Last month, the topic was how to grow beautiful roses in Florida, and now that you know how to grow these beauties, let’s uncover the best rose choices for Florida. In truth, Florida is a great region for growing thriving and prolific roses, delivering an abundance of color with their soft and unmistakable scent. And whether you are a novice to growing roses or a veteran gardener, there are roses perfect for your Florida garden.
Florida friendly roses are those suited to your landscape and typically require very little in the way of maintenance. Whether you love old garden rose varieties or the newer modern rose selections, Florida friendly roses will need little maintenance once established. While you will still need to trim and fertilize, choosing Florida friendly means less watering, fewer pests, and less chance of disease.
Rose Classification Clarified – For those new to roses, and serving as a refresher to seasoned gardeners, roses are sorted by two categories – old garden roses (aka heritage or antique) and modern roses. Heritage roses are varieties introduced prior to 1867. Roses introduced after that date are known as modern roses. Roses are then categorized into classes: old gardens like tea, China, and Bermuda Mystery and moderns like grandiflora, shrub, and hybrid tea.
Florida Rose Challenges – There are a number of challenges Florida rose gardeners face which are unlike those faced by gardeners in other parts of the country. Abundant heat, humidity, and rainfall increase the chance of diseases like Cercospora leafspot and black spot which can damage and decline in untreated rose bushes. In addition, tiny insects, known as chilli thrips enjoy feeding on both the leaves and flowers of rose bushes making them uniquely problematic in Florida.
Choosing Your Florida Friendly Roses – Your rose garden selection should consider your soil and the climate here in South Florida while also taking into consideration the diseases and insects inherent to the region. Bermuda Mystery roses are popular in Florida because they are disease and nematode resistant, and equally tolerant of heat and humidity. They have grown prolifically in Bermuda for more than 100 years and are often named for the garden’s in which they were first found on the island. A popular Bermuda Mystery rose here in Florida is called Spice which feature a peppery aroma from its continual blooms. Spice offers lovely double flowers which transform from white to pale pink and bloom year round. A smaller bush, Spice typically grows to a height and width of no more than four feet. This rose is a hearty bush though it is enjoyed by chilli thrips and prone to black spot, it is a survivor which thrives in Florida gardens.
A popular old garden rose is the tea rose known as Mrs. B. R. Cant. Presenting with a large (up to five inches) bloom, this beloved rose bush can grow up to 10 feet tall and wide. Mrs. B. R. Cant is a beautiful cut flower which offers a light fragrance in your garden and in pretty bouquets in your home. This old garden rose is not a favorite of the chilli trip and is resistant to both black spot and Cercospora leaf spot.
Among the modern roses, the Knock Out® is the favorite in Florida and across the United States for its continually blooms and its resistance to black spot. Knock Out® roses showcase single petals on large crimson flowers. These beauties bloom year round and are lovely as cut flowers. The bush grows to four feet in size and offers a deep green foliage. While Knock Out® roses are resistant to black spot, they are not unaffected by Cercospora leaf spot and chilli thrips do enjoy them.
As you add roses to your garden, don’t worry if the first year they seem to fall short of expectations. Keep them groomed and fertilized, free from pests and diseases, and soon you will have a lovely rose-filled landscape. Should you need help in choosing your roses or keeping them maintained, call on the expert team at Xtreme Landscaping to help get your garden into full-bloom!