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Got Roses?

March 8, 2010

Recently I’ve seen posts in the blogosphere railing against roses, but I am an unashamed rose worshiper.   The conventional wisdom is that roses are demanding and must be sprayed for diseases and pests.    The problem with conventional wisdom is that it doesn’t apply everywhere.   There are roses for every climate.   I’ve only grown roses in my climate though, so my experience may not apply.  I must state a caveat that I’m not a master gardener nor an expert rosarian.  I can’t advise on sprays because I don’t need ’em!

Rose growing in Utah is actually pretty easy.  Because of our arid climate, roses do not suffer from disease much here.  Blackspot can occasionally appear but is very rare.  Compared to the defoliation reported by some people in the east, a couple of spots are hardly worth mentioning.   Some roses can mildew in the right conditions, but that seems to be more dependent on the variety of rose and not widespread throughout the garden.   A mildew magnet of a rose, can be promptly shown the shovel.   For example of my 80 or so roses, only two have been mildew messes.

Belle Story

I’m not particularly fond of hybrid teas, so you won’t see much of those in my garden.  I like roses packed with petals, or wide open singles or semi-doubles that show their gorgeous yellow stamens.  I  like my roses to have a nice shrub form that blooms all the way to the ground.

gorgeous but non-fragrant Pierre de Ronsard (Climbing Eden)

Now you may find some pests on your roses here. The most common is aphids. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen actual aphid damage. But they sure are ugly. You’ll usually find them on the buds early in the season. I always cringe when I read of people freaking out and running for some pesticide to kill aphids, because it’s just not necessary.  Some folks take delight in squishing them on the bud, but that grosses me out. If they’re bugging me (groan) I get the hose out and spray them off with a strong jet of water. Soon enough the ladybugs will arrive and chow down.

icky aphids

I’ve read that monoculture is pretty bad in all gardening, that a wide variety of plants will attract beneficial insects, and keep disease from being widespread. At my place, roses mingle happily with perennials and grasses. Variety seems to keep everything in balance.

Robert le Diable with columbine and Red Rocks penstemon

Now an ugly pest here are the thrips. They like to chew on light colored roses. To the naked eye they look like little slivers crawling around the rose bloom. They leave brown edges.
Thrips and the damage they caused on Crocus Rose

I will have to do a part two on roses, but I’ll leave you with some pretties.
This rose always makes me smile, my happy rose. It’s a great cut flower too, but no fragrance.

floribunda Betty Boop

Charles Darwin with clematis

The quartered blooms of Tradescant- red swirly goodness.


Happy Monday!

PS. Unless I stated that the rose isn’t fragrant in this post, it is fragrant.  More on fragrant roses another time.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2010 10:28 am

    Oh, I just love roses too! I think you are right that certain varieties do well in different areas. Like you, living in an arid climate does have it’s advantages in growing roses. Thrips are always my worst problem too. Your roses are beautiful and I love their carefree look, especially mixed in with perennials.

    • March 10, 2010 5:33 am

      Thanks Noelle. Yeah those thrips are annoying. The darker colored roses usually escape them here.

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