History of Charlotte Armstrong Roses:
The hybrid tea rose Charlotte Armstrong was first bred in 1940 in the United States by Dr Walter Lammerts, and later introduced to market by Armstrong Nursery. Lammerts was a well known rose breeder out of California who created a variety of roses back in the 1940’s and ‘50s. This rose was created by crossing a Crimson Glory rose with the rose Soeur Therese. The result is a large bloom deep pink hybrid tea with a very strong fragrance.
The blooms on Charlotte Armstrong roses will reach diameters of about 5 inches across and they will be somewhat full with as many as 40 petals per bloom. The plant itself will stay somewhat compact, growing a little over 4 feet tall at full maturity, with a width of about half that. The rose Charlotte Armstrong is exceptionally resistant to diseases and it will do well in zones 6 and warmer. Most often this rose is grown in traditional flower beds, or for cut flower arrangements. Its small stature makes it an ideal candidate for container growing as well.
Growing Charlotte Armstrong Roses:
Growing the rose Charlotte Armstrong is not terribly difficult and if you have any past experience growing hybrid tea roses, then you will find this one is not a challenge. The biggest decision you will make in the life of your roses is where in the garden you grow them. Roses in particular require an awful lot of sun light if you want them to perform well. I always suggest choosing a location that gets no less than 6 to 8 hours each day of direct light. If you can provide more, then all the better!
You also are going to want to subject your Charlotte Armstrong roses to the natural air currents through your garden. This is one aspect where I find a lot of growers lacking. Having good airflow around your roses helps keep the leaves dry, and the plant healthy and strong. You also should make sure that you are growing the rose Charlotte Armstrong in soil that drains well. This will help prevent the roots from rotting and also prevent certain diseases such as blackspot.
Planting Charlotte Armstrong Roses:
Getting the rose Charlotte Armstrong into the ground is really not hard and most people can get the job done with a few basic hand tools. If you found your rose at a local nursery, chances are it was already planted and ready to bloom. These are the easiest ones to get planted because the guesswork has already been done for you. Dig yourself a hole that is 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 the depth it was originally planted.
If you bought your Charlotte Armstrong roses from an online retailer, then they might have shipped them to you as bareroot plants, which is very common. You should first soak the roots of these in a bucket of room temperature water prior to planting day. Then dig your hole as wide as the longest roots on the plant, and deep enough to allow you to set the plant atop a mound of soil while keeping the bud union no more than an inch or two below the surface.
Once you have your rose Charlotte Armstrong set in place atop the mound, spread the roots out in all directions and then back fill the hole about halfway to start. Take your garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows around the roots like mud, then go ahead and fill the hole the rest of the way. Give it one more heavy watering and be sure to top off any final settling that may have occurred. This method should ensure that no air pockets have formed around the roots.
If your weather is hot or dry around planting time, you should mound up some fresh mulch around the exposed canes of the plant until new growth has formed. At that time you can remove the mound back to ground level. This should help prevent the canes from drying out.
Caring for Charlotte Armstrong Roses:
Taking care of the rose Charlotte Armstrong is pretty straight forward and once again, if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you won’t find this part hard. You will need to make sure that you are providing ample water to your roses without going overboard. For most mild climates this amounts to about one deep watering every week. If you live in a hot or dry region, then you should check on your roses every couple of days.
You also should consider giving your Charlotte Armstrong roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves begin to form. This will give your roses a great jump on the season. Like most hybrid tea roses, this one is also a repeat bloomer so it will benefit from a few additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I typically give my roses their second feeding immediately following the first big bloom, and then a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer to encourage late season blooms. Your rose Charlotte Armstrong will do well on this schedule also.
Pruning Charlotte Armstrong Roses:
You should prune your rose Charlotte Armstrong in the very early spring after the coldest weather breaks, but before the leaves begin to sprout. This makes it much easier to see what you are doing. Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant and set your cuttings aside. Next, prune back any lateral canes that overlap one another as these will eventually 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. This will help promote new growth.
This is also the time to clean up around the base of your Charlotte Armstrong roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that might have collected there from the prior growing season. Throw away all of this material in the trash, along with your cuttings. Never let decaying matter lay around your roses. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Charlotte Armstrong a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the new growing season.
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