Encyclopedia Article

Rose (Rosa)

But as "Juliet" says, "What's in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."


One of the most popular garden plants, roses are both beautiful and fragrant, but can be a bit labor intensive to maintain.  To keep them prosperous, a fairly rigorous spray, fertilizer, and pruning regime usually needs to be maintained.  Some of the greatest threats to roses are mildew,  blackspot, canker, Japanese beetles, deer, and cold temperatures.  Many new hybrids are offered each year in an attempt to make a more "carefree" rose or a rose more fitted to different climates.    

Uses- A highlight in any garden setting.  Many different shapes and sizes, from small shrub-type plants to sprawling climbers that can cover a 20 foot trellis.

Bloom time- Many species bloom May-August, but depending on the climate and the type of rose, bloom times can vary quite a bit.

Flower- Flowers come in many different colors and are usually single or few in clusters.  Very fragrant.  Ranging in size from 1 inch to 3 1/2 inch diameter.

Mature Shape- Some are sprawling climbers that need to be restrained to be kept in bounds and can cover a 15 to 20 foot trellis.  

Height- Others are smaller, dense shrub type plants that stay closer to 4 feet tall.

Site Requirements- can vary with species, but generally prefers well-drained soil which has been supplemented with organic matter, sunny and open areas work best, slightly acidic soils are best.

Features- Literature reports 150 to 200 rose species, but with hybrids and cultivars, the numbers get escalated into the tens of thousands.  Know your climate and soil type well and do your research, and you should be able to find a rose that will work for you.  Then be prepared to work hard and be richly rewarded for your labors.