History of New Zealand Roses:
The hybrid tea rose New Zealand was first bred New Zealand sometime prior to 1988 by Samuel McGredy IV. McGredy spent most of his adult life breeding roses and is credited with bring a large variety of them to commercial markets from his family business in New Zealand. This rose was created by crossing the Harmonie rose with the Auckland Metro rose, both of which are hybrid tea roses as well. The result is a soft pink rose that produces wonderfully large blooms that have a strong, sweet fragrance.
New Zealand roses will produce blooms that average a little bigger than other hybrid tea roses, coming in about 6 inches in diameter. The petals will be somewhat full, having as many as 35 or so petals each. The plant itself will grow to a medium size, staying between 3 and 5 feet tall with a narrow width of only about 2 feet across. This vigorous plant prefers warmer climates and does very well in zones 7 and warmer. The rose New Zealand is very resistant to diseases and it is also nearly thornless!
Growing New Zealand Roses:
Growing the rose New Zealand is not terribly difficult and if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you will find that you already should have a good handle on what to do. The biggest choice you will make in the life of your roses is where you grow them. While this particular variety is tolerant of shade, it still will not perform quite as good as it would in a full sun location. For roses in general, you should look for a location that gets no less than 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun for maximum results.
You also will want to grow your New Zealand roses in a spot that gets good air circulation through your garden. This helps keep the leaves dry and healthy. You also will need to make sure that you are growing your roses in soil that drains well. This is especially important because it helps prevent the roots from staying wet for too long and making the plant susceptible to various pests and diseases. One good option is to mix in some organic compost with your garden soil at a ratio of 1 part compost for every 2 parts soil. Your rose New Zealand will love this mix.
Planting New Zealand Roses:
Getting your rose New Zealand into the ground is rather straight forward and most people can get the job done easily with a few basic hand tools and a little ambition. If you bought your rose from an online nursery, then there is a good chance they might have sent the plant to you as a bareroot. You should first 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 let you 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 New Zealand 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 like mud around the roots. Then you can go ahead and fill the hole the rest of the way. This method should ensure that no air pockets have formed around the roots. Depending on your climate, you may need to mound up some fresh soil around the exposed canes so they don’t dry out until you start to see new growth form. You can then go ahead and remove the mound back to ground level.
If you bought your New Zealand roses from a local source, then more than likely they were already planted for you in a container. These are the easiest to get planted. Simply dig your 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.
Caring for New Zealand Roses:
Taking care of the rose New Zealand is not a difficult task, and once again you can follow the same rose care guidelines that you may have used with your other hybrid tea roses. You need to make sure that you are providing enough water to the plant, while taking care not to overdo it. For most mild climates this amounts to about one deep watering every week. If you are growing this rose in a container, or if you live in a hot or dry climate, you should check the moisture level every couple of days.
You also should give your New Zealand roses a dose of a granular, all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring when you see the leaves begin to form. 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 sometime just after the first big bloom, and then a third feeding around the middle of the summer. Your rose New Zealand should do very well on this schedule as well.
Pruning New Zealand Roses:
You should always prune your rose New Zealand in the very early spring before you see any leaves form. This makes it much easier to see what you are doing. Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant, and set these aside. Next, prune back any of the lateral canes that overlap one another as these will compete for sun light once the leaves have fully opened. 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 New Zealand roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that may have collected there. Throw away all of this material in the trash along with your cuttings. Never let dead matter lay around your roses. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose New Zealand a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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