By Linda Cranfill, Master Gardener
Last spring the Permian Basin saw an amazing rose bloom due to the mild winter. Consider adding roses to your landscape this year. Roses now being produced for the public market are easy to grow and have easy care. Some are drought tolerant and bloom more than once a year. They also live in companionship with a great many perennials and annuals so that you can have color all summer and fall with a little planning.
First to consider is the location of the rose. Roses in West Texas do best with morning sun and some afternoon shade. Some can do well in full sun. Many grow in containers with great success. It all depends upon the rose you select. Soil can be amended, but if you select a rose that does not grow well with our slightly alkaline water, then you must use rainwater or O.R. to get good results.
The Permian Basin Master Gardeners will have our plant sale April 29, and we will be offering a selection of roses that will grow in this area. We will do the research for you. All our roses are “grown on their own root” which means no sucker roots coming up from below the graft, and they produce a stronger, healthier root system for the plant.
We will offer a few roses that can be grown in containers or be used for a front border, plus a variety of roses that grow from 3-4 feet and roses that grown up to 6 feet. There will be some Earth-Kind, drift and climber and shrub roses. We look for roses that are drought tolerant, disease resistant, and mid to low level of water required. No rose can exist without water, but there are some that can do well with low water once established. Water will be required to get it established.
If you are interested in growing roses you need to become familiar with the types of roses. There are Drift, Floribunda, Grandiflora, Hybrid Teas, Miniatures, Climbers and Knock-Out. An Earth-Kind rose is designated by A & M Extension after extensive research in various soil types and locations. It may be any of the above roses if they meet the standards of Earth-Kind. Knock-out is a patient rose.
Before you head to the store to buy a rose you need to decide what type you require. Most people today want an easy care, no fuss rose that will provide beautiful blooms several times a season. If that is the case, I recommend a Grandiflora or Floribunda shrub rose. Beware that no rose has continuous bloom. Most have a mass of bloom with a period of rest, then bloom again. Weather, water and soil conditions can affect the bloom also.
Come see us at the Permian Basin Master Gardener sale April 29th, and we will help you pick a rose or several. With each rose purchase we provide a planting and care guide to help you throughout the year. We will also have a list of those perennial and annuals that thrive in the same bed with roses.
Most roses take at least one year to establish, some 2 years depending upon weather, water and soil conditions. If you don’t get in a hurry, you can have beautiful roses in your landscape for many years.