History of Dark Purple Roses:
Purple roses are manmade creations that have their own deep meaning and symbolism, and while they haven't got the history that say a white or red rose can boast, they are no less important to the growers that have come to love them! A great many varieties of purple roses have been bred in recent times, such as the Burgundy Iceberg rose who was first discovered in 1998, or the Della Reese rose that was bred in 2003.
Dark purple roses are a bit of an enigma to many purist growers who will likely say that they are not truly purple, but rather shades of dark red or magenta. Take the Ebb Tide rose for instance whose petals start off as a rich mauve color and then open up to a smoky dark purple. You could also go for the Wild Blue Yonder rose whose blooms are purple blended with mauve but then can have dark red edges that further accent the flowers. While rose breeders have been trying for decades to come up with a truly purple rose, and some will argue that they just aren't quite there yet, few can say that the creations they have come up with are not worth the effort.
Growing Dark Purple Roses:
Most purple roses that you are likely to find are probably repeat bloomers that will give you several flushes of flowers over the course of the growing season. For these varieties you are going to want to find them a location in your garden where they will receive full sun light for much of the day. A good rule of thumb for roses is a minimum of 6 to 8 hours each day, but if you can provide them with more, all the better!
Rose in general are also not very tolerant of damp or soggy growing conditions, and you will find that most of the dark purple roses are not as well. When you first plant your roses, you should take care to give them a soil mix that drains well, but still retains enough moisture to allow them to absorb the nutrients. This is sometimes a tricky proposition but in the next section we will go over one option you can use to make sure that you are giving your roses the best chance possible.
Planting Dark Purple Roses:
Once you have selected the perfect spot in your garden, you then have to get your roses in the ground properly. Before you do any digging in your yard, I always suggest to growers that they take a trip to the local garden center and pick up a bag of organic compost to mix in with their soil. This is really great stuff and it's usually inexpensive and even if it wasn't, it's worth its weight in gold. Once you dig your hole, mix in the compost with the loose soil at a ratio of 2 parts soil to 1 part compost.
Now how you plant your dark purple roses depends a little on where you bought them from. If you found them locally, then they were probably already planted in a container and ready to bloom. These are the easiest to plant and all you need to do is dig yourself a hole that is at least twice the diameter of the container, and equally as deep. This gives you a lot of room around the roots for your new soil mix, but it still retains the current bud union depth.
If you ordered your roses online, well then they probably shipped them to you as bareroot plants. Many gardeners are a little intimidated by these but I can assure you, there is no reason to be. You should soak the plants overnight in a bucket of lukewarm water to rehydrate them, prior to planting day. Once they are ready, dig yourself a hole that is as wide as the longest roots on the plant, and deep enough so that you can set the plant on a mound of soil, and still keep the bud union about an inch or two below the surface of the soil.
Set your bareroot rose in place on the mound and spread the roots out in all directions and then back fill the hole about halfway with your new soil mix. Take the garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows like mud around the roots. Go ahead and back fill the hole the rest of the way and then water it once more. This method will help ensure that no air pockets have formed around the roots and there will be very little settling occurring later.
Caring for Dark Purple Roses:
Taking care of your roses is pretty straight forward and the biggest thing you need to be concerned about with is monitoring their moisture levels. You want to make sure they get thoroughly watered, but you will want to avoid overwatering, or watering too frequently in lesser amounts. A good rule of thumb is one deep watering every week unless you live in a dry or hot climate, then you may need to step it up to every 4 to 5 days. You can check the moisture level by sticking your finger into the dirt at the base of the rose, if it comes out wet, you don't need to water them yet.
As we said before most dark purple roses are repeat bloomers, so you can put them on a regular feeding program. I always give my roses a dose of an all-purpose granular fertilizer in early spring when the leaves start to bud. You can also give them a dose right before the first big bloom starts to develop. I like to give my repeat bloomers a third dose later on in the middle of the summer to help encourage additional blooms.
Pruning Dark Purple Roses:
Pruning your roses is easy and should be done in early spring before the leaves form. Start off by removing all the dead wood, as well as canes that have been discolored by disease. Next, prune back any canes that overlap one another as these will compete for sun light later on when the leaves open. The last step is a little different depending on the type of rose you are growing. For shrub roses, and miniatures, hybrid teas, floribundas, etc, you should cut back the remaining canes one-third of their current height to promote new growth. For climbing roses and ramblers, you are just shaping the plant as you desire, or shape to fit whatever supports you have to work with.
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