History of Chicago Peace Roses:
The rose Chicago Peace is a hybrid tea rose that was first discovered in 1962 by Stanley Johnston in the United States. There is little documentation available about Stanley Johnston other than he is a rose breeder out of Wheaton, Illinois. The Chicago Peace is a sport of the hybrid tea Peace rose that was bred in France in 1935 by Francis Meilland. This variety was first introduced commercially in the United States by Conard-Pyle/Star Roses.
Chicago Peace roses will grow to heights of about 5 to 7 feet tall and produce extremely large pink blooms, averaging about 6 inches in diameter, which are dark around the edges and blend beautifully inward to shades of yellow and orange. Each bloom is quite full, containing upwards of 60 petals each and they carry with them a very subtle fragrance. The rose Chicago Peace is not terribly fond of colder climates however you will find it does very well in zones 7 and warmer. This rose is well suited to flower beds as well as containers, however it will require freeze protection in the spring time.
Growing Chicago Peace Roses:
The rose Chicago Peace is quite susceptible to blackspot, however there are numerous things that you can do to help minimize the threat of catching the disease. The first is to find your rose a nice sunny spot, preferably one that gets the full morning sun light to help burn away the dew quickly and dry the leaves out. Chicago Peace is a repeat bloomer so if you want to get as many blooms as possible, this is a necessity anyway. At a minimum, try to give it 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light.
You also should make sure that your Chicago Peace roses are in soil that drains well and have good exposure to air circulating through your garden. Good air circulation is a critical factor in helping to keep the leaves dry and reducing the risk of blackspot and other diseases. A proper soil mixture for your rose Chicago Peace is also essential to good plant health. Even if you think you have good garden soil, it can always be better. If you are unsure, read on to the next section where we will give you one solution for amending your soil.
Planting Chicago Peace Roses:
Planting the rose Chicago Peace is not at all difficult and you can get it done quickly and correctly with just a few hand tools. Before you do any digging however, I always suggest to gardeners that they take a trip to their local garden center and pick up a bag or two of a good organic compost. This stuff is rarely expensive and it makes a fantastic amendment to most garden soils. When you dig your hole, mix the soil in with some compost at a ratio of 2 parts soil to 1 part compost.
Now how you plant your Chicago Peace roses depends a lot on where and how you bought them. If they came from a local supplier, they were probably already planted and blooming, or ready to bloom. These are the easiest to plant and I suggest digging a hole that is at least twice the diameter of the container they came in, and equally as deep. This gives you ample room to add your new soil mix around the roots, while still keeping the bud union at the same depth it was originally planted in the container.
If you ordered your rose Chicago Peace online, they probably shipped it to you as a bareroot plant which is very common. Do not be intimidated, these are not hard to plant either, they just require a few additional steps. Start by soaking the plant overnight in a bucket of lukewarm water to rehydrate it. Then dig yourself a hole that is as wide as the longest roots, and deep enough to allow you to mound up some soil in the center of the hole, and keep the bud union an inch or two below the surface once filled.
Set your rose Chicago Peace on top of the mound and spread the roots outward in all directions, then back fill with your soil mix halfway to start. Take your garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it settles around the roots. Back fill the hole the rest of the way and give it one more heavy watering to fully settle the soil around the roots.
Caring for Chicago Peace Roses:
Taking care of your rose Chicago Peace is pretty easy. Make sure you give it adequate water but do not keep it soaked for long periods of time. One deep watering every week should be sufficient unless you live in an unusually hot or dry climate. You should also take care not to water the plant from the top down when possible as this puts excess moisture onto the leaves and makes them more vulnerable to blackspot.
Since Chicago Peace roses are repeat bloomers, you can give them several doses of fertilizer over the growing season. I always give the first dose in early spring when the leaves start to bud to help give the plant a strong start. A second dose can be given to the rose Chicago Peace when the first big bloom starts to form and I typically will give a third dose in the middle of summer to promote late season blooms.
Pruning Chicago Peace Roses:
Pruning the rose Chicago Peace is pretty straight forward. Start in the early spring before the leaves open up and remove all the dead wood, along with any canes that are discolored and/or look diseased. Next, remove any lateral canes that overlap one another as these will compete for sun light later on when the leaves fully open. Lastly, cut back the remaining canes about one third of their current height to promote new growth.
This is also a great time to clean up the dead leaves and debris that collect around the base of your roses. Never let this material lay around and decay, and always throw these and the cuttings away in the trash. Do not toss them into the compost pile as many spores can survive even the cold winter conditions and reinfect your plants the following spring. I always finish up my pruning by giving my roses a healthy dose of fresh mulch to start off the growing season.
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