Steven L. Abrams
Mary Lou Berger
"An equal opportunity
Summer Roses: Sweet and Simple
Gardens are not complete without a rose. Every person who sees a cut rose in a vase just naturally goes to take a whiff. Roses are idyllic. We grew up with roses blooming all summer along picket fences, vining on gazebos, and tenderly cared for by Mom.
Roses grow in South Florida year round, so choose a low-maintenance heirloom shrub rose that is easy to grow, such as a Louis Phillipe. This rose is pest and disease resistant, requires less water and fertilizer, and can be grown on its own roots.
Roses do well planted into a morning sun location, east side of the house where it gets at least six hours of sunlight. Before planting, amend the entire landscape bed where you plan to plant. Incorporate 2-4 inches of organic matter like compost or peat moss into the soil area and mulch with a layer of pine bark. Water your roses frequently early in the morning for 6 to 8 weeks to establish the shrub. The University of Florida’s formulated 8-2-12+4Mg fertilizer contains nearly 100% slow-release nitrogen, potassium and magnesium and contains quick-release micro nutrients. Apply this formulation every three months to all your landscape, trees, shrubs, groundcover, palms and roses.
You can see a wonderful array of Florida roses growing in the Mounts Botanical Garden, located at 531 North Military Trail. Visiting hours are Monday-Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. For questions about roses, please contact the Master Gardener volunteer hotline at 233-1750.
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