Bonica rose were first bred in 1981 in France by Marie-Louise Meilland and Jacques Mouchotte. Jacques is actually the only person working in the Meilland family rose breeding program, who is not actually a member of the family. He spent years studying and learning under his teacher Marie-Louise, and he has achieved worldwide acclaim. The result of this collaboration produced a wonderful pink Floribunda shrub rose. The rose Bonica is a great choice for virtually any garden project you have.
The rose Bonica will grow anywhere from 2 feet to 5 feet tall with a width as much as 6 feet across at full maturity. This is really a versatile plant that you can find a great many uses for. The blooms will be a little smaller than you might be used to on a Floribunda, only getting about 1.5 inches across. They will however form in large clusters that just cover the plant in great blooms. The blooms will have a lot of petals, up to 40 or so each, but the blooms sadly will have little to no fragrance.
Growing the rose Bonica is not at all difficult and if you have any past experience growing roses, then you should not find this variety to be all that challenging. The biggest choice you will make in the life of your roses is where in the garden you choose to grow them. Your roses are going to need a lot of sun light if you want them to perform at their best so try and select a location where they will get at least 6 to 8 hours a day of direct sun light.
You also are going to need to grow your Bonica roses in soil that drains very well. You may find that your roses will underperform of you are keeping them too wet for long periods of time. They may also become very susceptible to pests and diseases if subjected to these conditions as well. Don’t be afraid to grow your rose Bonica in a location that gets good airflow through your garden. Airflow is essential to keeping the leaves of your roses dry and healthy, and in turn, the rest of the plant will be stronger as well.
Getting your rose Bonica into the ground is not hard but how you go about planting does depend a little bit on how you purchased your rose. If you bought one locally, then more than likely they already had it established for you in a container. These are very easy to plant. Dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container and equally as deep. This will keep the bud union at its original depth while still giving you ample room around the roots for your soil mix.
If you ordered your Bonica roses online, then perhaps they shipped them to you as bareroot plants, which is not uncommon. These may look intimidating but I assure you they are not. You should first soak the roots on these overnight in a bucket of lukewarm water, prior to planting day. Then dig your hole as wide as the longest roots on the plant, 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 once planted.
Once you have your rose Bonica set in place on top of the mound, spread the roots out in all directions and then back fill the hole about halfway to start, using your soil mix. Take your garden hose and give the loose soil a very heavy watering. You want the soil to flow around the roots like mud. Afterwards, you can go ahead and back fill the hole the rest of the way. Water the soil once more and top off any final settling that may occur. Never tamp down the soil.
Taking care of the rose Bonica is pretty straight forward, and once again, if you have any oprior experience growing roses it will certainly come in handy here as well. You are going to need to make sure that your roses are getting ample water and nutrients like most plants, but with special care placed on not overdoing it. For most climates this amounts to about one deep watering per week. If your region is frequently hot and dry, then you should check on your roses every 4 to 5 days or so.
You also should consider giving your Bonica roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the very early spring when the leaves begin to bud. This will help get your roses off to a terrific start. Like most Floribundas, the rose Bonica is also a repeat bloomer so it will do nicely with a couple additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I typically will give all my roses their second feeding right after they have performed their first big bloom, and then a second feeding sometime around the middle of the summer to promote late season blooms. Your roses should do well on this schedule also.
You should prune your rose Bonica in the very early spring when the weather starts to break, but before the leaves begin to open. You will find pruning to be much easier at this time and with less shock to the plant. Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant and set your cuttings aside. Next, prune back any lateral canes that overlap one another, as these will eventually compete for sun light once the leaves have fully opened. Lastly, give the remaining canes a cut back by about one third of their current height to promote new growth.
This is also the best time to clean up around the base of your Bonica roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that may have collected there from the previous growing season. Throw all of this material away in the trash, along with your cuttings. Never let dead matter lay around your roses as it quickly turns into a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Bonica a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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