Roses have a reputation of being picky and tough to maintain.
But growing full, beautiful roses is possible, even in the Brainerd lakes area.
This shrub rose will bloom all season. Shrub roses produce several different colors of roses. These shrubs will grow three to four feet tall. Brainerd Dispatch/Jennifer Stockinger
Tina Wisely, a nursery consultant at Acorn Inc. Nursery Landscaping, north of Baxter, said the reputation of roses is the enemy.
"Many people think that roses are so tough and tender," she said. "They tend to care too much. People usually do more harm than good."
Wisely said if the gardener plants the right rose shrub for the right climate they should have success if they follow a few tips. She said the climate is one of the biggest areas where people go wrong when they take care of their roses.
Tina Wisely, a nursery consultant at Acorn Inc. Nursery Landscaping, north of Baxter, observed the leaves of the Henry Kelsey, one of the rose shrubs that grows in the Brainerd lakes area. This shrub produces a medium red rose. Brainerd Dispatch/Jennifer Stockinger
"Roses are picky with the temperatures," Wisely said. "Roses can take the cold for a short time, but not for a long extended period. Winter is the hardest part."
Wisely advises gardeners to spread a good six inches of straw, pine needles or leaves around the shrub as a blanket to keep it warm. She said the best time to add the blanket is after the first frost, when temperatures are at least below 20 degrees. She said if this is not done, the shrub will not be dormant.
Before winterizing the shrub, gardeners should prune the shrub down to about a foot from the ground. Wisely said climbing roses can be cut to about three feet in height.
What do the colors of each rose mean?
Red is love and respect.
Deep pink is gratitude and appreciation.
Light pink is admiration and sympathy.
White is reverence and humility.
Yellow is joy and gladness.
Orange is enthusiasm and desire.
(Source: All-America Rose Selections, a nonprofit association of rose growers.)
The history of the rose
The fossil records of the rose date back 35 million years, according to the All-America Rose Selection Web site.
The Sumerians created the first written record of the rose in 3000 B.C. in what is known today as Iraq.
In the 16th century, colonists took the rose to North America, making the rose the longest cultivated European plant in this country.
The modern rose hybrids date back to 1867 and by 1920 the hybrid teas dominated the market. These roses remain the most popular rose variety today.
What roses grow
the best in the Brainerd lakes area?
There are between 600 to 850 varieties of roses that are classified by zones. The zones are based on the climate.
Tina Wisely, a nursery consultant at Acorn Inc. Nursery Landscaping, said there are about six classifications that grow in the lakes area and are as follows:
Floribunda. The roses in this classification bloom all summer and grow between three to five feet tall. Shrubs include nearly wild and chuckles, which both produce pink roses.
Hybrid Rugosa. The roses in this classification have double blooms and are recurrent. Wisely said this means the roses will bloom once, have a dry spell and will bloom again in the same season. Shrubs include grootendorst supreme which produces a deep red rose and a martin frobisher which produces a light pink rose. These shrubs are hardy and grow three to five feet tall.
Shrub Rose. The roses in this classification bloom all season. Shrubs include carefree wonder which produces a deep pink rose and carefree sunshine which produces a yellow rose. These shrubs will grow three to four feet tall.
Hybrid Kordesii. The roses in this classification bloom twice. Shrubs include Henry Kelsey which produces a medium red rose and William Baffin which produces a deep pink. These shrubs are climbers and may grow between eight to 10 feet tall.
Hybrid Teas. The roses in this classification bloom twice and can get as big as five inches in size. Wisely said nine out of 10 of the shrubs in this classification will not grow in the lakes area. One of the shrubs that will grow is called whisper. Wisely said these shrubs do not have their own root system, meaning it will not spread.
Multiflora. The only rose in this classification that will grow here is called seven sisters. This shrub is a climber and blooms once. These shrubs may grow between 10 to 15 feet tall.
"People don't need to worry, the shrub will grow back," she said. "Roses grow fast."
After the first frost and the pruning, a person should place a plastic or foam cover over the shrub for hibernation.
Other area gardeners may have trouble with their roses is the way they are planted. Wisely said when a rose shrub is planted a person should spread bone meal, a type of fertilizer, around the shrub. Then every three weeks for one season they should add Miracle Grow to the shrub. She recommends adding Miracle Grow to the shrub two times in the second season.
"This will help build a nice root system," Wisely said of the fertilizers. "If it is a really dry season I'd add more Miracle Grow."
Wisely said another issue with roses she hears a lot about are why there are so many bugs hanging around.
"Bugs go on all flowers and roses are no more susceptible than others," said Wisely. "People just watch there roses more than they do with their flowers."
Wisely said there are three bug sprays she suggests that get rid of the bugs: Bugs No More, Seven and a spray with malathion.
Roses only require about an inch of water a week, said Wisely. She said people tend to water their roses too much and that is another reason why the shrubs die.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5851.
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