Think only green thumbs can enjoy a rose garden? Think again! Unlike the old-fashioned fussy selections grown decades ago, modern roses are hardy, versatile plants that can thrive on neglect. In fact, roses are much easier to care for than you think, especially when you select the right variety for your garden’s unique climate and soil.
From small city balconies to water-wise landscapes, the amazing, versatile rose can be at home in almost any garden.
If you’ve been hesitating to start a little rose garden of your own, consider this:
Roses Come in a Variety of Forms
Did we mention that they're versatile? Roses come in many shapes and forms, so they're great for any landscape (not just formal English gardens)! Some common forms that you’ll come across include:
If you want to get started, or are just needing a little inspiration, these exciting modern varieties are a great start:
Rosie the Riveter™ Floribunda Rose
For some serious ‘wow’ factor, it’s hard to beat the classic look of floribunda roses. Fortunately, modern cultivars like the new ‘Rosie the Riveter' have all the flair with half of the effort. You will enjoy its golden orange blossoms dipped in sultry pink - and delicious fragrance - just as much as you’ll enjoy not worrying about disease.
Did you know that a purple rose means love at first sight?
There are many excellent new cultivars of luxurious, elegant and unusual purple roses. In the past, older selections of roses in the purple shades were prone to disease and not always the best plants. Today, with all of the extensive breeding, there are some amazing purple selections of roses with purple, lavender, mauve and lilac colors that grow well and are much more carefree than they used to be. Who doesn't love a purple rose?
Knock Out® roses are famous for their tough and forgiving nature, and ‘Rainbow Knock Out’ is no exception. This variety features multi-hued single petal blooms that brighten up the landscape all summer long. Like all members of the Knock Out® series, ‘Rainbow’ is extremely adaptable, looking just as good in formal plantings as it does in wild cottage gardens.
Creating a carpet of bright red flowers for weeks at a time, ‘Red Drift’ is a great example of what makes groundcover roses so special. It’s perfect for hilly or rocky areas, and blooms profusely with hardly any care at all.
Autumn Sunset Hardy Climbing Rose
With bright-gold, delightfully scented blooms, ‘Autumn Sunset’ is another one of those rose varieties that is a lot tougher than it looks. If you’ve always wanted a climbing rose arbor or archway, ‘Autumn Sunset’ is definitely worth a try - no green thumb needed.
Despite their fussy reputation, all roses - especially modern varieties - are exceptionally hardy plants. All you have to do is plant them in the right environment. Here’s a quick breakdown of what roses need to thrive with ease:
Plenty of sunlight. If there’s one thing roses don’t appreciate, it’s too much shade. Make sure you plant your rose in a sunny area, ideally with 5 hours or more of direct sunlight.
Plenty of water (but not too much). Roses need a good soaking, but also need time to dry out a bit. Otherwise, the soggy soil will smother their roots and leave them susceptible to mold and other disease. When in doubt, use the finger test: if the soil feels moist 3 inches down, hold off on water for a day.
The right dose of fertilizer. While roses don’t need quite as much fertilizer as they’re known for, these flowering shrubs still appreciate a feeding about once a month during the growing season. Pick a fertilizer that’s meant for roses to make your job easier.
A comfy bed of mulch. For best results, apply plenty of mulch to your rose beds. It will keep the soil temperature more even, prevent weeds, and will stop the soil from drying out too quickly.
Roses have the unfortunate reputation of being hard to grow, but these special plants - beloved for millennia - can be a wonderfully carefree addition to your garden.
Just think, for the same cost as a short-lived bouquet, you can plant rose bushes and enjoy entire seasons of blooms for many, many years. We know what our "true love" would do!