The City of Leeds roses were first bred in 1962 in New Zealand by Samuel McGredy IV. This variety was created by crossing elements of the Evelyn Fison rose, with an offspring from the Spartan and Red Favorite roses. The result is a pretty reddish pink floribunda rose that produces large blooms about 4.5 inches in diameter. The blooms will be somewhat full with about 20 or so petals per bloom. The rose City of Leeds is not only pleasing to look at, but it also will have a mild fragrance.
The rose City of Leeds will grow to about 3 or 4 feet tall at full maturity, with a width of around 2 feet across. You will find this rose is often grown for cut flowers because of the great color and fragrance. This rose is a little more hardy than some other floribundas, doing well in zones 5 and warmer. Another great feature of this rose that many growers enjoy is the fact that it is nearly thornless!
Growing the rose City of Leeds is fairly straight forward and much like growing other types of roses. If you have any past experience with roses, then I expect you will not find this variety to be too challenging. The biggest decision you will make in the life of your roses will be where in the garden you choose to grow them. Roses require a lot of sun light if you want them to perform well and this variety is no exception. Try to choose a site in your garden that will get a minimum of 6 to 8 hours a day of direct sun light. More is even better!
You also are going to need to grow your City of Leeds roses in soil that drains well. This is really one of those areas that I see a lot of growers make mistakes on, yet it is also one of those issues that is very easily corrected. One trip to the local garden center will show you that there are a wide variety of growing soils on the market, many of which are designed specifically for growing roses. You need only select the one that best suits your application and go with that. Your rose City of Leeds will thank you for it.
Getting the rose City of Leeds into the ground is not hard and most growers can get the job done pretty easily with just a few basic hand tools. How you go about planting your rose depends a little bit on how you originally purchased it. If you bought your rose locally, then it was probably already planted 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 keep the bud union at its original depth while giving you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix.
If you bought your City of Leeds roses online, then they may have shipped them to you as bareroot plants, which is not uncommon. You should first 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 longest roots of the plant, and deep enough to allow you to set the plant on top of a mound of soil, while keeping the bud union no more than an inch below the surface of the soil.
Once you have your rose City of Leeds set in place on the mound, spread the roots out in all directions and then back fill the hole about halfway to start, using your soil mix. Take the 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 more heavy watering and top off any final settling that may occur. Do not tamp down the soil. This method should make sure that you don’t get any air pockets around the roots.
Taking care of your rose City of Leeds is pretty simple and once again, any prior experience you may have growing roses will certainly come in handy here as well. You will need to make sure that you are providing your roses with enough water and nutrients, while being careful not to overdo it. For most climates this amounts to one deep watering every week. If you live in a hot or dry region, then you should check on your roses every 4 to 5 days.
You also should consider giving your City of Leeds 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 fast jump on the season. Like most Floribundas, this variety is also a repeat bloomer, which means 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, and then a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer to encourage late season blooms. Your rose City of Leeds should do well on this schedule also.
You should prune your rose City of Leeds in the very early spring when the weather starts to break, but before the leaves have fully opened. This make pruning so much easier. Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant and set your cuttings aside. Next, prune back any overlapping lateral canes as these will 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 time to clean up around the base of your City of Leeds roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that may have collected there. Throw away all of this material in the trash along with your cuttings. Never let dead material lay around your roses as they can easily turn into a breeding ground for various pests and diseases. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose City of Leeds a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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