History of Clarissa Roses:
The miniature rose Clarissa was first bred in 1982 in the United Kingdom by the rose breeder Harkness & Co. Harkness has been breeding and selling roses for decades in the UK. Clarissa was created by crossing the Southampton rose with a Darling Flame rose. The result is an apricot colored miniature rose that produces blooms that look much like a hybrid tea rose.
Clarissa roses will grow to a height as short as 2 feet tall, or in the right conditions they could grow as tall as 4 and a half feet. The blooms will be somewhat small, only a couple inches in diameter, however they will tend to be quite full as you can see in the pictures. There is not much of a fragrance to the rose Clarissa, but like most miniature roses, this beauty is a repeat bloomer and will give you plenty of stunning roses all season long. Clarissa will thrive in zones 6 through 9.
Growing Clarissa Roses:
The rose Clarissa requires much of the same growing conditions as other roses. You will need to provide it with the proper amount of sun light if you want to get the most blooms that this rose is capable of producing. A good rule of thumb for most varieties is to provide a minimum of 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light. Clarissa will do ok in locations that get partial sun, but you will not get near as many blooms as you would otherwise; and isn’t that the point of growing roses?
You should also plant your Clarissa roses in soil that drains well and does not keep the roots soaking wet for long periods of time. Doing so can weaken the strength of the plant and make it terribly vulnerable to various pests and diseases, especially blackspot. If you are growing the rose Clarissa in a container this is very easy to resolve as you can simply select the proper potting soil. If you are growing your roses in the garden however, I would suggest amending your soil with some organic compost at a ratio of 1 part compost for every 2 parts soil. This is a great general planting mix and I have found that my roses especially love it!
Planting Clarissa Roses:
Getting the rose Clarissa into the ground is not a difficult matter and if you have a few basic hand tools and a little ambition, you can get the job done with great results. If you bought you rose from a local nursery, then there’s a good chance that it was already established in a 2 gallon container. These are the easiest to plant. Just dig the hole twice the diameter of the container and equally as deep. This gives you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix, while still keeping the bud union at its current depth.
If you bought your Clarissa roses online, then there’s a very good chance they shipped the plants to you as bareroot plants. You should first soak these overnight in a bucket of room temperature water to rehydrate the roots. Then dig yourself a hole that is as wide as the longest roots on the plant, and deep enough to allow you to set the plant atop a mound of soil and keep the bud union an inch or two below the surface of the soil.
Once you have your rose Clarissa set in place, spread the roots out in all directions around the mound and back fill the hole halfway to start. Take your garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows around the roots like mud. Then go ahead and back fill the hole the rest of the way and give it one more heavy watering, being sure to top off any final settling that may occur. You also may want to consider covering the exposed roots with some fresh mulch until new growth occurs. This will help prevent them from drying out while new roots are forming.
Caring for Clarissa Roses:
Taking care of the rose Clarissa is pretty simple and straight forward. You will need to make sure that you provide ample water without going overboard. If you are unsure about the moisture level, stick your finger into the soil at the base of the plant. If it comes out wet then you should probably wait another day or two and check it again. A typical watering schedule for roses in most climates is one deep watering every week whether by hose or by mother nature.
You should also give your Clarissa roses a dose of an all-purpose granular fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves start to form. Like most miniature roses, Clarissa is also a repeat bloomer and it will benefit greatly from a couple additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will usually give all my roses a second dose of fertilizer just after the first big blooms is done, and then a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer. The rose Clarissa will do well on this feeding schedule also.
Pruning Clarissa Roses:
You should prune your rose Clarissa in the early spring before any of the leaves start to bud out. This makes is a whole lot easier to see what you are cutting. Remove all the dead and discolored canes from the plant and set them aside. Next, prune back any lateral canes that overlap one another. Lastly, give the remaining canes a cut back about one third of their current height to encourage new growth.
This is also a great time to clean up around the base of your Clarissa roses to get rid of all the dead leaves and debris. Throw away this material in the trash, along with your cuttings. Never let decaying matter lay around your roses as they can quickly turn into breeding grounds for various pests and diseases. Finish up by giving your rose Clarissa a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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