David Austin Roses

History of David Austin Roses:

David Austin Roses is a famous rose breeder that began as a family business in 1969 in the United Kingdom.  The first rose he ever released to market was the Constance Spry rose in 1961.  During his career he is credited with the creation and release of around 200 different types of English roses.  There are not many rose breeders in the world that can make such a claim, or have had such an impact on the world of rose growers.

This company has spent much of its history in the European markets and has offices in most of the major countries.  In the 1990’s interest from the American market was so overwhelming that the company eventually decided to open up a US office in Texas, which they still maintain today.  Davis Austin is most known for his beautiful English Roses; however they also breed many other different types of roses for the commercial market.

Growing David Austin Roses:

Growing David Austin roses is not all that hard and if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you should not find this variety to be all that challenging.  The biggest decision you will make in the life of your roses is where in the garden you choose to grow them.  Roses require a lot of sun light if you want them to perform well and these roses are no exception.  You will want to find a spot for your roses that gets a minimum of 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light.

You also will want to grow your roses in soil that drains very well.  This really is not a tough issue to overcome but I am surprised at how many growers overlook this important step.  Roses that are grown in poorly drained soil tend to not only perform very poorly, but they also will usually end up very weak and sickly.  Rest assured however that this is not a very hard thing to overcome.  If you take a trip to the local garden center, you will find that there are a wide variety of garden soils out there on the commercial market, many of which are designed specifically for growing roses.  Choose the one that best suits your application.

Planting David Austin Roses:

Getting your roses into the ground is not a difficult task and most growers can get the job done pretty easily with just a few basic hand tools.  How you go about planting your roses depends a little bit on how you purchased them.  If you bought your roses from a local supplier, then chances are they were already planted for you in a container and probably 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 give you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix while keeping the bud union at its original depth.

If you bought your David Austin roses online, then chances are they were shipped to you as bareroot plants.  This is very common.  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, 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 or so below the surface.

Once you have your rose set in place on top of the mound, spread the roots out in all directions and then back fill the hole halfway to start, using your soil mix.  Take your garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows around the roots like mud, then you can finish filling the hole the rest of the way.  Give the loose soil one more heavy watering and be sure to top off any final settling that might occur.  Do not tamp down the soil.  This method should make sure that no air pockets have formed around the roots of the plant.

Caring for David Austin Roses:

Taking care of your roses is pretty straight forward 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 ample water and nutrients while being careful not to overdo it.  For most climates this usually amounts to one deep watering per week.  If you live in a hot or dry region, then you should check on your roses every 4 to 5 days to be sure.

You also should consider giving your roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves begin to open up.  This will give your roses a great start to the growing season.  Many David Austin roses are repeat bloomers, which means they will benefit from additional feedings over the course of the growing season.  I usually give my roses their second feeding right after they have finished with the first big bloom, then a third feeding sometime around midsummer to encourage late season flushes.  Your roses should do nicely on this schedule as well.

Pruning David Austin Roses:

You should prune your roses in the very early spring when the weather starts to warm but before the leaves begin to open.  This makes pruning so much easier.  Start by removing all the dead and discolored canes from the plant and set your cuttings aside.  Next, prune back any overlapping lateral canes so these do not compete for sun light when 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 David Austin roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that tends to collect there from the previous growing season.  Throw away all of this material in the trash along with your cuttings.  Never let dead matter lay around your roses as it can quickly turn into a breeding ground for various pests and diseases.  Finish up your pruning by giving your roses a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.

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