History of Fragrant Cloud Roses:
The hybrid tea rose Fragrant Cloud was first bred in 1963 in Germany by Mathias Tantau Jr. Mathias is a well known rose breeder the world over who took over the family business and spent most of his adult life breeding roses. This variety was created by crossing the hybrid tea rose Prima Ballerina with the grandiflora rose Montezuma. The result is a great pale red rose that produces big luscious blooms that average about 5 inches across and carry with them a strong citrus or fruity fragrance.
Fragrant Cloud roses will stay somewhat compact, growing upwards of about 3 to 5 feet in height. They will stay fairly narrow and only grow about 2 feet across. The blooms on this rose will have quite a few petals, numbering around 35 or so per bloom. The strong fragrance of this rose makes it a great choice if you are looking for cut flowers to bring indoors. The shorter growth habit of this rose makes it an ideal choice for growing in containers. No matter what you do with it, the rose Fragrant Cloud is sure to be an eye catcher in your garden.
Growing Fragrant Cloud Roses:
Growing the rose Fragrant Cloud is pretty straight forward and if you have prior experience growing hybrid tea roses, then you won’t find much difference here. The biggest decision you will make in the life of your roses is where you grow them. One of the biggest mistakes I see growers make is planting their roses in locations that get too much shade. Sure the plant itself will do well, but you will find that the number of blooms are limited and lackluster. Try to select a spot that gets no less than 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light.
You should also subject your Fragrant Cloud roses to a location that gets good airflow through your garden. This helps keep the leaves dry and healthy. You also will need to grow your roses in soil that drains well. If the soil stays too damp for too long, you could discover the plant is vulnerable to certain diseases, such as blackspot. A good growing mix that I’ve discovered for roses is 1 part organic compost for every 2 parts soil. Your rose Fragrant Cloud will love this mix as well.
Planting Fragrant Cloud Roses:
Getting your rose Fragrant Cloud into the ground is a pretty simple matter and if you have a little ambition and a few basic hand tools, you should have no trouble getting the job done. If you bought your rose from a local nursery, then they probably already had the plant established in a container and ready to bloom. This is very common and they are easy to plant. Dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container, and equally as deep. This keeps the bud union at the same depth, but still gives you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix.
If you bought your Fragrant Cloud roses online, then they could have shipped them to you as bareroot plants. You should first soak these overnight in a bucket of room temperature water to rehydrate the roots. Then dig your hole as wide as the longest roots, and deep enough to set the plant atop a mound of soil, while keeping the bud union no more than an inch or two below the surface.
Once you have your rose Fragrant Cloud set in place, spread the roots out in all directions around the mound and then back fill the hole halfway to start, using your soil mix. Take your garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows all around the roots like mud, then go ahead and fill the hole the rest of the way. Give it one more heavy watering and be sure to top off any final settling that may have occurred. This method should ensure that no air pockets have formed around the roots.
You also may want to mound up some fresh mulch around the exposed canes if your weather is hot after planting. This will help keep the canes from drying out until new growth has formed, at which time you can remove the mound.
Caring for Fragrant Cloud Roses:
Taking care of the rose Fragrant Cloud is pretty easy and once again, the same rose care guidelines that you have used in the past on other hybrid tea roses, will serve you here as well. You will need to make sure that you are providing your roses with enough water, while being careful not to overdo it. For most climates this amounts to one deep watering per week. If you are in a hot or dry climate, you will need to check them every couple of days.
You also should give your Fragrant Cloud roses a dose of an all-purpose granular fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves begin to form. This will give them a great start to the season. Like most other hybrid tea roses, this one is also a repeat bloomer so it will benefit from a couple additional feedings over the course of the season. I usually give my second feeding immediately after the first big bloom has finished, and then a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer. Your rose Fragrant Cloud should do very well on this schedule also.
Pruning Fragrant Cloud Roses:
You should prune your rose Fragrant Cloud in the very early spring before the leaves have started to form. This makes it easier to see what you are doing. Start by removing all of the dead and discolored canes from the plant and set the cuttings aside. Next, prune back any overlapping lateral canes so they do not compete for sun light once the leaves fully open. Lastly, cut back the remaining canes 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 Fragrant Cloud roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that may have collected there from the previous growing season. Discard all of this material in the trash along with your cuttings. Never let dead and decaying matter lay around your roses. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Fragrant Cloud a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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