Celebrate National Rose Month, June weather

By Larry Sagers

Deseret News

Published: Sunday, June 12 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

There are about 100 species of roses, and within those species are tens of thousands of cultivars. They are classified by their growth habits and flowering characteristics.

Larry Sagers

June is National Rose Month, and after all of the discouragement in a previous column about the winter kill on the roses, I thought I might need to temper some of those discouraging words.

Fortunately, there are some expert rose growers in the state who did a better job of protecting their roses than I did mine. They are busily preparing their choicest blooms for the district rose show at the end of the week.

If you need to replace some of your roses or just want to add some great color to your garden, read on for some advice.

Most people don't realize the depth and breadth of the roses available. Botanists have classified about 100 species of roses in the world. Within those species are tens of thousands of cultivars. These are crosses between species or are selections within species.

When selecting your plants, remember that roses are classified by their growth habits and flowering characteristics. Make your selections by plant size and by the size, shape, color and desired bloom period of the flowers.

Pick plants that tolerate your growing conditions and that will stimulate abundant, attractive blooms. Roses are short-lived if planted in poor or hostile sites.

There are several types of roses available, so you want to get the best ones for your garden.

Hybrid teas are the most widely grown roses in the country.

With good care, they have showy blooms throughout the growing season. Plants grow 2 to 5 feet high, depending on cultural conditions and pruning techniques.

Their flowers are single or double. The buds are long and pointed, with single flowers or clusters of three to five flowers per stem. They are used as ornamental shrubs or for cut flowers. They are not completely hardy and need winter protection.

Floribunda rose flowers are similar in size, shape and color to hybrid tea blossoms. They grow in clusters with short stems. Most floribunda roses are hardy, disease-resistant, low-growing shrubs. Use them in plantings where many flowers are desired.

Grandiflora roses, as the name implies, are larger than hybrid teas and grow 3 to 6 feet tall. These flowers are borne singly or in clusters on longer stems, and the flowers resemble hybrid teas.

Miniature roses are tiny versions of various roses. Miniatures grow less than 2 feet high. Use them in mass plantings, borders, specimens or indoor plants. They are able to tolerate some shade.

Shrub roses are hardy, spreading plants that grow four to 12 feet tall. They have many canes and require little maintenance.

Flowers are single or double and are borne at the ends of the canes or on branches along the canes. Some flower once in the spring, while others flower continuously. Shrub roses produce large rose hips after flowering.

Heritage roses, or old roses, were discovered prior to 1867. They have many plant and flower forms. These include Albas, Bourbons, Damasks, Mosses, Noisettes, Rugosas and wild and shrub roses, such as the Nootka Rose, Austrian Copper and Father Hugo.

These hardy, drought-tolerant, pest-resistant plants bloom only in the spring.

Climbing and rambler roses have long, arching canes. Roses do not actually climb and must be attached to trellises, arbors or fences. Large-flowered climbers have stiff, thick canes up to 10 feet long and bloom through the summer and fall.

Ramblers have long, thin canes and small clusters of flowers that bloom in early summer.

According to the Utah Rose Association's website, one often-neglected but important task is deadheading.

Start right after the first big flower flush. If you don't, roses may go to seed and stop producing.

Deadhead by cutting back to a five leaflet leaf for new larger blooms or just breaking off the old bloom at the top stem if you want more clusters of blossoms.

Some varieties need to be deadheaded back 18 to 24 inches, or they will be 12 feet tall by the end of the season.

Deadheading is a matter of taste. You are trying to keep the bush blooming, but you are also trying to keep the plant the right size for your garden.

Celebrate with your roses. Our national flower has a place in any garden. Just suit the ones that will grow well for you.

Garden tips

The Utah Rose Society presents its annual rose show's theme: "Utah — Life Elevated." The show will be held at the Garden Center in Sugarhouse Park, 1602 E. 2100 South, on Sunday, noon-4 p.m. For more information on the show and the society, visit www.utah-rose.com

Red Butte Garden is offering a class on garden maintenance on June 14, 21 and 28, 7-9 p.m. Cost is $66 for members or $72 for nonmemebers. Registration is required at 587-5433, 581-6464 or www.lifelong.utah.edu.

Wasatch Community Gardens will mark Chicken Week June 18-25. Chicken Week is an opportunity for Wasatch Community Gardens and the Salt Lake City community to celebrate the joy of urban "eggriculture." Get more information at wasatchgardens.org

Larry Sagers is a horticulture specialist for Utah State University Extension at Thanksgiving Point.

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