Not everyone is as lucky as me, I'm enjoying my retirement so much that I barely even have the time to update my blog! Roses are a paticularly time intensive labour of love, and I know that not everyone has the time to dedicate to growing them. With this in mind I thought I'd put together this article to help those of you who want to grow lovely healthy roses but don't feel you've got the time to do them justice.
With parenting, entertainment and work needs to take care of, we are all very busy people (even me!). However, this doesn't mean that you as a rose lover will not enjoy growing and taking good care of roses. Only a full-time gardener is able to spend time with roses for an entire day.
The good news is that plant breeders have bred special roses that are easy to care for.
I particularly love the 'Oso Happy Smoothie' with its Pink flowers and fast flowering tendency, that is, in early and late summer, thus ensuring you have flowers for the entire summer. This rose variety grows to the height of about 3 feet, has no thorns and can withstand the cold weather of winter. It can withstand black spot infection as well as mildew attacks and since it has no thorns, so quite simply, it is easy to care for.
In addition to the 'Happy Smoothie' the Oso 'Easy Lemon Zest' grows to 2.5 feet height. Its yellowish flowers do not turn white with time. In addition, a little pruning, and deadheading is all that's required since the flower self-cleans. This species is also able to resist infections that afflict traditional roses.
Another company that's been in the forefront, providing easy to care for roses is 'Tesselaar', who introduced their special Flower Carpet Pink rose more than 20 years ago. Today, they have another one on offer– The Pink Splash whose petals are a combination of two colours, pale pink and hot pink.
Apart from being self-cleaning and coming with a continuous bloom, Tesselaar says that their roses grow low and that they resist diseases. In addition, they are able to resist drought and water shortages. Tesselar are also planning to introduce more varieties of easy care roses like Amber, Scarlet and Pink Supreme, which they say are even more resistant than their predecessor varieties. To get the best out of these roses, Tesselaar recommends that they be pruned to a third of their size in spring.
Then there is the 'Knock Out' variety of roses that came into the market in the year 2000. These ones can withstand harsh winters, bloom throughout summer and are also self-cleaning, grow to 4 feet high and wide, even more sometimes! The most eye-catching of these is the Double Pink Knock Out, with its double sets of pink petals.
How can you bring out the best in the Knock Out Roses? Just plant in a garden of mixed shrubs, give them a little touch of the shears in spring to prepare them for summer, but after a number of years, say, six or seven, give them a full pruning such that you can get rid of more than a third of the stalks. If you choose to plant yours as a hedge, you can trim them to about 2 feet under the size that you have in mind. Rest assured, they will grow back.
Of course it's not all praise for easy-to-care for roses because some rose breeders say that these varieties lack the scent and the color display that the traditional varieties of roses have. As with everything though it's a trade off, and these roses are meant for busy professionals who love roses but don’t have the time. They are not meant to win any contests. None the less, with time I've no doubt there will be easy care versions of traditional roses like floribundas and hybrid tea. That will be the day eh?!