Charles Austin roses were first bred in 1973 in the United Kingdom by David Austin. David is a world renowned rose breeder with well over 40 years of experience in his field. He is widely regarded as one of the leading hybridizers of roses. This particular rose was created by crossing the Chaucer rose with the hybrid tea rose Aloha. The result is a very beautiful shrub rose that is part of David Austin’s English rose collection.
The rose Charles Austin will produce apricot colored blooms that average about 4 inches or so in diameter and they will have a lovely fruity fragrance that is quite pleasant. The plant itself can grow as tall as 10 feet at full maturity with a width out to around 6 feet. The rose Charles Austin is susceptible to blackspot and mildew so extra care will have to be taken regarding its growing conditions. This rose is a great choice for cut flower arrangements and it will do nicely in zones 5 through 10.
Growing the rose Charles Austin is not terribly difficult and if you have any past experience growing roses, then you should not find this one to be all that challenging. The most important thing that you will have to decide in the life of your roses is where in your garden you will ultimately grow them. Roses require a lot of sun light if you really want them to perform at their best and this one is no different. Try to select a location that gets no less than 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light.
You also will need to grow your Charles Austin roses in soil that drains very well. This is a rather simple issue to address but I am often surprised at how many growers overlook this very important aspect. If you are not sure about the quality of your garden soil, you can take a trip to your local garden center and pick up a bag of growing soil that is designed specifically for roses. Your rose Charles Austin will thank you for it!
Getting your rose Charles Austin into the ground is not hard either but it does depend a little bit on how you purchased your roses. If you bought one at a local nursery, then chances are it was already established in a container and ready to bloom. 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 Charles Austin roses online, then they may have shipped them to you as bareroot plants, which is not uncommon. You should soak the roots of these overnight in a bucket of room temperature water, prior to planting day. Then dig your hole as wide as the largest roots on the plant and deep enough to let you 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 once planted.
Once you have your rose Charles Austin 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 your garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows around the roots like mud, then you can go ahead and finish filling the hole. Give the soil one last heavy watering and be sure to top off any final settling that may occur. Do not tamp down the soil. This method of planting should make sure that you aren’t getting any air pockets around the roots of your rose.
Taking care of the rose Charles Austin is pretty straight forward 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 are providing your roses with enough water and nutrients, while taking care not to overdo it. For most climates this usually amounts to about one deep watering each week. If you live in a very hot or dry climate, then you might want to check on your roses every 4 to 5 days.
You also should consider giving your Charles Austin roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves start to open. This will give your roses a great start to the growing season. Like most of David’s creations, this one is also a repeat bloomer so it will benefit nicely from a few additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will usually give my roses their second feeding right after they have finished the first big bloom, then a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer to encourage late season flushes. Your rose Charles Austin should do nicely on this schedule also.
You should prune the rose Charles Austin in the late winter or very early spring when the weather starts to warm, but before the leaves have opened up. This makes pruning much easier. Start by removing all the dead and discolored leaves from the plant and set your cuttings aside. Next, prune back any overlapping lateral canes from the plant so that these 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 Charles Austin roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that may have collected there over the previous growing season. Throw all of this material away in the trash, along with your cuttings. Never let dead matter lay around your roses as it can turn into a breeding ground for many different pests and diseases. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Charles Austin a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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