Growing Roses










Submitted by Faye Mahaffey

OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer

Do you grow roses? There are many gardeners who grow them for their beauty and their “delicious” smell. Me? I can name at least 10 ways that I can completely kill a rose. I am just not cut out to be a Rosarian. I have had rose growers try to
convince me that they have an “invincible” variety that would be safe in my care, but I graciously decline their generous offer. One of my cousins called a few years back and wanted me to be the caretaker of her rose that was a start from our Great Grandmother. I explained to her that she needed to look elsewhere for help, unless she wanted it to find a quick easy death.

As I researched roses for this article, I went to the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service’s website and printed an 11- page Fact Sheet on Roses. I was already put off by the length and realized that roses usually met their demise in my landscape from lack of winter protection. As you recall, a plant that is needy, doesn’t live long at my place!

The rose is one of the oldest flowers in cultivation and is still considered one of the most popular garden flowers today. Most modern roses are descendants of eight European and Asian rose species. The elaborate flower forms and colors of today are the result of extensive breeding and hybridizing that began in the 1800s.

Roses can be grouped into 3 classifications according to their growth characteristics: bush, climbing, and shrub. (And yes, I have killed one of each.)

Are you interested in learning more about growing roses? The OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteers will be hosting a garden seminar on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at the Mt. Orab campus of Southern State Community College from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Room 208. Naturalist, Denise Bollinger, of Creek’s Edge Farm Retreat, will talk about different varieties of roses, picking a spot to plant them, preparing the soil, and some tips to help keep your roses happy!

In Denise’s words, “It’s hard not to love a rose…the smell, the color, the pure beauty. But often, they can be problem prone and fussy; so many gardeners tend to shy away from growing these delicate flowers.”

We hope that you will mark your calendars and join us for the March 21 garden seminar! I will be there taking copious notes on “how NOT to kill a rose”.

My raised beds are built and in place! It is exciting times at the Mahaffey’s. I have my graph paper out and am in the beginning stages of my planting design. Stay tuned for more about raised bed gardening!