What do Birminghamians want when buying local roses? How do we select and take care of those fragrant beauties in our hot, humid climate?
Local rosarian Clayton Richard, in partnership with the Birmingham Rose Society, selected roses to be offered at the upcoming Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale. Here’s what Richard had to say about selection and planting roses in the Magic City;
“Today’s gardeners are looking for disease resistant/easy care roses. In addition to popular Knockout and Home Run varieties, we are offering Hybrid Teas, Floribundas and shrubs from Kordes Roses. Kordes, a rose breeder from Germany has lead the charge on disease resistant roses and if you grow one, you’ll see the difference. We’ll also have a large assortment of Drift Roses, some great climbers and miniatures. For those who love the romance of the cottage garden, we’ll have a selection of Old Garden Roses and a good supply of roses designated Earth Kind. Earth Kind roses have been field tested for disease resistance, drought and pest tolerance and will provide a big color display in your landscape.”
To help you get started, we’ve compiled some planting and growing tips from experts at the Birmingham Rose Society:
Location Location Location
- Roses need a sunny location (6-8 hrs. of sun daily) and well-draining nutrient rich soil
- Dig a hole as large as the container plus two inches’ around.
- Add a mix of garden soil and composted manure.
- Plant covering up to the base of the plant.
- Top dress with mulch.
- Water in.
Roses Are Thirsty
- Water roses deeply once a week if no rain.
An Ounce of Prevention
- Remove diseased leaves and keep rose beds free of fallen debris
- A 2 – 3” layer of mulch will keep down weeds and aid moisture retention
- Prune roses in early spring. Usually around March 1.
- Prune repeat blooming roses low to encourage new growth and a healthy can structure. We recommend pruning down to 18-24” high.
- Prune once blooming and climbing roses after they have bloomed each spring.
Promote New Blooms
- Deadhead spent blooms on repeat blooming roses throughout the season
- Fertilize after each bloom cycle until September
Advocate Good Rose Culture
- Become a member of the Birmingham Rose Society and the American Rose Society
With a little care, your roses will bring you great joy for many years to come.
Want to learn more?
Chris VanCleave of the Birmingham Rose Society, will be at the rose booth at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale at Brookwood Village April 7-9. On Friday, Spring Plant Sale is open from 9-7 p.m. On Saturday, Spring Plant Sale is open from 9-5 p.m. And on Sunday, Spring Plant Sale is open from 11-3 p.m. Admission to the public sale is free and proceeds benefit The Gardens’ educational mission which includes its flagship program, Discovery Field Trips. For more than a decade, Discovery Field Trips has provided a free, curriculum-based science education to more than 10,000 Birmingham students each year.