Delicately scented, intensely colored and impressively beautiful – roses have been called the “queens of flowers” since ancient times. No other tree group even comes close to the importance of this popular plant, of which over 100 species are grouped together within the genus “Rosa” from the rose family. Bed roses, which grow very compact and bushy and reach a height of up to 100 cm, are particularly popular. These variants are decorative splashes of color within beds or borders and have a rich color spectrum. The color palette ranges from white to pink, through red, yellow and violet. If the shrubs receive optimal care and regular pruning, the royal flower can be cultivated in any garden.
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Diversity of varieties – overview
Bed roses are available in a wide range. In order to make it easier to decide on the right variety, you should first consider which criteria are particularly important to you personally. For example, if long flowering times play a role, varieties such as “Pastella” or “Yellow Meilove” have proven themselves. The former rose develops flowers that are creamy white to pink in color. This rose is particularly suitable if there are already purple perennials in the garden. With a height of up to 60cm, it fits into any normal-sized bed.
If only a particularly small bed of roses can be cultivated, the “Yellow Meilove” variety is suitable; the plant develops light yellow flowers and can also be used as ground cover due to its short height.
If, on the other hand, the focus when planting roses is on the scent, the varieties should be selected particularly carefully, since bed roses are generally less inclined to develop a scent. However, the “Marie Curie” variety, for example, exudes a fresh and fruity aroma. This rose, which has double golden-yellow flowers, goes particularly well with white-flowered perennials. On the other hand, the fragrant rose “Amber Queen” presents itself as a particularly noble plant within group plantings, which also tolerates heat well.
In some gardens there are not enough sunny areas for planting roses. In this case, roses that also thrive in semi-shade are suitable:
- “Amulet”: well-filled flowers, reminiscent of dahlias; can also be used as a high trunk
- “Stadt Eltville”: large, red flowers
- “Vinesse”: apricot-colored to pink flowers; forming small rosehips in autumn
- “Easy Going”: golden yellow flowers
Some varieties are also characterized by their extreme rain resistance. Despite frequent rainfall, the roses do not tend to stick together or rot. A good example is “Rosenfee”, a variant with well-filled flowers and a delicate fragrance. This still relatively new variety reaches a height of up to 70 cm and looks very decorative, especially in combination with gypsophila. The weather-resistant and at the same time richly flowering varieties also include “Fortuna”, which is well suited for single use. Basically, double rose varieties are more susceptible to rain. Exceptions are bed roses such as “Goldelse”, “Leonardo da Vinci” and “Rosenfee”.
In addition to very rain-resistant varieties, extremely heat-tolerant varieties are also available. This aspect is particularly important if a lot of value is placed on a lasting color intensity, because conventional varieties tend to fade in high heat. However, some floribunda can also be cultivated at persistently high temperatures:
- “Alea”: bright pink, flowers only in mid-summer
- “Friesia”: delicate fragrance, variable flower colors
- “Innocencia”: white flowers, can be combined well with light yellow perennials
- “Bonica 82”: light pink, particularly rich
Suitable location and optimal soil conditions
Bed roses prefer sunny locations. The delicate plant can only fully develop its splendor with sufficient light. Only a few varieties also thrive in semi-shade. The planting place should also always be airy, but not draughty; air movement is important so that leaves moistened by dew and rain dry quickly. In this way, the risk of disease infestation is significantly reduced. When choosing the right location, the decorative aspect should also be considered. In the immediate vicinity of gypsophila, the plant looks particularly noble; the combination with broom, lupine or lavender has also proven beneficial.
In order to offer optimal growth conditions, the composition of the substrate also plays a role. The soil used should have certain properties:
- rich in nutrients
- medium texture
Caring for rose bushes properly
Roses are deep-rooted; For this reason, watering is only necessary if the drought persists. In the case of bed roses, there is an increased need for nutrients; in autumn, therefore, fertilize with plenty of compost. It has proven useful to additionally apply fertilizer in the spring. In order for the bed roses to remain vital and vigorous for many years, a targeted pruning is necessary, which is best done in spring. During the summer months, only withered parts of the plant are removed. One or two of the underlying leaves are removed, even if they are fully developed. Roses cultivated in the garden need winter protection. The finishing point proves to be particularly sensitive to frost. For optimal overwintering, a mixture of loose soil, mature compost or bark mulch is applied around the roses in late autumn. The cluster should reach a height of 20cm. Additional protection is achieved if spruce branches are placed loosely around the bushes.
