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Care-free rose trees

Rose tree varieties that resist disease well

It isn’t always easy to choose the right rose trees. They all seem so healthy and magnificent at the nursery store! It helps to have a few guidelines to understand the “who’s who” of roses, especially when you try to consider their resistance to disease.

Various Quality Certification Marks describe plants to help you choose resilient rose trees. The German “ADR” standard guarantees roses that are of great beauty, with abundant flowering, and more especially that resist everything nature can throw at them: cold, diseases and rodents. You’ll find these in horticulture stores that work with the German Kordes rosarian and also the Globe Planter horticulture chain stores.

There are other Certification Marks as well, like “AARS”, that offer good products. You can also of course trust specialists on a more personal level, in nurseries or horticulture stores that have good practices but whose pockets aren’t quite deep enough to afford the expensive certification process, they also have high quality products: Michal Adam, in Liffré near Rennes in France, or the André Eve nurseries in France also, who specializes in heirloom roses, or the English rosarian David Austin

Turn your attention to the range of century-old rose trees: they have proven that they stand the test of time on the field. Even more ancient are all the wild types of dog rose: they’ve survived for millennia!

A good purchase is only the beginning…

Rose trees that are labeled to be immune to powdery mildew might still fall victim to it if you live in a particularly moist area. Remember to consider your own climate when choosing. In any case, professionals will always be happy to give a word of advice.

Once you’ve made your choice, plant your roses in a sunny spot with good air circulation. Better plant in soil that is well structured and not too moist. Leave space between neighboring plants to let the foliage breath freely.

Don’t enrich soil that is already very rich

Avoid having excess nitrogen-rich fertilizer in the soil, it will develop diseases and attract pests. Proper fertilizing means adding compost, something you should repeat every 2-3 years if the soil base is poor to begin with. Don’t add anything to rich soil.

Always mulch the base of your rose trees with dead leaves or very dry shredded branches. This mulch, as it decomposes slowly, will be enough to feed your plants. Plant perennials at their base: nepeta, lady’s mantle or perennial geranium… to attract beneficial insects that will feast on your aphids!

M.-C. H.

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