Companion Plants for Roses

There is a long-standing debate in the rose community of whether you should plant anything else with your roses. The truth is, in the long run, monoculture is detrimental to your soil and plants. Growing them on their own is an open invitation to any pests and diseases that favor roses. But what plants play well with roses? A plant that is known for not liking others. First off, small plants or at least ones that will not overshadow. Your rose needs sun, and any companion has to let the rose get the lion’s share of light. They also cannot compete with the rose for resources. That means nothing aggressive or invasive like periwinkle, cover grasses, mint, or sweet alyssum. They should require the same type of resource, water, and care as your roses. For instance, do not plant something that wants acidic or alkaline soil. Roses like a well-balanced …

Argentine Ants in your Roses

Argentine ants are an absolute menace. They are farmers, spreading weeds. Ranchers, tending to and hearing aphids, scale, and subterranean scale. They also spread disease from one plant to another. In other words, they are a gardener’s enemy. Something I have noticed in my garden and in the gardens of others, Argentine ants like white, cream, and pale color roses. I don’t know why but none of my other roses have such a recurring problem with them. This is part of why I have so few pale roses. So what can you do to get rid of them? Slow acting ant bait. As quick kill baits only kill the workers, not the queens. And yes I said, queens. Argentine ant colonies normally have three or more queens. Why not sprays or dust? The use of residual sprays or dust stresses ant colonies, causing them to split into sub-colonies and scatter. …

Rose Highlight – Floribunda

A close relative to the Hybrid Tea and Grandiflora in the Floribunda. In fact, it is a cross between Hybrid Teas and Polyanthas. The name Floribunda means abundant flowers, that should tell you a lot about this class. Each stem producing a cluster of large blooms. “Oh My!” a dark red Floribunda grown in my family’s garden can have over twelve blooms on a single cane. Who needs to buy a bouquet with this rose around? Its only downside? That rose doesn’t have any fragrance. A rose with fragrance is “Julia Child”, the 2006 All-American Rose Selection Winner – the most prestigious rose award in the USA. A butter-yellow with a strong anise scent has an old garden bloom form and blooms in small clusters. It’s heat tolerant and a common parent plant for many modern roses. Some other fragrant Floribundas are; “Honey Perfume” a beautiful apricot rose with a …

Hybrid Tea

The American Rose Society currently recognizes 37 classes of roses. Rose is divided into 3 main groups: Species (wild) roses & their hybrids, Old Garden Roses, and Modern roses. Species roses are typically large climbing or shrub-like roses with single, flat flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer, followed by hips (seeds) in autumn. They are the parents of the roses we have today. Old Garden Roses (roses in existence prior to 1867) include the following classes: Alba, Ayrshire, Bourbon, Boursault, Centifolia/Cabbage, China, Damask, Gallica, Hybrid Perpetual, Moss, Noisette, Portland, and Tea. Modern Roses (1867 and onward) are a broad mix, including the following types: Climbing, Floribunda, Grandiflora, Hybrid Musk, Hybrid Rugosa, Hybrid Tea, Landscape (including Groundcover) or Shrub, Miniature, Mini-flora, and Polyantha. The Hybrid Tea is the starter of the modern rose class. The first one, ‘La France’, came out in surprise, surprise, 1867. They have become …

Grandifloras

The term “Grandiflora” was coined alongside the introduction of ‘Queen Elizabeth’, a modern pink floribunda rose introduced in 1954 by Dr. Walter E. Lammert, which didn’t quite fit the standard of hybrid teas or other floribundas. So a new class was created. This class is rarely used outside of the USA, but I think in time it will catch on. So what is a Grandiflora, and why makes it different from hybrid teas and other floribundas? There are two notable characteristics of this group. First: they have flowers in clusters (around 3 to 5) like a floribunda, and on single stems like a hybrid tea. (Floribundas can have single stems too, but they’re not as common.) Second: their blooms (similar in form to Hybrid teas) are normally large – no small flowers here. In our garden, we have quite a few Grandifloras. ‘About Face’, an orange blend bred by Tom …