Dean Hodge, Consulting Rosarian
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR GROWING ROSES
Keeping the biblical 10 commandments ensures a good and rewarding
life. They are guides for human behavior. Also growing roses has
established rules. These are:
I. Thou shall have a sincere interest in roses—not just a passing fancy—but love and devotion. Without this desire, the work that follows will be in vain.
II. Thou shall choose good plants. Select healthy plants by inspecting the canes, which should be strong and have at least three stalks. They need to be a Grade 1.
III. Thou shall choose a planting site—one that has at least six hours of sunlight, good drainage, and free from tree roots.
IV. Thou shall provide a good soil. The basic formula is one-third topsoil, one-third sand, and one-third compost. A soil test that gives a ph reading of 6.5 is the most desirable.
V. Thou shall fertilize. Roses are heavy feeders and need a fertilizer
every month during the growing season.
VI. Thou shall spray the bushes regularly. To prevent fungus disease,
weekly spraying is required. Spray for insects when the need arises, which could be weekly or bi-weekly.
VII. Thou shall prune. Remove unproductive growth and shape the bushes in the spring and fall.
VIII. Thou shall deadhead. The quicker the deadheading (cutting faded blooms) takes place, the sooner the new bloom will appear.
IX. Thou shall winterize. Cover the bud union with pine straw or mulch for insulation against cool weather and freeze.
X. Thou shall irrigate the rose bushes. Watering is the most important
factor for keeping healthy roses. They should have at least two to three gallons of water per bush weekly.
With all the rules that I have listed, you may decide growing roses is too much trouble, but hark; I have “good news” for you. The Earthkind roses, of which there are 17 varieties, take very little care. They still require six hours of sunlight and must have good irrigation during the first year. They are disease and fungus resistant. The most popular is the Knockout rose, of which we have 500 bushes planted on our Briarwood Presbyterian grounds. These are red, yellow, and pink. We also have 150 White Iceberg, which is one of my favorites, that we use for our worship center arrangements and weddings. The other Earthkind roses are Belinda’s Dream, Caldwell Pink, Carefree Beauty, Climbing Pinkie, Ducher, Duchesse de Brabant, Else Poulsen, Georgetown Tea, Marie Daly, Mutabilis, Perle d’Or’, Sea Foam, Spice, The Fairy, New Dawn, Madame Antoine Mari.
My home garden has 300 rose bushes of many varieties. My gardener
(husband Glenn) does all the planting, pruning, and spraying. He leaves the deadheading and making flower arrangements to lucky me. My favorite rose is Double Delight. It is a cream with red edges and has a wonderful sweet fragrance.
“When I come to the garden alone, He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own.” Thank You Jesus, for creating the rose.