History of Neptune Roses:
The hybrid tea rose Neptune was first bred in the United States in 2003 by Tom Carruth of Weeks Roses. Tom is a well known breeder who is best known for his popular rose creations such as Scentimental, Fourth of July, and the Betty Boop roses. This particular rose was created by crossing a Blue Nile rose with a seed plant from the Blueberry Hill rose, and a Stephens Big Purple rose. The result is a lightly colored lavender rose that has a sweet smelling fragrance.
Neptune roses will produce blooms that can get as big as 5 inches across and they will be very full blooms, having as many as 45 or so petals per bloom. The plant itself will grow to about 5 feet tall with a 2 foot spread. It will stay somewhat slender and the canes will be armed with quite a few thorns so be sure to wear your gloves. The rose Neptune makes a great choice for cut flowers and if you dead head this rose throughout the season, you will be rewarded with several flushes over the course of the growing season.
Growing Neptune Roses:
Growing the rose Neptune is pretty straight forward and it is not unlike the other hybrid tea roses you might have around your garden. The most important choice you will make in the life of your roses is where you plant them. You should try to find a location that gets as much direct sun light as possible. While many varieties will survive just fine in partial shade, you will often find that they do not perform near as well as those planted in full sun. A good rule of thumb here is 6 to 8 hours each day.
You also should make sure that your Neptune roses are planted in soil that drains well. Roses that are grown in soil that stays damp for long periods of time tend to become prone to disease. If you are unsure about the quality of your garden soil, I suggest you take a trip to your local garden center and pick up a bag of a good brand of organic compost. Mix the compost into your garden soil at a ratio of 1 part compost for every 2 parts soil. This is a wonderful mix and your rose Neptune will love it as well.
Planting Neptune Roses:
Planting the rose Neptune is not a tough project and just about anyone can get the job done with a few basic hand tools. If you bought your rose from a local nursery, then it was probably already established in a container and ready to bloom. These are the easiest to plant. Dig the hole at least twice the diameter of the container, and equally as deep. This will keep the bud union at its current depth while giving you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix.
If you ordered your Neptune roses online, then there’s a good chance you received them as bare root plants. Planting these is not hard either, but you should first soak them overnight in a bucket of lukewarm water prior to planting day. Dig your hole as wide as the longest roots, and deep enough to allow you to set the plant atop a mound of soil and keep the bud union no more than an inch or two below the surface of the soil.
Once you set your rose Neptune in place atop the mound, spread the roots out in all directions, then 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. Give the soil one more heavy watering and be sure to top off any final settling that may occur. This method should ensure that no aur pockets have formed around the roots. You also may want to mound up some fresh mulch around the exposed caned to protect them from drying out until new growth has formed.
Caring for Neptune Roses:
Taking care of your rose Neptune is surprisingly easy and you can rest easy knowing that you can follow the same basic rose care guidelines that you may have already followed for years. You need to make sure that you provide ample water to your roses, especially right after planting. For most climates, one deep watering per week is usually sufficient however if you live in a hot or dry climate, you should check them every couple of days.
You also should give your Neptune roses a dose of a good all-purpose granular fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves start to form. This will give your roses a good start to the growing season. Since this particular variety is a repeat bloomer, it will benefit greatly from a few additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will usually give my roses a second feeding just after the first big bloom, and then a third feeding sometime around the middle of summer to promote late season blooms. Your rose Neptune will do well on this schedule as well.
Pruning Neptune Roses:
You should always prune the rose Neptune in the early spring before the leaves begin to form. This makes it much easier to see what you are doing. Start by removing all the dead and discolored canes from the plant and set them aside. Next, prune back any lateral canes that overlap one another as these will eventually 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 time to clean up around the base of your Neptune roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that may have collected there from the prior season. Throw away all of this material in the trash, along with your cuttings. Never let decaying matter lay around your roses and never through this material into the compost bin. Finish up by giving your rose Neptune a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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