"You can’t plant roses and forget about them, because they’ll
pop up and say, ‘Here I am, look how beautiful I am," jokes
Chuck Steele, long-time garden enthusiast and rose expert. Steele,
whose roses appear below, provided several pieces of advice for the
Wisconsin gardener hoping to start a rose garden of their own. In
general, roses require approximately six hours of sunlight accompanied
by 1 inch of water per week. They should also be fertilized on a
regular basis. Some problems that commonly arise in roses include
blackspot (a fungal disease which destroys the leaves) and mildew.
These can be avoided by planting roses with enough space for air
circulation and by using systemic granules or sprays about three times
throughout the growing season.
One of the best things about roses is they bloom repeatedly.
"Roses bloom up until the first frost and sometimes after,"
says Steele. "My roses are green right up until November when I
get them ready for winter." Steele prepares his roses for
Wisconsin winters by cutting the plants back to about 12 inches,
covering them with dry leaves, and covering with a layer of plastic.
The varieties of roses offer gardeners many different colors, petal
counts, and fragrances. The roses also vary in their resistance to
disease and their uses.
Sarah Grimm, horiculturist at Boerner Botanical Gardens, details
the major differences between the varieties.
This floribunda rose, named for the composer, with its 100 petal
count, is used to create mass color in the garden. The floribunda
varieties bloom in clusters with five to seven blooms to a group. This
rose has good disease resistance.
This hybrid tea rose, named for the servicemen of WWII who received
Bronze Stars, produces a florists’ single long stem, apricot-colored
rose. It is known for its large, fragrant blooms. It has fair disease
resistance, yet it requires more winter protection in this area.
This presidential variety produces the classic, single long stem
rose. Like other hybrid tea roses it requires a greater degree of
As its name indicates the Nearly Wild has similarities with species
(wild) roses which makes it the hardiest of the bunch. It has little
to no fragrance, small, five-petaled blooms and a shrubbier growth
habit which makes it a desirable border plant.
Like other floribundas, this rose produces many blooms and shows
great overall color in the garden. This rose won the AARS award in
2006 for its disease resistance and other admirable traits.
This aptly named floribunda variety produces a unique section of
mass color with its red and white striped petals. As a floribunda its
cold hardiness falls somewhere in the middle due to the fact that
while it descends from hybrid teas it also inherits some cold
hardiness from its polyantha ancestors.
Love & Peace
This hybrid tea rose is known for its famous father, the Peace
rose. This less-hardy variety is desirable for its unique yellow and
pink petals. m