Although roses get a bum rap for being a pain to grow, there are many that defy that description. Hybrid tea roses are responsible for such a sullied reputation as they often succumb to many rose maladies: black spot, powdery mildew and aphids. Even with the recommended 8 hours of direct sunlight per day, perfect fertile loamy soil, good drainage and adequate air circulation, many hybrid teas become ugly. But not all roses are the same.
Species roses are wild roses, untouched and unaltered by plant breeders. They grow on their own roots and are not grafted like the hybrid teas. This makes them hardy and more pest resistant especially when grown in their native habitat. The Nootka rose for example is from Nootka Sound in BC. Other common species roses include Lady Banks’, Alberta, Musk and the Multiflora rose.
Not all grafted roses are high maintenance as many floribundas, polyanthas and grandifloras are quite reliable. Do you research before you buy. Miniature roses are also surprisingly hardy and pest resistant. They are grown on their own roots and are often sold as gift plants for Mother's Day and Valentine's day. Usually there is 4 in a pot to make a nice show. Plant them outside individually and watch them grow into lovely perfect little rose plants.
Other easy care roses are Old Garden roses: Alba, Centifolia, Damask, Gallica, Moss, China, Bourbon, Hybrid Perpetual, Noisette and Tea roses. Some (but not all) bloom only once, but when they do, they drip with beautiful and bountiful blossoms. Flowers are usually deliciously fragrant, come in a myriad of colours and either bear 5 petals to blossoms bursting with them. Some bear attractive colourful hips come fall, which also feed hungry birds during the winter.
Worthy of a mention are shrub roses Hybrid musk and the Rugosa rose. They are also easy care and bloom more than once, are fragrant, bear nice rose hips and tolerate partial shade.
Trademark roses are the new kids on the block, relatively speaking. Hybridizers and breeders have worked diligently to develop continuous flowering 'landscape roses' that are pest free, hardy and dependable. The Canadian Explorer Series, Parkland Roses, Meidiland Landscape Rose, Flower Carpet Rose, OSO Easy Roses by Proven Winners and Knock Out roses take the worry and stress out of rose growing.
If you love roses and have stayed away from growing them due to bad experiences, try your hand at growing one of the easy care roses. For more information refer to my article on Types of Roses on The Garden Website.
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