Texas and Roses

sara_ann-z6bokAugust 9, 2014

I know Texas is a big state and covers a lot of territory, so I'm sure the rose growing conditions vary a lot, according to what part of the state you live in. I am curious if there are some parts where roses do especially well? I have been wondering for awhile and my interest was peaked the other evening when I was looking on Help Me Find at a particular variety, when one picture especially caught my eye. The lady who had posted it is from Texas and she is also an exhibitor, it stated. I decided to look at all of her pictures. She has posted some of the most beautiful pictures and her roses all looked so perfect. I know it is human nature for us to show our roses at their best, and there is also photo shop, which I'm sure helps, but she also had a couple of garden shots with them all on display and the blooms all looked healthy and large and all the bushes looked very vigorous, so I'm guessing those roses were probably every bit as pretty as the pictures showed. I guess because of Oklahoma's proximity to Texas and the fact that I have lots of family there and roses seem to be a big business there, I've wondered how Texas fares for rose growing as compared to some other places that I know are much more ideal than where I live.

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If I could choose, I'd select the Tyler area of n.e. TX. It has a fairly mild climate, (normally) good rainfall, & acidic sandy loam soils. There are many commercial plant growers located there.

The central coastal area is excellent in many ways, I'd say from the Houston area, east. It has dense black "gumbo" clays that tend to be alkaline. But they respond wonderfully to organic amendment & gypsum to become luscious black fluffy soil.
Black spot & other fungal pressure can be severe due to the constant high humidity & heat. I lived s.w. of that area & you could grow Popsicle sticks there.

No place is perfect--after many years I tired off the unrelenting humidity & yearly concern re. hurricanes. I'm in the "hill country" now. No disease pressure. But I sure could use that 39" of rain we enjoyed on the coastal prairie.

So where are you? In the green eastern part of OK or the droughty western plains?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 5:04PM
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Bluegirl, I live on the western edge of what is known as Green Country in Oklahoma, approximately 60 miles west and a little north of Tulsa. Most years I can have pretty good success with my roses. Blackspot is definitely the biggest problem I have with them. I personally do not know very many people who attempt to grow roses in my area, but I think it's more because they're not that interested in it than the difficulty of it.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 6:09PM
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I am SE Texas and it is very hot and humid with plenty of rain. I am about one hour south of Houston and about one hour from the gulf and while I don't love hurricanes I will take one over a tornado any day. I wouldn't say roses do better where I am than any other part of Texas we have Blackspot issues due to the humidity but far the most part my roses so very well except in the extreme heat like now and look like poop :). I love the hill country Bluegirl! It's one of my favorite places in Texas, we go the Austin area about once a year and frequently visit Fredericksburg and the Kerrville area. It's so different than the piney woods of se Texas.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:23PM
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SaraAnn, that sounds like a pretty part of the state. I visited a pal who lived in Gore & was astonished at the green rolling hills. I thought OK was mostly flat prairie, like OKC.

Boncrow, so you're roughly in the coastal prairie, or a bit north? You have some good deep soils.

Hey, look me up sometime when you're in the Kerrville/Fredericksburg area, maybe we can visit & yak roses.
It's deserty here, but for now, a welcome relief from the humidity. When I visited a friend back near Victoria a couple of weeks ago I thought I was gonna croak in the hot sultry weather. Nice & green, but missssseeerrrrablllle!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:46PM
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Bluegirl - The part of the state where your friend lives, is especially lovely. I grew up a little west of OKC and we moved where I am now when I was 15 (a long time ago), I was in awe, I love this part of the state, especially when we get plenty of rain and it stays green.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:30AM
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IIRC, we visited Gore during the spring. It had just rained the previous night. When we got to my friend's place, our mouths were hanging open--it looked like the garden of Eden! Gentle hills covered with green grass--beautiful!

We traveled through eastern OK & Kansas up to MN on that trip & the main thing I recall is: "everything is so GREEN!" It was a rainy year, but that's the first time I'd seen the tallgrass prairies at their best--gorgeous!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:13AM
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I've got a question for you Texas folks. I have a friend in San Angelo who wants to grow roses. I know it gets hot during the summer but from what I can tell it's dry. What kind of soil do they usually have and would it be better for them to have raised beds? They want to grow HT's, mini/minifloras, a few OGR's and some Austins. What should they expect?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:11AM
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Depends on the soil right where he lives (naturally...)

Some parts around there have some good sandy loam that only wants water--you start seeing lots of cotton & wheat from there up to Big Spring & into the panhandle.

But he might have caliche, of various depths. You really can't go wrong with raised beds--if he has the time & energy, I'd always encourage those, as it gives maximum control over soil & water quality.

Have him contact his local ag extension agent, who will truly KNOW his local soil/climate.

Yeah, it's hot & dry, but that's a plus re. disease pressure. There are some gorgeous roses grown in west TX, when they get enough water--big glossy leaves & huge blooms. I had a relative in El Paso who had some beautiful HTs in a pine bark mulched bed near his front door. They were so clean & vigorous & had lovely blooms.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 1:23PM
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Thanks Bluegirl! I will let you know next time we head that way. I'm not sure but I think San Angelo is pretty rocky terrain so raised beds would be the way to go.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:29PM
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alameda/zone 8

I am 2 hours from Tyler. Lots of pretty trees, decent soil but I amend with horse compost. This time of year, I live with a water hose in my hand. Roses are OK.....not too many blooms other than my potted ones that are in early morning sun. As long as you keep them mulched and watered, it wont be long until fall then the show starts all over again.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 1:54AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Sara Ann, I hope you join the Tulsa Rose Society if you do not already belong. Feel free to email me, and I can give you specifics about joining. I would love to meet you.

Exhibitors plan their exhibits. They often have roses that they groom specifically for show. When they plan for an exhibit, they may prune off much of a rose, so that the rose can put all its energy on a few, then on one bloom. The "art of exhibiting" is its own special talent or art. It is very interesting, and fun to be involved in for someone like me who mainly watches in amazement.

I have many photos in HMF, and so do many who post here. I just catch a pretty photo by chance.

I used to spray, and could grow most roses. Now I do not spray, and mainly grow certain categories that do not require spray. I will never grow so many roses that others grow, but those who exhibit may not enjoy the type of garden that I love.

I live in a suburb on the east side of Tulsa - almost in the city. They main thing I need to do to be successful is to keep a hose inside in the winter, and hook it up on pretty winter days to water. Last year was the first true drought that I can remember since the early 1980's. I was too busy to ever even purchase a new hose and hook it up. I left all my hoses unattached, but on the ground. I did not water.

There are very successful rose growers who belong to the Tulsa Rose Society. They can answer so many questions about rose growing. The meetings are on a Sunday at about 1:00 or 2:00 at Woodward Park. My email is attached on this forum, I think. Feel free to contact me.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:05AM
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