History of Blaze Climbing Roses:
The Blaze rose was first bred by a grower by the name of Joseph Kallay and was introduced to the world in 1932 by Jackson & Perkins. It is a large climber, more than capable of growing up to heights of 15 feet and up in the right environment. Often considered a modern day rose, the Blaze rose is hardy down to zone 6 and can be very versatile around your home or garden.
Blaze climbing roses are often called the ideal climbing red rose and offer the grower just about everything they could ever want. Vigorous growth, romantic red flowers, and repeated flushes starting in spring and continuing on straight through until the first frost, just to name a few. There are very few people who won't be impressed by the show that the Blaze rose will offer. The leaves of the Blaze rose are a nice dark green and the blooms themselves will have only a mild fragrance, if any is noticeable at all.
Growing Blaze Climbing Roses:
Blaze climbing roses will give you their best show if you can plant them in a location that gets a lot of sunlight, at least 8 hours or more each day. The Blaze rose is one of those varieties that can do well in partial shade, it just won't bloom as profusely as it would with more sun. Blaze roses will bloom repeatedly starting in late spring provided that you prune them after they are done flowering. Blaze roses bloom on old wood so make sure you keep up with it if you would like it to keep blooming.
Blaze climbing roses tend to be somewhat resistant to rust, however many growers have noted that this variety is somewhat susceptible to blackspot. As a good rule of thumb you should try to make sure that you choose a location for your Blaze roses that has good air circulation and even more importantly, good soil drainage. Poor drainage and airflow are two of the biggest invitations to diseases among roses, so if you can resolve those two issues, then you already have a great head start on growing your roses.
Planting Blaze Climbing Roses:
Hopefully by now you've been able to select a location with the proper drainage and airflow and with a lot of sunlight during the day. All that remains is to actually start planting. Now you either got your Blaze roses as a bareroot plant or in a container. Planting them in either form is pretty straightforward, however if you have them bareroot, then you will need to dig a slightly bigger hole. Ideally you want to set the plant in and be able to spread out the roots fully without bending them or coiling them inside the hole.
You will notice when you remove your Blaze from the container, if that is how you received it, that it is probably pretty well root bound and coiled up. The plant will spread out on its own over time, but that is usually not the best way to start it off. So with a bareroot plant, you have the luxury of spreading the roots out right the first time. Dig a hole wide enough to accommodate the roots and deep enough that the bud union will sit an inch or two below the surface of the soil.
I'm a big fan of organic compost, the kind you purchase in bags at any garden center. This stuff can give just about any soil type a good boost and roses absolutely love it. Before you plant your climbing blaze roses, mix the soil you just dug out with some of the compost. Then mound up a few handfuls in the center of the hole so that the roots will angle downward a little once planted. Backfill the hole halfway with you soil mix and water thoroughly to let the soil settle around the roots. Afterwards, backfill the rest of the way and water again.
Caring for Blaze Climbing Roses:
Climbing Blaze roses are pretty big plants when fully mature so you should take care to give them a lot of growing space in your garden or if planted around your home. While they can be trained to grow in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, you may find that this is not the best variety for confined spaces. For a plant that grows 10 to 12 feet tall, try to leave 4 to 6 feet of spacing between other plants. If you are going to let it grow upwards of 15 feet tall, then 6 to 8 feet of horizontal spacing is ideal.
You can adopt a typical feeding and watering schedule for your climbing blaze roses. A good deep watering once a week is usually sufficient however if you live in a hot, dry region, you might want to consider watering every 4 to 5 days instead. Most roses are fed in early spring just as the foliage starts to develop. It is perfectly ok to adopt 3 scheduled feedings each season with the second one just as the first big bloom starts to develop, and the third at least 1 month later, usually in the middle of the summer to encourage repeat blooms.
Pruning Blaze Climbing Roses:
You are going to want to prune your Blaze climbing roses in early spring before the leaves begin to form. This makes it much easier to reach all the canes and truly shape your rose bush. Start off by removing any dead or diseased canes and remove them from the plant completely. Do not let them lay on the ground underneath. Next, trim the rose bush for shape, keeping in mind it's usually best to trim any overlapping lateral canes. Ideally you want an open center pruning that will allow as many leaves as possible to get maximum sunlight. Just make sure you don't over-prune in any given season.
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