I've been gardening and writing about gardening for more than 20 years, yet I find I'm always learning new things about the plants, insects and other critters that call my backyard home. That's the great thing about gardening — it's never boring! I've worked as a landscaper, on an organic farm, as a research technician in a plant pathology lab and ran a small cut-flower business, all of which inform my garden writing. Someone once asked me when I'll be finished with my gardens, to which I replied, "Never!" For me, gardening is a process, not a goal.
CULTIVATED since ancient times by Greeks and Romans and revered by Asian and Middle Eastern empires, roses continue to be one of the most popular flower in the world. The rose was even designated the "national floral emblem" of the U.S in 1986. Thousands of rose varieties exist in an astonishing range of colors and fragrances. And with plant sizes ranging from low-growing "carpet" roses to towering climbers, there's a rose to fit every space. It's no wonder they are such cherished garden plants!
Roses have a reputation among some gardeners for needing special care. Many modern roses are nearly trouble-free, however. Selecting the right variety for your site, choosing roses that resist common diseases, and giving them the simple care they require can go a long way toward keeping roses healthy.
Here are some new rose-care products and some long-time customer favorites to help you get the most from your roses.
Biltmore® Rose Care Kit
The new Biltmore® Rose Care Kit is the result of seven years of testing on more than 1,500 rose varieties by Paul Zimmerman, owner of Paul Zimmerman Roses. His goal was to find natural products that would increase overall plant health and decrease the incidence of disease. The organic Biltmore Rose Care Kit includes a slow-release, granular fertilizer called Spring Feed that promotes early growth and blooming. It also includes Summer Feed to encourage summer-long blooms. Both fertilizers contain the diverse blend of nutrients roses need for optimal growth. In addition, the kit includes a one-quart bottle of Rose Boost™ Liquid Concentrate, made from worm castings with a proprietary blend of probiotics. Dilute as directed, and then spray on foliage and apply to soil to support healthy roots, improve drought tolerance and help plants fight disease. The kit treats 10 rose plants for one growing season.
Jaz™ Rose Spray
Heat, drought and other stresses can take their toll on roses, weakening the plants and rendering them more susceptible to attack by insects and diseases. New Jaz™ Rose Spray is a safe and eco-friendly way to grow healthier, more beautiful roses. It strengthens plants' immune systems so they are better able to withstand environmental stresses. Jaz contains a natural plant-strengthening substance, called MDHJ, that's related to the jasmonate compounds naturally found in plants. When it's applied to foliage, plants produce defense compounds including antioxidants, phenolics and protective proteins. It also promotes long-lasting blooms and helps reduce foliage yellowing. Spray roses two to four times a month for up to eight months.
It's an insecticide, a fungicide, and a miticide — and it's organic! Made from neem seed oil, Rose Rx 3-in-1 helps prevent and control black spot — a common rose disease — as well as powdery mildew. It also controls spider mites, aphids and whiteflies, and repels feeding by Japanese beetles. This botanical spray's active ingredient is extracted from the seed of the tropical neem tree. Rose Rx comes in a ready-to-spray bottle, making it a convenient, one-spray solution to rose pests.
A Japanese beetle with a skeletonized grape leaf.
In many parts of the country, Japanese beetles cause extensive damage to roses and other garden and landscape plants by skeletonizing leaves and ruining flowers. To keep Japanese beetle damage to a minimum, it's best to tackle them at both the larval and adult life stages.
Jardin Rose Arch
A rose-covered arch makes a delightful and inviting garden entrance. Unlike shrub roses, climbing roses form extra-long flowering canes that must be tied to supports to stay upright.
Jardin Rose Arch: This classic and affordable arch features a simple, understated design that showcases your climbing plants. Made from powder-coated tubular steel with antiqued finish, it's a generous 52" wide by 22" deep by 96" H installed.
Rosedale Arch: Create a grand entrance with this beautiful and exceptionally weather-resistant arch, made of Western red cedar. This pergola-style arch lets you choose the width—36, 42 or 48 inches. It can be left to weather naturally, painted or stained.
Gold Leaf Tough Touch Gloves
Rose Thorn Stripper
Gold Leaf Tough Touch™ Gloves protect hands, wrists and forearms and keeps them warm and dry — even in the thorniest situations. Made with premium deerskin leather that has been specially treated for water resistance, with a thin lining that offers additional protection, they're perfect for your toughest gardening tasks. These close-fitting gloves offer superior dexterity and all-day comfort.
The cleverly designed Rose Thorn Stripper lets you effortlessly remove thorns from rose stems so you can arrange cut flowers without pricked fingers. Simply wrap the blades around a stem and pull down to remove thorns and leaves.
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