Ah, roses! Red, pink, yellow or white, we love them all! Over time, many breeding companies have created different varieties of roses that are even better adapted to our climate. To date, there are more than 20,000 rose cultivars: 20,000! Not always easy to make the right choice among all this diversity! Of course, you won’t find all of them in a garden centre or nursery, but the offer is rather large and one can easily get lost. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.
Hardiness and cold tolerance
It is important to know that some varieties of roses are more sensitive to the cold and must be protected during the winter with a good winter protection. This is the case for tea hybrids, floribundas and grandifloras. With proper care, however, they are beautiful and offer a splendid show to gardeners who are not afraid to invest time in their yard. The modern wild or shrub roses are a better choice for those who don’t want to bother with them or who prefer a low maintenance garden. Modern shrub rose cultivars, such as R. Rugosa hybrids, are the hardy ones: they can tolerate temperatures as low as -35 ºC under a good snow cover. As a bonus, they are more resistant to disease.
Location and soil
Roses like a good sunny spot. Choose a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. There are some cultivars that do well in partial shade, but ask your garden centre for information. If possible, plant your roses sheltered from strong winds. They will thank you for it during the winter. It is important to know that roses do not like drought. They should be planted in well-drained soil, but with a controlled moisture level. Plant your roses in soil that is ideally clayey, rich and deep. At planting time, amend the soil with a good compost, then give your plant a fertilizer specifically designed for roses that will provide all the nutrients it needs after the first bloom. For the years following planting, fertilize roses in the spring and summer, always following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Roses are pruned to maintain their shape and stimulate flowering. Generally, roses are pruned in the spring before the buds open. The type and timing of pruning will vary depending on the rose bush you have. Make sure you know what to do so as not to compromise the flowering process. During the season, remove spent flowers or unnecessary or misaligned shoots.
To have a rose tree that will give you complete satisfaction and that you will be proud of, there are several elements to take into account. Your best ally in making the right choice is undoubtedly your garden centre advisor, who will be able to recommend the ideal cultivar for your type of garden, in accordance to the colour and shape of roses and rose bushes you wish to have and the level of maintenance you wish to give your plants.