Roses are most likely to thrive when those hours of sunshine include the noon hour when the light is strongest. So finding these areas is the first step to success. “If you put a bush in the wrong place around your home or garden,” Oz advises, “you’ll be disappointed when that plant’s performance doesn’t meet your expectations.”
The next important action is undertaken when the rose is purchased. “Most people get in trouble buying beauty at the nursery,” Oz explains. Garden centers are frequently filled with many types of roses, and often these plants are budded or in bloom.
Shoppers usually fall for plants that have the type of blooms that look as if they’re fresh from the florist, but these types may not be the easiest to keep alive. “Hybrid teas are very difficult to grow and require special care,” says Oz.
Irwin agrees saying, “Picking roses that are disease magnets, such as the hybrid teas, and not taking the time to care for them is one way people can go wrong. This type of rose is also the first to die over a severe winter.”
Both rosarians agree that there are some Floribunda and Grandiflora type roses that are more problem-free than the Hybrid Teas. Grandiflora roses have shorter stems than the hybrid teas, but with similar “florist” flowers, and Floribundas have large clusters of blossoms on each branch.
Most climbing roses are even easier than those listed above, and they are naturals for growing on Cape style houses. Every gardener has his or her favorite climbers, such as the small-flowered “American Pillar” that covers many of the houses on Nantucket to the fragrant and repeat flowering “Collette.”