Growing Roses.. is it hard?

vickys_eden(7)January 25, 2011

Every time I see people plant roses around here they die or remain in a state of stunted growth and eventually die...

We tend to have rocky soil with a lot of clay here in East TN but id really like to try my hand at roses.. how hard will this be and does anyone know of a good hardy variety that might fare better than others?

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petaloid(SoCal 10a/24)

Your soil, climate and growing conditions are unique to your area.

I will put a link below to a list of rose experts in your vicinity who will be happy to give you free advice. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any of them.

The list is part of the website of your closest rose society (rose gardening club), which serves eastern Tennessee. This is a good resource for you to learn how to improve your particular soil, and which rose varieties do best in your climate.

At the top the link you will also see tabs for information about meetings, growing tips and more.

Here is a link that might be useful: local rose experts giving free advice

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:22PM
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vickys_eden(7)

Thank you! I appreciate that :)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:29PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

An expert grower in East Tennessee is Ann Peck, the authority on RRD in the country. Ann and her husband live in Blaine, just north of Knoxville. E-mail me for her e-mail address. They successfully grow hundreds of roses in very similar soil and are helpful to any and all. If anyone can help you discover the pleasure of rose growing, it's Ann.
I might add, growing roses is only as hard as you want to make it. Choosing disease resistant roses, those best suited for your area, and learning to live with insects, will make it easier. Insisting on growing only hybrid teas, perfect roses, and not learning to let nature be your helper will make it difficult and frustrating.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 12:21AM
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predfern(z5 Chicago)

Start with Knockout roses and Buck roses. If you don't mind once bloomers, try some old garden roses (many of these will grow in poor soils).
Rose descriptions can be found at
http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/index.php

You can buy many varieties at
http://rosesunlimitedownroot.com/

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 12:32AM
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york_rose

As long as you grow roses tolerably suited to your climate, if you can grow decent vegetables in a "vegetable garden"? You can grow decent roses.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 1:37AM
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ronda_in_carolina

Ditto what Karl said.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 6:38PM
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mike_in_new_orleans(9a/ coastal LA)

Ditto ditto what Karl said. I like to think of your question as equivalent to "Is cooking hard?" You can always delve deeper and deeper into the "art" of cooking, or in our case, growing roses. But if you know little about it, following a simple recipe will allow you to enjoy success. For roses, the basics are:
1) Pick varieties that are well-suited to your growing conditions--heat or cold-tolerance, resistance to diseases common to your area, etc. Local rosarians can steer you toward good varieties.
2) Sun: roses generally need 6 or more hours of direct sun per day to grow their best. A few varieties are a little more tolerant of partial shade or fewer hours. But all will do well in full sun.
3) Water: roses are thirsty plants. They grow and produce so quickly that they need adequate water to do the job.
4) Soil--this amounts to good drainage and healthy nutrients and soil structure: Clay is definitely not the best soil type for roses, but there are things you can do to improve it. Ann or others in your area can help. Amendments to the soil, and raised beds are two primary ways to improve drainage. Roses will not tolerate their roots soaking in standing water for long.
5) Fertilizer: because roses bloom and grow so much, they also need nutrition to do that. Organic sources are generally the most gentle and least likely to chemical-burn feeder roots. But artificial fertilizers can be good too if you follow the instructions carefully and avoid over-fertilizing. Organics have the advantage, too, of building healthier soil.
6) Pest control: insects, mites, and diseases (deer and rabbits, too, for some folks). For insects, best to treat only once you know the insects are present. For diseases, the best think is to start with varieties that are best suited to your region and are disease resistant. Local rosarians are the key to learning which. Then, preventive measures for diseases that are present in your area.
7) Winter protection where needed: Again, this depends on the varieties you plant and where you are growing them. Some roses need no protection whatsoever. And where I live, we hardly even have winter.

All these few components of growing roses can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make them. But if you'll just remember that roses do best when these elements are taken into consideration, you'll be off to a good start. You're biggest initial concerns may likely be to ensure your soil is shaped up to be decently drained and soft enough for good root development, and that you plant where the roses will get enough sun. Those 2 factors will ensure that your roses have a good shot and growing and even tolerating other mistakes you make along the way.

Mike

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 9:46PM
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