Mary Magdalene roses were first bred in 1998 in the United Kingdom by David Austin. David Austin is a premier rose breeder that is known worldwide. His many beautiful creations are sold in most of the major countries and few rose lovers have not heard of his work. This particular rose was the result of an unnamed pairing and the blooms on this rose are a soft pink with darker centers. The blooms on the rose Mary Magdalene will grow to an average diameter of about 3.5 inches across and they will have a subtle tea fragrance.
The rose Mary Magdalene will grow to a height of about 3 feet tall at full maturity, with a width of about the same. The blooms on this rose will be very full, having upwards of 50 petals each! Like most of David Austin’s roses, this one is also a repeat bloomer so with proper care it will reward you with plenty of blooms to last much of the growing season.
Growing the rose Mary Magdalene is not all that hard and if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you should not find this variety to be terribly difficult. One of the biggest decisions you will make in the life of your roses is where in your garden you choose to grow them. Roses require a lot of sun light if you want them to perform well and this variety is no exception. Try to select a location that gets at least 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light. If you can offer them more, then that is even better.
You also will need to grow your Mary Magdalene roses in soil that drains very well. This is not a tough thing to accomplish but I often see growers make this harder than it really needs to be. If you are unsure about the quality of your soil, take a trip to your local garden center and pick up a few bags of soil mix that is designed for roses. All the guesswork is then already done for you and you can grow your roses in that. Your rose Mary Magdalene will thank you for it.
Getting your rose Mary Magdalene into the ground is pretty simple and most growers can get the job done pretty easily with just a few basic hand tools. How you go about planting roses does depend a little bit on how you originally purchased them. If you bought your rose from a local nursery, then chances are it was already planted in a container and ready to bloom. These are the easiest roses to plant. Dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container they came in, and equally as deep. This will keep the bud union at its original planting depth while giving you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix.
If you bought your Mary Magdalene roses online, then they may have shipped them to you as bare root plants which is not uncommon. For these you should first soak the roots overnight in a bucket of room temperature 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 or so below the surface.
Once you have your rose Mary Magdalene 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 the 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 top off any final settling but do not tamp down the soil around the roots. This method should make sure that you aren’t getting any air pockets under the soil and around the roots.
Taking care of the rose Mary Magdalene is pretty straight forward and once again, any past experience you may have growing roses will definitely come in handy here as well. You will need to make sure that you are providing your roses with ample water and nutrients, while being careful not to overdo it. For most climates this amounts to about one deep watering per week. If you are in a very hot or dry climate, then you might need to check on your roses every 4 to 5 days.
You also should consider giving your Mary Magdalene roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the very early spring when the leaves begin to open. This will give you a great start on the growing season. Like most repeat bloomers, this one will also benefit nicely from a few additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will usually give my roses their second feeding as soon as they have finished the first bloom, and then I will give them a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer to encourage late season flushes. Your rose Mary Magdalene should do nicely on this feeding schedule also.
You should prune your rose Mary Magdalene in the very early spring when you feel the weather start to warm, but before the leaves have started to open. 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 so these are not competing for sun light later on. 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 Mary Magdalene roses and get rid of any debris that may have collected there. Throw this material away in the trash along with your cuttings. Never let dead matter lay around your roses for it can easily turn into a breeding ground for many pests and diseases. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Mary Magdalene a fresh layer of mulch to start off the season.
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