Roses are used as cut flowers, screens, borders, containers, hedges, ground cover, wall cover, and of course, as specimen plants in the landscape. There are literally thousands of rose types. Bloom color, bloom shape, foliage, size, fragrance and plant shape are all things to look at when shopping for roses. This guide will help you sort through all the varieties of roses.
Bareroot - dormant plants sold in fall, winter or early spring.
Bud - the beginning of a new flower or leaf.
Bud union - the point where the rootstock is grafted to the flowering variety. The bud union can be seen as an enlarged area at the base of the plant, whether purchased as bareroot or in a container. The bud union is also used as a gauge to mark planting depth.
Cane - stem from the base of plant that supports foliage and flowers.
Deadhead - to remove flowers after blooming. Deadheading sends energy to new flowers, not seeds.
Disbud - to remove smaller side buds on a stem to invigorate the main bud at the end of the stem.
Grade - Bareroot roses are graded according to the quality of their growth. Grades also designate the future size and productivity of the rose. The numerical grades are established by the American Association of Nurserymen and should be noted on the plant tag.
The three grades are:
Graft - to join a scion (top part or stem) with a stock (bottom part or a stem with roots) to create a new plant.
Hip - seed pod that forms from a spent blossom. Hips provide another bit of interest in fall after the blooms have gone.
Hybrid - created by crossing two different plants to combine their most desirable characteristics. Roses are hybridized to create new colors, increase disease resistance, improve fragrance, and manipulate size.
Own root - the entire plant is of the same variety (not grafted).
Rootstock - hybrid roses are grafted onto a host set of roots. The rootstock is selected for strength and hardiness. The roses that bloom from a rootstock are not the most desirable for most rose gardeners.
Sucker - a stem that grows out and up from the rootstock (therefore not from the grafted variety). Usually coming up from under ground level, it's highly recommended that they be removed so that the plants energy is directed to the desired plant.
Since roses adapt to planting in-ground, in containers, or even in hanging baskets, they serve many purposes in the home landscape. When you go shopping at the garden center, nursery or catalog, you're going to want one of each. So before you bring them all home:
Roses are susceptible to bugs and disease as most plants are. But roses are hardier than many people think. As with any plant the proper environment and care is critical. Give them:
One more piece of advice - you'll probably get hooked, so buy a comprehensive rose guide and join a rose society so you can share your new passion with others.