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Beginner Flowers: Need some advice on container roses!

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cynical_76
Whitmore Lake, MI
(Zone 5b)

February 20, 2012
10:25 AM

Post #9013388

Hi everyone
I've never done roses before but I have always wanted to. I am in zone 5B in Michigan. I must have them in containers because I rent this house. I would love some experienced gardeners to shout out some good roses to try, together with advice on when to plant them and put them outside. I'm a COMPLETE neophyte so please write as if it's "Roses for Dummies." Do they like to be started inside and then moved outside in a few weeks/months? Do I want seeds or cuttings or a big plant?

Thank you all for your (hopefully) kind assistance to a total newbie who is too shy to go ask at the greenhouse.
altagardener
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

February 20, 2012
11:07 PM

Post #9014236

Here a few tips that have worked well here that I can pass along. (Note that DH is the rose gardener, not me!) First, get containers that are as large as you can manage - we use large terra cotta-toned plastic pots that are, I believe, 22" in diameter, with drainage holes in the bottom. (These require a dolly to move them around, e.g. into the basement cold room for overwintering.) They sit in saucers from which the roses can take up water, as they need to. The large pot size is very helpful for reducing water stress - stressed plants get mildew very quickly. They still need daily watering, despite the pot size, and I assume the same would be required there. To judge how much water the rose has taken up that day, you can just lift the edge of the pot to judge its weight. Roses also benefit hugely from being sprayed with a water wand pointed upwards to wash the undersides of the foliage... it is very effective at removing spores and aphids. (We don't use pesticides or fungicides.)

Assuming you want quick results and the most rewarding experience, buy either dormant roses or potted ones. If they are dormant or from a greenhouse where they have been exposed to sunlight, they won't need hardening off before setting outside.

As far as which to grow, doing some research to find disease-resistant varieties is always a very good place to start, regardless of what colour or height or type of rose you are attracted to.
DH goes for disease-resistance, fragrance, heavy bloom and good form. 'Dolly Parton' (1st photo) and 'Double Delight' (3rd photo) have been long-time favourites here; 'Fragrant Cloud' (4th photo) has lived up to its name. The second photo is 'Amsterdam', which we got accidentally as a mislabelled dormant rose - not fragrant, and therefore not high in DH's books, but I like it for its showiness.

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