Monday, January 21, 2013

Sweetheart Rose

I originally got this Sweetheart Rose as a cutting from my mother, who perhaps got it from her mother.It is one of the floribunda roses, producing  a spray of blooms on each flowering stalk. It has a pleasant rose fragrance  as it was breed before the breeders got the idea of meddling with fragrance. It might be 'Cecile Brunner', (introduced in France  1881) but we will never know without genetic testing which I am not going to spring for. What I do know is that it is the hardiest,most carefree rose I have grown.While not exactly immune to black spot and other fungal rose diseases, it does not require a lot of spraying and carrying on like the hybrid teas. It is thankful for some fertilizer, especially likes banana peeling at it's feet, and please a little water when it is dry. However, if it does not get water, it will struggle on alone, without your help. Like all roses it does best with some clay in it's growing media, something we have in abundance in the south. It needs to be pruned into shape at least once, maybe twice a year, depending on how vigorously it grows (prune it like any other rose, with the top bud facing outward in the direction you want it to grow).
Given time, I'm quite confident that it can develop resistance to Japanese beetles, but til then, I help it out by tapping the beetles into a can of soapy water several times a day. If I don't get there soon enough, they love those tasty buds and new growth. But never mind, the rose will still be there and ready to re-bloom as soon as the season of beetles passes.

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