History of Queen Elizabeth Roses:
The hybrid tea rose Queen Elizabeth was first bred in 1954 in the United States by Dr Walter Lammerts and it was later introduced to market by the Germain Seed & Plant Co. Dr Lammerts was a very popular rose breeder in the 1940’s and 50’s who was based out of California. This variety was created by crossing the rose Charlotte Armstrong with the Floradora rose. The result is a classic pink hybrid tea rose that has a subtle fragrance.
The blooms on Queen Elizabeth roses will somewhat on the smaller size for a hybrid tea, being about 4 inches or so in diameter but they will be fairly full with as many as 40 petals per bloom. The blooms will tend to form in small clusters around the plant and like most hybrid tea roses, this one is also a repeat bloomer. The rose Queen Elizabeth will grow very tall and reach heights anywhere from 5 to 10 feet tall with a fairly narrow width of about 3 feet across. This rose is both a vigorous grower and very resistant to diseases.
Growing Queen Elizabeth Roses:
Growing the rose Queen Elizabeth is not a difficult job and if you have any prior experience growing different types of roses, then you won’t find this one very challenging. If you are new to growing roses then there are a few factors you need to consider. The biggest choice you will make in the life of your roses is where in the garden you grow them. Roses typically will need a lot of sun light if you want them to perform well and this one is no exception. Try to find a location that gets at least 6 to 8 hours a day of direct sun.
You also will need to grow your Queen Elizabeth roses in soil that drains well. This is not very hard to accommodate these days as there are a wide variety of soil mixes available commercially at most garden centers. Just pick the one you prefer and mix it into your garden soil. Another factor that I see many growers overlook is exposing your rose Queen Elizabeth to the natural air currents in your garden. This actually is very beneficial to the plant and will go a long way towards keeping the leaves dry, especially after the morning dew.
Planting Queen Elizabeth Roses:
Planting the rose Queen Elizabeth is a pretty straight forward task and most people can get the job done rather easily with just a few basic hand tools. If you bought your rose from a local nursery, then more than likely it was already planted in a container for you and ready to bloom. These are the easiest to plant. Dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container, and equally as deep. This will give you ample room around the roots for your soil mix while still keeping the bud union at its current depth.
If you bought your Queen Elizabeth roses online, then there is a good chance that they shipped them to you as bareroot plants, which is not uncommon. You should first soak these overnight in a bucket of room temperature water prior to planting day to rehydrate the roots. Then dig your hole as wide as the longest roots on the plant, and deep enough to let you place the plant on top of a mound of soil while keeping the bud union about an inch or so below the surface.
Once you have your rose Queen Elizabeth set in place on the mound, start spreading the roots out in all directions 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 around the roots like mud, then you can fill the hole the rest of the way. Give the soil one more heavy watering and then 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 around planting time, you may want to mound up some fresh mulch around the exposed canes of the plant until new growth forms. This will help prevent them from drying out.
Caring for Queen Elizabeth Roses:
Taking care of the rose Queen Elizabeth is not difficult and again, any prior experience growing roses will definitely come in handy here as well. You will need to make sure that you provide your roses with ample water but take care not to overdo it. For most climates you are looking for about one deep watering per week. If you live in a hot or dry region, then you should check on your roses every couple of days to be safe.
You also should consider giving your Queen Elizabeth roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring when you see the leaves start to form. This will give them a great start to the season. Like most hybrid tea roses, this one is also a repeat bloomer so it will benefit from a few additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will usually give my roses their second feeding right after they’ve finished the first big bloom, and then a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer to help promote late season blooms. Your rose Queen Elizabeth will do well on this schedule also.
Pruning Queen Elizabeth Roses:
You should always prune the rose Queen Elizabeth in the very early spring when the weather starts to break but before the leaves begin to bud. 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 your cuttings aside. Next, prune back the 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 Queen Elizabeth roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that might have collected there from the previous growing season. 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 Queen Elizabeth a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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