Valentine’s Day … Roses … Time to Prune Roses!

Chrysler Imperial, Climbing; Oct. 2014

Chrysler Imperial, Climbing; Oct. 2014

In zone 8b, we are preparing for Spring and I’m always looking for a reason to be out in the gardens. So, with Valentine’s day here and gone, don’t forget to prune and care for the roses! Here are a few steps;

1. remove all dead stems

  • cut just below the brown/green interface where the dead, brown stem comes in contact with the healthy green tissue.
  • Use a rose cutting saw to remove large stems.
  • Remove stems that are the thickness of a wooden pencil

2. rake leaf debris and remove — to reduce the amount of any potential plant pathogens that will be splashed up onto the rose leaves during Spring rains.

3. Add compost

  • gently work into the soil area around the roots
  • add water if the soil is dry

4. Top off with mulch

5. Wait for upcoming new growth and blooms!

Rose Blooms Return with Fall Weather

With the cooler Fall weather, the roses are again blooming in the gardens. The blooms will continue until the first heavy frost or freeze.

Roses, Roses, Roses …

The roses are starting to bloom in mass, and there are so many right now! More will be added this week, but here’s a start:

  • Belinda’s Dream
  • Iceberg, Climbing
  • Little Pinky, climbing
  • Livin’ Easy
  • Nacogdoches Yellow
  • Rise n Shine
  • Seven Sisters
  • Valentine

More details will be posted for each — just wanted to get these pictures out now.



Grandma’s Yellow Rose

Nacogdoches Yellow Rose, April 22, 2014

Nacogdoches Yellow Rose, April 22, 2014

Grandma’s yellow rose is a found rose — from Nacogdoches, Texas, so it’s also called “Nacogdoches Yellow”.

I purchased two of them last year at the Antique Rose Emporium. They are both growing and have started blooming. This one (pictured above) has just a few more blooms and is just a little bit larger than the other one.

So far, these roses have good disease resistance (few issues with blackspot, but nothing major and nothing else so far) and the blooms start early here in USDA zone 8b.

Spring Colors of Rose Leaves

After Spring pruning, roses emerge with brilliant colored leaves preceding the rose flowers. My favorite? Valentine’s display of deep maroon-purple leaves that fade to khaki green followed by the final darker green color.

A few others:

  • 7-Sisters — new leaves are lime green with dark green veins and a very soft, fluffy texture; over time, inter-vein spaces darken to match the veins, the texture becomes more leathery and the texture flattens.
  • Livin’ Easy — new leaves are significantly more shiny than others in the garden; the new leaves have a touch of bronze that fades to reveal the bright green followed by a darker green without the shiny surface
  • Iceberg, Climbing — new leaves are bronze, then transition to khaki green, followed by a darker green over time.

Leaf color clearly announces that Spring has arrived and flowers will be here soon!