The rose has the honor of being the most popular flower in the world. Its beauty, fragrance and variety of colors are the primary reasons for this popularity. Well, that and it’s…a rose.

Roses are traditionally known as the flower of love and beauty. Whether a rose be an old-fashioned wild rose, garden rose, tea rose or a newer hybrid variety, roses are almost always the flower of choice at weddings and for birthdays, anniversaries and of course, Valentine’s day.

HOW TO GROW

Roses are most at-home in a soil with a good amount of clay, but do well in most any soil as long as it drains well and there is plenty of sunshine to go along with it. Roses don’t like their leaves to be wet, either. That is why roses must be watered from the bottom. Otherwise you’ll have a powdery mildew and fungus problem.

Roses also do best when planted with other roses rather than other varieties of flowers. Call them snobs, but those are just the facts.

Roses can be started from seed, but few go to the trouble. Cuttings are much quicker and easier if you wish to propagate a new rose bush from one you already have. To successfully root a cutting, make a cut 3 to 4 inches from a ‘v’ and bury in fertile, loamy soil just past the ‘v’. Keep well watered. If roots are not fairly established by fall, place a glass or clear plastic ‘dome’ over the new plant to form a miniature hot house for the winter.

If you choose to purchase your roses, you can do so from any number of nurseries or garden supply retailers. Prices vary depending on the variety and rarity of the rose.

EXTRA TIPS

  • Dig the hole to plant your rose 6 to 8 inches deeper and 3 to 4 inches wider than the plant to allow for generous accommodation of the roots.
  • Add water and fertilizer to the hole when planting. Dried cow manure is an excellent choice for fertilizer.
  • Roses do much better when pruned regularly.
  • Add soil and mulch to the base of your roses a week or two before the first frost to help protect your rose bushes during the winter’s cold.

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