History of Memorial Day Roses:
The hybrid tea rose Memorial Day was first bred in 2001 in the United States by Tom Carruth and it was later introduced to market by Week’s Roses. Tom is a world renowned rose breeder who is credited with numerous varieties including the Betty Boop, Fourth of July, and perhaps most famously, the Scentimental rose. This variety was created by crossing the hybrid tea roses Blueberry Hill and New Zealand. The result is a classic pink rose that produces a strong damask fragrance.
Memorial Day roses will stay somewhat compact, even at full maturity, only growing to about 4 feet tall or so. The blooms will be typical for a hybrid tea, reaching diameters of around 5 inches across. They will be very full blooms with as many as 40 petals or so each and like most hybrid teas, this variety will bloom repeatedly over the growing season. The rose Memorial Day is often grown for cut flower arrangements and its short growth habit makes it especially suited for container growing.
Growing Memorial Day Roses:
Growing the rose Memorial Day is rather straight forward and if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you won’t find this variety any more or less difficult. The biggest choice you have to make in the life of your roses is where in the garden you will grow them. Roses in general will need a lot of sun light if you want them to perform well. The rose Memorial Day is no exception. Try to find a growing location that gets no less than 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light.
You also should select a location for your Memorial Day roses that is subjected to the natural air currents through your garden. Many newer growers think this is a problem but the reality is moving air helps keep the leaves of your plant dry and therefore, the overall plant healthier. You also are going to want to grow your roses in soil that drains well. This isn’t a big concern if you are growing your rose Memorial Day in a container, but it is important if you are growing it in the garden. There are numerous soil mixes available commercially that this is a very easy fix for any soil type you may have.
Planting Memorial Day Roses:
Getting your rose Memorial Day into the ground is not a difficult task and most folks can get the job done with a few basic hand tools. If you bought your rose from a local nursery, then chances are they already had it planted in a container for you. These are the easiest to get into the ground. Dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container and equally as deep. This will keep the bud union at the same depth while giving you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix.
If you bought your Memorial Day roses from an online supplier, then they may have shipped them to you as bareroot plants. These are not difficult to plant either however you should soak these 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 two below the surface of the soil.
Once you have your rose Memorial Day 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 the garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows 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 occur. This method should ensure that no air pockets have formed around the roots of your rose.
If your weather is hot around planting time, you may want to mound up some fresh mulch around the exposed canes until new growth has formed. This will help prevent the canes from drying out and you can then remove the mulch back to ground level then.
Caring for Memorial Day Roses:
Taking care of your rose Memorial Day is an easy task and once again, if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you most likely already have this part well in hand. You will need to provide your roses with ample water, while taking care not to overdo it. For most mild climates this amounts to one deep watering every week. If your climate is unusually hot or dry, then you should check on your roses every couple of days.
You also should provide your Memorial Day roses with a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the spring time to help give them a good jump on the season. Like most hybrid tea roses, this one is also a repeat bloomer and it will benefit from additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I typically will give my roses their second feeding right after the first big bloom, and then a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer to encourage additional flushes. Your rose Memorial Day will do well on this schedule also.
Pruning Memorial Day Roses:
You should prune your rose Memorial Day in the very early spring before the leaves begin to form. Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant. Next, prune back any overlapping lateral canes as these will compete for sun light once 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 best time to rake up around the base of your Memorial Day roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that sometimes collects there. Throw away all of this material in the trash along with your cuttings. Never let decaying matter lay around your roses. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Memorial Day a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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