History of Sombreuil Roses:
The true origins of the rose Sombreuil is unknown however it is believed to have been first created or discovered around 1880. This rose has a very sorted past compared to other varieties. In 1959, Melvin Wyant, a rose specialist out of Ohio introduced a rose which he named Colonial White. The ARS later determined that his rose was actually the rose Sombreuil, and since then his renaming was discarded and Wyant is credited with introducing this variety to the United States in 1959.
Sombreuil roses are climbing roses that grow 8 to 13 feet tall and produce very large and full cream colored, or white blooms, that will have as many as 60 petals each. The rose Sombreuil stays rather small compared to most other climbers, and will reach widths as wide as 5 feet across. This makes it a popular option for hedge roses, since the vertical height is easily maintained. The blooms on this rose are old fashioned and will form in the traditional rosette pattern. These blooms will only have a slight to moderate fragrance, but what this rose lacks in fragrance, it more than makes up for in beauty.
Growing Sombreuil Roses:
The rose Sombreuil is a shade tolerant rose, which means you have a great many more options available in your garden where this lovely rose can flourish. Like most shade tolerant roses however, they will almost always give a better performance if you can find them a location that gets a lot of sun light. At a minimum you should try to provide the rose Sombreuil with at least 6 to 8 hours a day of direct sun light.
Whenever possible, you should try to pick a location for your Sombreuil roses that get the full morning sun light. This will go a long way towards drying out the morning dew early on in the day, keeping the leaves dry and healthy. The rose Sombreuil should also be planted in a location where the soil drains well. Roses in general do not thrive in soil that stays constantly damp for long periods of time, and this variety is no different. Good air circulation around the leaves of the rose is also a critical factor in growing roses. Try to find a spot that is not overly sheltered from air currents through your garden.
Planting Sombreuil Roses:
You will find that planting the rose Sombreuil is not terribly difficult and just about anyone can get the job done with a few basic hand tools. The first thing I would suggest is that you take a trip to your local nursery or garden center and pick up a bag of a good organic compost. This stuff is great for planting and roses absolutely love it. When you dig your hole, mix in the compost with the loose soil at a ratio of 1 part compost for every 2 parts soil.
How you begin planting Sombreuil roses depends a little on how you purchased them. If you bought them locally then more than likely all the guess work was already done for you as the roses were probably planted in a container. These are the easiest to plant. Dig yourself a hole that is at least twice the diameter of the container it came in, and equally as deep. This will give you ample room around the root ball for your new soil mix, while still keeping the bud union at the same depth it was in the container.
If you ordered your rose Sombreuil online, then it was probably shipped to you as a bareroot plant. You should first soak the plant overnight in a bucket of lukewarm water prior to planting day, to help rehydrate the roots. Then dig a hole that is as wide as the longest roots on the plant, and deep enough to allow you to set the plant atop a mound of soil and still keep the bud union an inch or two below the surface of the soil.
Once you have your rose set in place, spread the roots outward in all directions down the sides of the mound and then back fill the hole about halfway to start using your new soil mix. Take the 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 top off any final settling hat may have occurred.
It is recommended that you mound up some soil or mulch around the exposed canes until new growth forms. Doing so will help prevent the canes from drying out while the plant is forming new roots. You can then remove the mound back to ground level.
Caring for Sombreuil Roses:
Taking care of the rose Sombreuil is a pretty simple matter and you can follow typical rose bush care guidelines. You will need to provide your roses with ample water, but making sure that you do not overwater them. A good rule of thumb is to give them one deep watering each week unless you live in a hot or dry region. If so, then you may need to step up to once every 4 to 5 days instead.
You can feed your Sombreuil roses in early spring, when the leaves start to open, with an all-purpose granular fertilizer. Since this variety is a repeat bloomer, it will benefit greatly from additional feedings throughout the course of the year. I will typically give my repeat bloomers a second dose right before the first big bloom, and then a third feeding sometime around midsummer to promote late season blooms.
Pruning Sombreuil Roses:
You should prune the rose Sombreuil in early spring, prior to the leaves starting to bud. Start by removing all the dead wood from the plant, along with any canes that look discolored from disease. Next, prune back any lateral canes that may overlap one another so these do not compete for sun light once the leaves open up. Lastly, you can give this climbing rose a light pruning for shape and to encourage new growth.
This is also a good time to clean up around the base of your climbing roses, to remove any dead leaves and debris that may have collected there from the previous season. Throw all of this material away in the trash, along with your cuttings. Never let decaying material lay around the base of your roses and never throw rose cuttings into the compost pile. Finish up by giving your roses a fresh layer of mulch.
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