Hybrid Tea Ultimate Pink - Photo by Irene Roth
Old Garden and Shrub roses: These two classes are roses are separate from one another but have similar growth habits. The shrub rose are without question the most underrated plant in the landscape. It's a shame that more people haven't taken the time to familiarize themselves with this group of plants. Shrub roses are a huge part of the rose family with growth habits varying from low ground cover types to large impenetrable hedge types. I have seen a few cities and parks make use of the mediland shrub roses, but with so many types available for the home gardener it's a wonder that more are not sold in nurseries. The shrub type roses are usually very winter hardy and healthy, with the Rugosa's being completely disease free. Some of the shrubs have an added bonus of colourful fall hip displays . If you're the type of gardener who wants a lot of bang for you buck, then this is the type of rose for you.
Mini roses: A really fascinating group of roses with all the characteristics of large rose reduced to mini proportions. You can even find miniature climbing roses with smaller flowers and leaves growing to about 7 feet tall. Most types grow about 14 inches high, are everblooming and come in every colour except true blue or black. These plants are not house plants, but will flourish in any home garden with minimal care.
Now that you're familiar with the various types of roses, lets get on with the best kept secret on the web, "How to grow Roses the Easy Way".
As with many types of plants, variety is extremely important if you want to be a successful rose gardener. There are many hundreds of red roses on the market at any given time but only a few that are best suited for our climate and soil types. Try to find out what the best ones are for your area and then buy a #1 plant from a reputable nursery. Two for one roses rarely amount to much, especially when planted late in the season.
Roses are best planted in the fall or early Spring. Dormant plants are preferred over fully leafed out plants except for container grown and mini roses. Mini roses are usually purchased fully leafed out and best planted when the weather begins to warm in April or May. If you are transplanting an established rose bush, wait until fall or early spring when the plant is dormant, and remember to give it a judicious pruning.
Site and exposure requirements depend on the type of rose. Usually 5 to 6 hours of sun is preferred for most roses but there are a few shrubs, climbers and Rugosa types that will grow in more shaded situations. If you must choose between morning or afternoon sunshine, take the earlier option. Early morning sun will dry off the leaves, helping to prevent mildew and blackspot. Roses will tolerate a windy exposed site provided that hardy varieties are chosen or a winter mulch is applied to protect from harsh winter conditions.