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Rose - Q & A


Rosa spp.

Perennial – Sun
Ht. 12” – 12’ Spread 24” – 8’
Spacing 36” – 8’


HABIT: Old roses vary from big bushes to low groundcovers to large climbing vines. They are better for landscape use than they hybrids because they are prettier plants, more fragrant and much easier to maintain. Hybrids are OK too, especially when grown under the organic program.


CULTURE: Use lots of organic material and sulphur in the bed preparation. Use the same water and fertilizer program as for your other plantings.


USES: Vines, perennial color, mass, fragrance, nostalgia, etc.


PROBLEMS: Black spot, aphids.


NOTES: Some of the easiest roses to grow include the following: Mutabilis, Lamarque, Lady Banks, Climbing Pinkie, Easy Living, Caldwell Pink, The Fairy, Marie Daly, Belinda’s Dream, Katy Road Pink, Knockout, and Ducher.




Organic Rose Program 2011

Roses are actually easy to grow and should only be grown organically since they are one of the best medicinal and culinary herbs in the world. When they are loaded with toxic pesticides and other chemicals, this use is gone, or at least, it should be. Drinking rose hip tea or using rose petals in teas or salads sprayed with synthetic poisons is a really bad idea. For best results with roses of any kind, here's the organic program that really works.


Buy and plant well-adapted roses for your area. Old roses will have the largest and most vitamin C filled hips. They are also the most fragrant and the best looking bushes for landscape use. However, any roses can be grown with this program.


Prepare rose beds by mixing the following into existing soil to form a raised bed: 6” compost, ½” lava sand, ½” of decomposed granite, 20 lbs. of dry molasses, 20 lbs. of whole ground cornmeal, 30 lbs. zeolite and 20 lbs. of sul-po-mag  per 1,000 sq. ft. Remove all the soil from the root balls and soak the bare roots in water with Garrett Juice and one of the mycorrhizal fungi products such as Bio S.I. per label directions. Spread roots out radiating from the trunk and settle the soil around plants with water. For root stimulation, Garrett Juice and Bio S.I. can be added to the soaking water or added when watering in the plants. Use the products at the same mixing rates used for spraying.


After installing the plants, cover all the soil in the beds with  ½ - 1 inch of compost or earthworm castings followed by 2 - 3" of shredded native tree trimmings mulch. Do not pile the mulch up on the stems of the roses.


If possible, save and use rainwater for irrigation. If not, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water or Garrett Juice at half spray mix rate.


Round #1:
organic fertilizer or dry molasses @ 20 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft.,  zeolite @ 40 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft. and whole cornmeal at 10 - 20 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft.

Round #2: organic fertilizer @ 20 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft., greensand @ 40 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft., soft rock phosphate or Flora Stim at 30 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft.

Round #3: organic fertilizer such as alfalfa meal @ 20 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft., and sul-po-mag @ 20 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft.


  • Apply dry granulated garlic to the soil.
  • For insect pest and disease control in general, spray roses every 30 days with Garrett Juice and garlic tea or Bio Wash.
  • For thrips, apply beneficial nematodes to the soil in early spring or when foliage begins to grow. 
  • For more information, read Texas Gardening –The Natural Way.


Roses - Transplanting

Wait until the first hard freeze, then dig the rose leaving a soil ball at least 12" in diameter and move immediately to a well-prepared bed mixing compost, lava sand, Texas greensand, dry molasses, granite sand and whole ground cornmeal into the native soil. Also apply an alfalfa-based organic fertilizer at about 15 lbs. per 1000 sq ft. 


QUESTION:  Where can I get bare root roses and is now the time to plant them?  Also, when do I trim back (the lower branches) of a Japanese black pine? H.T.C., Dallas.

ANSWER:  Many of the local nurseries have, or will soon have, bare root roses for sale. However, most would agree that planting container roses is a much better way to go. You will also have more success and less frustration by planting antique and other easy to maintain roses. They are available now and should planted as soon as possible.

QUESTION: My rosebushes have started to put out new leaves. What a strange year! Do I still prune them during February? C.J., Dallas

ANSWER: I have already done a little light pruning on my roses. It won't hurt anything; the traditional pruning time is around Valentine's Day. If the mild weather continues, roses soon will be in bloom and we'll miss the opportunity to prune.

EarthKind Roses


‘Caldwell Pink’– A compact found rose discovered in Caldwell, Texas. This is an ever-blooming variety with double lilac-pink flowers that form dense clusters. The plants have both attractive flowers and foliage. Ht x Wd: 4 x 4 ft.

‘Katy Road Pink’ – A found rose with pink semi-double fragrant blooms. The flowers are very large and impressive. Ht x Wd:  6 x 5 ft.


‘Belinda’s Dream’ – A compact shrub rose that was introduced in 1992.  Produces lots of blooms that look like a classic cut-flower rose with a petal count 100+.  Plants are tolerant of powdery mildew with some minor foliage drop in early spring to black spot. Ht. x Wd: 5 x 5 ft.


‘Sea Foam’ – A shrub rose that was introduced in 1964.  This rose grows as a trailer or mannerly climber.  The double blooms are ivory in color and fragrant. It is a vigorous grower. Ht x Wd: 3 x 6 ft.


‘Knock Out’ – A compact shrub rose with bright cherry red, semi-double blooms.  This is a very striking rose in the landscape. Plants bloom continuously from spring until frost. ‘Knock Out’ also has beautiful glossy dark green foliage. Very disease tolerant. Ht x Wd: 4 x 4 ft.


‘Mutabilis’ - A large China rose that was introduced prior to 1894. The single open blooms darken with age from yellow to orange, pink and then crimson. The multi-colored effect is beautiful in the landscape. ‘Mutabilis’ has good foliage color and resistance to powdery mildew. Ht x Wd: 6 x 6 ft.


‘Marie Daly’ – A polyantha rose that is a sport of the older variety ‘Marie Pavie’, which was introduced in 1888. The small double blooms are produced in clusters and have a sweet scent. Low incidence of powdery mildew and black spot in early spring. Ht x Wd: 3 x 3 ft.


‘Perle D’ Or’ A compact polyantha rose with peachy pink pompon blooms that are fragrant. The color is unique and plants are ever-blooming. Plants also have attractive glossy foliage. Ht. x Wd.: 4 x 4 ft.


‘The Fairy’ A polyantha rose that was introduced in 1932. This rose is a good summer bloomer.  Plants produce sprays of small, double pink blooms. Flowers tend to be a darker pink in cooler temperatures, and then fade to a pale pink in the heat of the summer. Ht x Wd: 3 x 3 ft.


‘Climbing Pinkie’ A large, vigorous polyantha rose that was introduced in 1952. A nearly thornless climber that grows with or without support. Plants produce semi-double light-pink flowers with a long blooming period. Ht X Wd: 6-7 ft shrub, 8-12 ft climber.


‘Else Poulson' - A floribunda rose with pink, semi-double blooms. Plants have a low incidence of powdery mildew in early spring. Ht x Wd: 5 x 5 ft.>


(Early publicity on the EarthKind roses also listed ‘Livin’ Easy’ and ‘Easy Going’, but these two varieties were subsequently removed from the EarthKind list.)







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