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Suggestion for newbie?

Posted by keilamarie z5 Mass (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 29, 08 at 9:19

Good morning,

I have made it a practice to never use harmful chemicals so I have always steered clear of roses. Last year my darling hubby bought me a rose bush. Bless his heart it was dead, lol. I didn't want to hurt his feelings so I planted it anyway. I came alive then got all black (the canes that is) and shriveled and died. I kind of expected that, but it was still romantic. Now I WANT roses, lol....

Is there a nice rose that is good for beginners and has a better chance of survival without using toxic chemicals? I feed every kind of wildlife so organic rose gardening is what I'm after. Color, height, fragrance...none of that matters to me, I love all roses. I just don't have the room right now for climbers.

Any suggestions would be great.

Thank you,


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Suggestion for newbie?

I have had the best success with the antique once-blooming old garden roses and rugosa roses. You'll have to avoid the hybrid teas and the David Austin English roses. Unfortunately, these are the only kinds sold at most garden centers. Most people order. This spring I ordered a few roses from North Creek Farm in Maine. She specializes in rugosas but also sells healthy old garden roses. The Helpmefind roses website is good for pictures.

This forum is kinda dead, so you might want to check the very friendly Antique Rose Forum, there are some organic gardeners there.

Good Luck

RE: Suggestion for newbie?

check both the Antique Rose and the regular Roses Forums. You have to be concerned with hardiness. I know there are a few members who live in zone 5 and have disease resistant plants. I would make the subject "Disease Resistant in Z5", that will get responses! Good luck!

RE: Suggestion for newbie?

Thank you both very much.....

RE: Suggestion for newbie?

My rose garden is organic and I grow a variety of roses. The Austins are my favorites, and in my garden setting have been easy to grow.

I've found that Antique Roses are easy to grow. Marchesa Boccella is a wonderful Damask Perpetual with heavenly fragrance.

Hybrid Perpetual and Bourbons, also are wonderful to grow.

Rugosas are lovely with a clove scent.

RE: Suggestion for newbie?

Hi there,

I have two, soon to be five, David Austin roses. A David Austin rose was my first rose, Tradescant, which is nine years old. I also have Heritage, which is going on 6 years old. (Three new DAs arrived today: Jude the Obscure, Lady Emma Hamilton, and Charles Mackintosh.)I also have a rugosa, a William Baffin (climber), and three teas or floribunda (can't remember): Honor, Cherish, and Melody Perfume.

All of the roses are taken care of organically. My rugosa is the most troublesome: it develops powerdery mildew in August just about every year. I simply prune at the first sign, and it keeps thriving and blooming.

My Austins have been very easy to take care of and their smell is, to me, just heavenly, which is why I'm so excited about my three newbies. Also, they bloom two and three times each summer. Heritage has even put on a fourth bloom a couple of years. I do very little for winter care. I mound up some mulched up leaves and compost in November. All are planted with the bud union 3-4 inches beneath the ground.

I like my teas/floribundas/whatever because of what they represent. They were anniversary presents (different years) meant to represent vows (love, honor, cherish --love died in the garden lol) and my husband is a musician (melody perfume). However, they are not very interesting, to me, in comparison to the shape, fragrance, and color (leaves and blooms) of the DAs and the rugosa.

The thing I liked least about the organic care was squishing caterpillars, aphids do not bother me. However, we are now trying to encourage more butterflies and hummingbirds, so I am simply relocating the caterpillars I find -- unless they are gypsy moth caterpillars.

Reading around these forums and getting some books on roses and organic care of roses is helpful, too, for me. :)I've been doing lots of reading around here about planting bare root roses in the past few weeks!


RE: Suggestion for newbie?

As with any other organic gardening reason the place to start with your roses is your soil, get that into a good, healthy condition and your plants, no matter what they are, will grow strong and healthy. Do not plant anything until the soil has been made into that good and healthy condition or you will have problems.
Start your soil improvement program with a good, reliable soil test from your University of Massachusetts USDA Cooperative Extension Service.

Here is a link that might be useful: UMASS CES

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