Carry out pruning of roses in a targeted manner
Spring is the best time to cut back the bed roses. Pruning can be done at the same time that winter protection is removed. In the spring, certain shoots are first removed from the bush. The following parts are separated:
- dead and frozen shoots
- weak shoots
- Shoots that are too close together
- clearly outdated
The shoots are removed close to the ground. At least four and a maximum of eight shoots are left on the sticks, which are cut back quite radically to a height of 20 to 30 cm and four eyes. Weakly growing shoots must be removed particularly strongly. With these, only two or three eyes remain. This measure stimulates the shoots to sprout long and strong stems. With shoots that grow very strongly, you can leave six eyes. Dwarf varieties of bed roses are pruned according to the same principle. However, such varieties are only cut back by about a third.
If, on the other hand, rose bushes are cut back heavily in autumn or winter, there is a risk that the shortened bush structure will be further reduced by the frost. However, the inflorescences that have already faded can be removed during the autumn months. The shoots are also cut back to a length of about 60cm. This measure makes both working in the bed and piling up easier.
When planting rose bushes, care should be taken to use high-quality starting material. Different variations are available:
- bare root goods (watering required before planting)
- Container goods (can be used without preparation)
- Grade A roses: well-developed roots, at least three strong shoots
- Grade B roses: two strong shoots are sufficient
When buying, you should pay special attention to the health of the shrubs and robustness. Particularly high-quality rose bushes are marked with the addition ADR (= General German Rose Novelty Test).
The best time to plant roses is October and November. Alternatively, spring planting is possible from mid-March to May. Roses should be planted in spring, especially in rough locations. Before the rose bushes are planted, the soil is thoroughly loosened and, if necessary, treated with gravel or sand. Bare root crops must be properly prepared before planting. For this purpose, the plant is placed in a bucket filled with water overnight. When planting in spring, the duration of the water bath is extended to 24 hours. In addition, bare-root goods receive a plant cut. Container goods, on the other hand, can be planted completely unprepared. Depending on the growth behavior of the rose, you should keep a sufficient distance to neighboring plants. A distance is ideal
The propagation of bed roses is best done by cuttings. For this purpose, a rose shoot is first required, which can either be taken from a garden plant or already from a cut rose. The shoot should be cut with a total of five eyes. Any flowers must be removed, leaving a well-developed leaf at the top. After a short bath in water, the cutting is placed in partial shade, with 10 percent of the plant still sticking out of the ground. For optimal development, an empty jam jar is placed over the cutting. Watering should be done right after planting; the area around the cutting must also be kept sufficiently moist in the following period. Mulch, brushwood or frost protection fleece are suitable as winter protection for the shoot.
Varieties are usually grafted onto rootstock of wild roses. For many passionate hobby gardeners, grafting roses is a real challenge that requires a certain amount of experience.
Diseases and pests – effective control
One of the common diseases that roses often suffer from is powdery mildew. The harmful fungus causes a floury white coating on leaves, shoots and buds. It is best fought with a fungicide containing lecithin. Rose rust presents itself as a special rose disease. An infestation is easily recognizable by the characteristic symptoms:
- yellowish to reddish spots on the upper side of the leaves from May
- initially reddish to yellow, later reddish-brown pustules on the underside of the leaf
- premature leaf drop
A fungicide that can also be used against powdery mildew is the best way to combat it. Various preventive measures help; Regular cutting and thinning out of the roses, balanced fertilization with a focus on potassium, careful removal of fallen leaves in autumn, use of plant strengtheners such as horsetail broth and avoiding evening watering are particularly effective.
The rose sawfly is a common pest on rose plants, and its larvae cause typical window damage in summer. Here, only the leaf veins remain on the plants, which appear skeletal. Often only the outer skin of the leaves remains, which appears like parchment paper. In order to contain an infestation, the larvae should be collected and destroyed in a targeted manner. In the case of severe infestation, the use of a targeted insecticide has proven itself.
Chemical control is often also necessary if the plant is attacked by the rose shoot borer. The sawfly lays its eggs on the tips of the shoots; the larvae eat their way through the shoots after hatching. These begin to wither and eventually wither. In addition to treatment with an insecticide, targeted pruning can help, which should be done right into the healthy wood.
Roses should not be missing in any garden. If you pay attention to the good quality of the plants when you buy them, then move the plant to an optimal location and cut it regularly, the cultivation is also suitable for beginners. However, the propagation of roses by grafting should be carried out exclusively by advanced gardeners.