History of Don Juan Climbing Roses:
The Don Juan rose was first introduced to the world in 1958 in Italy, by rose breeder Michele Malandrone. It is an extremely seductive rose whose red blooms produce a very alluring damask scent that is sure to entice even the most stubborn of growers. The Don Juan is actually unusual among climbing roses as it is one of the few red climbing roses that actually produces a fragrance with its blooms. This makes it a prize among growers who prefer climbing roses because of their vigor and low maintenance, but want them to smell great also.
The Don Juan rose is very popular for a number of reasons. For starters, it produces gorgeous deep red blooms whose petals are ruffled and have a velvety touch to them. These blooms form at the end of long stems which means if you enjoy cut roses in a vase, this is certainly a variety that will interest you. The Don Juan is also a repeat bloomer. For those of you new to rose gardening, that means if you deadhead the spent blooms, this rose will continue blooming for you all season long.
How great would it be to have fresh cut red roses all throughout the summer and into the fall? Well you can have it by growing Don Juan climbing roses.
Growing Don Juan Climbing Roses:
Don Juan roses are grown much like any other rose. You will need to find a location that is well lit. Roses will not impress you if you plant them in locations that get less than 6 to 8 hours per day or sunlight. Fortunately this rose is very manageable and only grows to heights of about 10 to 12 feet tall. That gives you a lot of options for your location. Some climbing roses get upwards of 20 to 30 feet tall and engulf everything in their path if left to their own devices. This is not the case with this rose.
Anytime I plant new roses, I always make sure I have some fresh compost on hand to mix in with the soil. Even if you think your soil is good, adding a little organic matter is rarely a bad thing and truth be told, this is good advice for most new plantings, even if they aren't roses. Make sure you have a little rose food handy as well and put a light sprinkle in the hole before planting. I apply just a small dose, well below the recommendation and have never had a problem. Just a little something extra to help the plant get off to a good start.
If you intend on diligently deadheading your Don Juan climbing roses and would like your roses to continue blooming throughout the growing season, you can give them two additional feedings. The 2nd one is typically given just as the first big bloom begins to form. The 3rd can be given in mid-summer to help encourage additional blooms. If you are going to give multiple feedings to your Don Juan climbing roses, make sure that you allow at least 4 weeks in between feedings.
Caring for Don Juan Climbing Roses:
Don Juan climbing roses are actually very easy to care for even if you are a new gardener without much experience. As you get more into growing roses, you will find that even seasoned gardeners tend to prefer climbing roses because they generally require a lot less work than traditional rose bushes. I for one love the fact that I don’t have to prune my climbing roses too heavily. There is just something about letting a gorgeous plant dominate its location and get nice and big. My personal preference anyway.
The Don Juan rose will thrive in zones 5 through 10 and if you are concerned about your winters being too cold, just give it a few inches of mulch before the frost sets in. That will usually give it adequate insulation to survive the winter. Just be sure to clean out around the base of the plant thoroughly before mulching.
You don't want to let old leaves and stems lay at the base of the plant as this is an invitation for diseases and pests. Some rose diseases will survive the winter only to infect the plant the following spring, so this is one area where due diligence is required. Mulching is one area that I've seen many growers overlook. Mulching provides several benefits, not only to your Don Juan climbing roses, but to most other plants as well.
The most obvious benefit is weed control. A good layer of mulch in the springtime will go a long way to helping control weed growth. Mulch also helps to keep the soil temperature cooler and more importantly it creates a barrier between the soil and the leaves of your plant. A lot of growers are unaware that certain spores and pests can lay dormant on the surface of the soil over the winter months. Once the weather warms up they are just waiting to infect your plants. They can splash up during a rainstorm or heavy watering, or they can simply blow around in the wind.
Adding down a layer of mulch traps these undesirables and helps to protect your plant. Mulch is also very good at retaining moisture, allowing your rose bushes more time to absorb the nutrients before it drains away.
When watering your Don Juan roses, try to avoid watering from the top down whenever possible. If the leaves of your roses stay too damp, they may not properly dry out in between waterings and that can be a big invitation to diseases and pests. If you give them the proper growing conditions, Don Juan climbing roses will add a certain elegance to just about any landscaping idea you plant them in!
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