Choosing what roses to buy

Friday, October 9, 2009

Choosing what roses to buy

Let't talk a little about roses on Bonsai Life blogspot.

Before you pay out good money for a rose, make sure you’re getting a premium-quality plant. It should have green shoots and smooth, well-ripened wood that doesn’t yield to the touch when pressed. Roses sold in plastic bags should have a fresh, green look to them: if they’ve been stored too long, or in excessively dry conditions, they’ll have a shriveled look and may produce shoots prematurely. If you buy roses by mail order, you obviously can’t check them before you buy, so use a reputable supplier.

roses to buy

A grade-one bare-root bush rose tree must have a minimum of two good shoots, each with the diameter of a thick pencil. The stems must look fresh, not shriveled. The roots must be fibrous and in a moist condition, with a minimum length of 10 in (25 cm). Container-grown, containerized and prepack roses must meet the same standards as hare-root plants.

Roses are sold in a number of different ways. Traditionally, growers lift them in autumn and sell them bare-rooted, either individually or in quantity (which makes them cheaper). Bare-rooted roses are often excellent value for money.

Plastic bags or boxes Sometimes roses are sold bare- rooted in plastic bags or boxes. These are packed in moss or other organic materials, and are often sprayed with a harmless wax to prevent evaporation. The roots and shoots are trimmed to fit the bag or box, but still need pruning in the spring.

A more reliable way of growing roses is to buy them containerized with their own root ball, ready for planting. These, too, are pruned ready for planting and are often covered with a thin layer of wax. Because the roots have their own root ball, they are likely to get off to a better start after planting.

Container-grown plants are even more likely to transplant well, as their roots will not be disturbed whets they are moved. Before you buy a container- grown rose, check that it has actually been grown in the pot rather than containerized, and make sure it has a well- developed root system. If it doesn’t have its own solid root ball, leave it in the pot when you plant it, and don’t remove it from the pot until the autumn.

There are obvious advantages its buying your roses from a local nursery or garden centre, especially one that you know has a good reputation. Apart from the convenience, you can easily check the quality and condition of the plants. Mail order is riskier, although you may have little choice if you want an unusual variety.


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