norman said. “It will definitely climb over a pergola and keep thriving, whether you’re in your head or not.”


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The best in Part Shade

“The rose is pretty much a sunny plant [6 hours a day]but the Zephirine Drouhin that bears partial shade well – shines 4-6 hours a day, Mr. Norman said. “It’s a climber and has almost no thorns.”



The best for a balcony

“Generally, you want a relatively compact plant that is constantly repeating flowering,” Mr. Schneider said. “For a slightly unusual color, Julia Child is yellow and perfectly suited for the container on the balcony.”

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