Betty Prior roses were first bred in 1935 in the United Kingdom by D. Prior and Son. It was introduced to the commercial market several years later in the United States by Jackson & Perkins. This particular variety was created by crossing the Kirsten Poulsen rose with an unnamed seedling. The result is a pretty pink rose that produces small blooms with 5 petals each. The rose Betty Prior will bloom in large clusters and they will have a delightful, mild fragrance.
The rose Betty Prior is often grown in containers to brighten up your porch or patio, however you will also see this rose grown as a centerpiece in gardens and flower bed. The overall plant will grow anywhere between 3 to 4 feet tall and it will spread out to a width of just a bit smaller than its height. This rose is very hardy and is also tolerant of warmer temperatures. You will also find this little gem to be extremely resistant to many common diseases, which makes it a joy to grow for both new and seasoned growers alike!
Growing the rose Betty Prior is much the same as growing any other Floribunda rose and if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you should not find this variety to be much of a challenge. The biggest decision you will have to make in the life of your roses is where in the garden you choose to grow them. Roses will require a lot of sun light if you want them to perform well, and this variety is no exception. Try to select a site that gets a minimum of 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light.
You also will want to grow your Betty Prior roses in soil that drains well. Roses tend to perform very poorly if they are grown in soil that stays soaking wet for long periods of time. This is also a rather simple issue to overcome as there are a wide variety of planting soils available on the commercial market, that are mixed for roses specifically. You also should not be afraid to grow your rose Betty Prior in a location that gets good exposure to the natural air currents through your garden
Getting your rose Betty Prior into the ground is pretty simple and straight forward and most growers will have little trouble getting the job done with just a few basic hand tools. If you bought your rose from a local nursery, then more than likely they already had it planted for you in a container. These are the easiest to plant as you only need to dig a hole that is about twice the diameter of the container, and equally as deep. This gives you lots of room around the roots for your soil mix, while keeping the bud union at its original depth.
If you bought your Betty Prior roses online, then chances are they were shipped to you as bareroot plants, which is very common. These are not difficult, but you should first soak them overnight in a bucket of lukewarm water, prior to planting day. Then dig a hole that is as wide as the longest roots, and deep enough to allow you to set the plant on top of a mound of soil while keeping the bud union no more than an inch below the surface of the soil
Once you have your rose Betty Prior set in place on top of the mound, spread the roots out in all directions around the mound, and then back fill the hole about halfway to start, using your soil mix. Then take your garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows around the roots like mud, then you can go ahead and finish filling the hole the rest of the way. Give the soil one more heavy watering and be sure to top off any final settling that might occur. Do not tamp down the soil.
Taking care of the rose Betty Prior is not difficult either and once again, any prior experience you may have growing roses will certainly come in handy here as well! The biggest thing is making sure that your roses are getting enough water and nutrients, without overdoing it. For most climates, this amounts to about deep watering every week. If you live in a hot or dry climate however, you will probably need to check on your roses every 4 to 5 days.
You also should consider giving your Betty Prior roses a dose of a granular, all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves begin to sprout. This will give your roses a fast jump on the growing season. Like most Floribundas, this variety is also a repeat bloomer, so it will benefit nicely from a few additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I usually will give my roses their second feeding immediately following the first big bloom, and then a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer to encourage late season flushes. Your rose Betty Prior will do well on this feeding schedule also
You should prune your rose Betty Prior in the very early spring, after the weather starts to break but before the leaves have opened up. This makes pruning so much easier! Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant and set your cuttings aside. Next, prune back any overlapping lateral canes as these will compete with one another for sun light when the leaves fully open. Lastly, give the remaining canes a cut back by about one third of their current height, to promote new growth.
This is also the time to clean up around the base of your Betty Prior roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that may have collected there from the previous growing season. Throw away all of this material in the trash, along with your cuttings. Never let dead matter lay around your roses as it can quickly turn into a breeding ground for many pests and diseases. I always finish up my pruning by giving my roses a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season
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