History of Charles Bonnet Roses:
Also commonly called the Zephirine Drouhin rose, the rose Charles Bonnet traces its origins all the way back to France where it was first bred by Bizot in 1868. This climbing rose produces stunning pink blooms that will have a strong damask scent. The blooms will get fairly large with an average size of about 4 inches in diameter and they will have an average petal count that falls somewhere between 20 and 30 petals each.
One of the things that make Charles Bonnet roses so desirable to gardeners is the fact that this variety is near thornless, so you can probably get away with tending to it without even having to wear gloves. How great is that!? The rose Charles Bonnet will grow upwards of about 10 to 15 feet tall and you can expect it to reach out to widths of around 6 or 8 feet across. This rose has proven to be quite versatile in the garden. You can train them to grow as climbers, shrubs, and even as a hedge rose. Their strong fragrance makes them ideal for cut flowers.
Growing Charles Bonnet Roses:
The rose Charles Bonnet is a great choice for beginners because it is not only a very vigorous grower, but it is also very hardy as well. It is also somewhat tolerant of shady locations, which means the options throughout your garden are plentiful. If you want to get the most blooms out of your roses however, you should really try to find a location that gets direct sun light for at least 6 to 8 hours each day. Even varieties that can tolerate partial shade will generally produce many more blooms in full sun.
Charles Bonnet roses should also be planted in soil that drains well. One of the biggest mistakes gardeners make is planting roses in poor soil. While your plants will grow, roses can be somewhat picky about their growing conditions and the more you give them, the better they will grow for you. Soil that drains well keeps the plant healthier and allows it to dry out in between waterings. You should also plant the Charles Bonnet in a place where it is subjected to the natural air currents throughout your garden. Good airflow is essential to keeping the leaves dry and helps fend off diseases.
Planting Charles Bonnet Roses:
Planting the rose Charles Bonnet is not all that difficult, but there are a few guidelines you should consider following. Before you dig your hole, do yourself a favor and take a trip to the local garden center and pick up a bag of a good organic compost. When you dig the hole, mix the compost in with the loose soil at a ratio of 1 part compost for every 2 parts soil. This is a great mix for roses and you will be amazed at how quickly they establish themselves in their new home.
Now if you bought your Charles Bonnet roses from an online nursery, chances are they shipped them to you as bareroot plants. These can look intimidating to some gardeners but they are not tough to get started. The first thing you should do is soak your rose Charles Bonnet overnight in a bucket of lukewarm water to help rehydrate the plant. Then dig yourself a hole that is as wide as the longest roots, 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.
Set your Charles Bonnet in place atop the mound and spread the roots out in all directions, then back fill the hole about halfway with your soil mix. Take the garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows around the roots like mud. Back fill the hole the rest of the way and then give it one more heavy watering, topping off any final settling that may occur.
If you bought your rose Charles Bonnet from a local nursery, then chances are it was already established in a container. Dig yourself a hole that is at least twice the diameter of the container and equally as deep. This gives you plenty of room for your soil mix while still keeping the bud union at its original planting depth.
Caring for Charles Bonnet Roses:
Taking care of the rose Charles Bonnet is pretty easy and straight forward. The biggest consideration is keeping your roses well watered without over-watering them. Too little water and your roses won’t get their nutrients. Too much water and you run the risk of rotting the plant out from the roots. A good rule of thumb is to give roses one deep watering per week.
You should also give your Charles Bonnet a dose of a good all-purpose granular fertilizer in early spring when the leaves begin to form. Since this variety is a repeat bloomer, it will benefit greatly from additional feedings throughout the year. I will usually give a 2nd feeding after the first big bloom, and then one more around mid summer to promote more late season blooms. The rose Charles Bonnet should do well with this schedule as well.
Pruning Charles Bonnet Roses:
You should always prune your rose Charles Bonnet in early Spring before the leaves begin to bloom. This gives you plenty of room to see what you are doing. Start by removing all the dead wood, as well as any canes that are discolored. Next, start pruning back the smaller lateral canes that overlap one another as these will eventually compete with one another for sun light when the leaves finally open. Lastly, give your rose a light pruning for shape.
This is also a good time to clean up around the base of your Charles Bonnet roses. Never allow dead leaves and debris to collect around the base of your roses as these can lead to various diseases and pest infestations. Discard all this material in the trash along with your cuttings. Do not throw into the compost bin as some spores can survive all winter long only to re-infect your plants the following Spring. Finish up by giving your rose Charles Bonnet a generous layer of fresh mulch.
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