Winchester Cathedral roses were first discovered in 1988 in the United Kingdom by David Austin. David is one of the world’s most recognized names in rose hybridization. You will find his many wonderful creations in gardens around the world. This particular rose was discovered as a sport of the rose Mary Rose. This white rose produces small blooms that average just over 2 inches in diameter and they will have a subtle sweet fragrance.
The blooms on the rose Winchester Cathedral will start off white but they have a tendency to turn to light shades of pink over time. The blooms will also be very full with as many as 80 petals each. The plant itself will stay fairly compact, reaching a height of about 4 feet tall with a width out to about 4 feet across at full maturity. The rose Winchester Cathedral is a hardy and vigorous grower that is well suited to a spot in your garden, or in a container on your porch or patio. This rose does nicely in zones 5 through 10.
Growing the rose Winchester Cathedral is not all that difficult and if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you should not find this one to be much of a challenge. The most important decision that you will make in the life of your roses is where in the garden you ultimately decide to plant them. you will find that roses need a lot of sun light if you want them to perform at their best and this one is no exception. So try and find a spot in your garden that gets at least 6 hours each day of full sun, but more is preferable.
You also will need to grow your Winchester Cathedral roses in soil that drains very well. This is very easy to do but it is also one of the most overlooked aspects of rose growing. If you do not grow your roses in soil that drains very well, you will usually discover that the roses will underperform, and they often will become sick and unhealthy and prone to disease. Your local garden center most likely carries a range of soil mixes, some of which should be designed specifically for growing roses. In the long run your rose Winchester Cathedral will thank you for it.
Getting your rose Winchester Cathedral into the ground is not tough and most growers can get this job done very well with just a few basic hand tools. How you go about planting your roses however depends a little bit on how you purchased them. If you bought your roses locally, then they probably already came planted in a container. These are the easiest roses to plant. Dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container and equally as deep. This will give you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix while keeping the bud union at its original depth.
If you bought your Winchester Cathedral roses online, then they may have shipped them to you as bareroot plants, which is very common. You should first soak the roots of 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 allow you to set the plant on top of a mound of soil while keeping the bud union no more than an inch or so below the surface of the soil.
Once you have the rose Winchester Cathedral set in place on top of the mound, spread the roots out in all directions and then back fill the hole only halfway to start, using your soil mix. Take the garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows all over the roots like mud, then you can finish filling the hole the rest of the way. Give the soil one more heavy watering and top off any final settling that might occur, but do not tamp down the soil. This method should make sure that you don’t get any air pockets around the roots.
Taking care of the rose Winchester Cathedral is a straight forward matter and once again, any past experience you may have growing roses will sure come in handy here as well. You will need to make sure that you provide your roses with enough water and nutrients, while being careful not to overdo it. For most climates this usually amounts to one deep watering per week. If your region is hot or dry, then you should check on your roses every couple of days just to be safe.
You should also consider giving your Winchester Cathedral roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the spring when the leaves start to open. This will help get them off to a great start. Like most of David’s roses, this one is also a repeat bloomer, which means it would benefit from additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will give my roses a second feeding right after the first big bloom, with a third feeding sometime around midsummer to encourage late season flushes. Your rose Winchester Cathedral should do very well on this schedule also.
You should prune the rose Winchester Cathedral in the late winter or early spring, whenever the weather in your region begins to warm, but before the leaves start opening up. This makes pruning so much easier on you and the plant. Start by taking out all the dead and discolored wood from the plant and set your cuttings aside. Next, prune back any overlapping lateral canes so they do not 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 clean up around the base of your Winchester Cathedral roses to get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that often collect around your roses. Throw all of this material away in the trash along with your cuttings. Never allow dead matter to gather around your roses or it can turn into a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Winchester Cathedral a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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