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Annual Gardening

Hybrid Tea Roses

Selection & Care

Roses are classified into distinct groups based on growth, flowering and bloom type. The largest groups of roses are hybrid teas, floribundas and grandifloras. These tender roses are extremely popular adding beauty to gardens and patios. Best to treat these roses like annuals although with proper winter protection the chances of survival increase dramatically.

Hybrid Tea Roses
  • most popular tender rose
  • grows 3-5 feet tall
  • produce large, fragrant, semi-double to double flowers
  • one bloom per stem
  • large range of colours including bi- colours
  • blooms throughout the summer into fall
  • needs rich soil, plenty of fertilizer and water
  • hard pruning is required to encourage new growth and flowering
  • typically these are the types of roses you will see in flower shops

Floribunda Roses
  • Floribunda—abundance of flowers
  • bushy plants that grow 2-4 feet tall
  • produces many flowers per stem throughout the growing season
  • largest flush of flowers is in early summer
  • flowers can be single, semi-double or double, full range of colours
  • needs rich, well-drained soil
  • many are disease resistant
  • prune to maintain shape and to remove weak, dead, old wood and faded blooms

Grandiflora Roses
  • bred by crossing hybrid teas with floribundas
  • Grandiflora—large flower
  • combination of classic hybrid flowers and form with floriferous bloom habit of floribundas
  • grow 4-6 feet tall
  • produces flowers in clusters or singly on long stems throughout the summer
  • flowers can be semi-double or double in all colours
  • disease resistant 
  • dead head to encourage continuous blooms
  • prune back by 1/2 to 1/3 to encourage vigorous flower production

Culture
  • sunny location (6 hours sun), protected from strong winds
  • rich, well-drained, slightly acidic soil
  • keep well water and fertilized 
  • avoid wetting foliage

Planting
  • prior to planting boxed, bagged or bare root roses soak them in a bucket of water for about 12 hours
  • container roses are ready to plant
  • tender varieties of roses are usually grafted so need to be planted deeper 
  • plant rose so that the graft is 4" (10cm) below the soil line

Winterizing
  • start withholding nitrogen fertilizer 6 weeks before expected frost 
  • allow September blooms to remain on the plant (don’t deadhead), to form rose hips (seeds) - this will put rose in a well ripened state, ready to face winter
  • before applying winter protected, clean up rose—remove dead leaves, spent blooms and give a final deep watering before the ground freezes
  • protection should not be applied until you have had AT LEAST 2 hard frosts or until the ground is frozen to a depth of about 5 cm (2 inches)
  • prune back roses to a height of 8-10 inches prior to applying protection

*Even with protection you may not be successful over wintering these tender roses. Calgary’s winters can be harsh and terrible for plants
Protection

Method 1: Mound soil at least 30 cm (12 inches) high over bud union (a). After mound freezes add a thick layer of mulch (leaves, grass clipping, bark) then add another layer of heavier mulch (straw, bark) (b). Wrap wire container around plant (c)-this holds protection in place, lets water drain.


Method 2: Cold frame, allows protection of large bushes.  Roof can be opened on warm days.

Method 3: Dig up roots on one side, bend bush over into trench, and cover with soil.
Since early spring weather is often unpredictable don’t be tempted to remove rose protection too soon.  If you have mounded soil around plants, gradually begin to remove soil when it thaws.  Be careful not to damage or break any new growth that may have begun under the mound.