Falstaff roses were first bred in 1990 in the United Kingdom by David Austin. David Austin has been hybridizing roses for over 40 years and he is arguably one of the most recognized names in the business. With offices around the world, you are likely to see his roses gracing gardens in every major country. The parentage of this particular rose has not yet been released but this is a stunning dark red shrub rose with a classic old rose scent.
The blooms on the rose Falstaff will grow to be about 3.5 inches in diameter and they will be fairly full, with around 50 or so petals per bloom. The plant itself will grow as tall as 5 feet at full maturity with a width out to just a little over 3 feet across. The rose Falstaff is a vigorous grower that is well suited to a flower bed or as a container rose. This rose will do nicely in most gardens in zones 5 through 9.
Growing the rose Falstaff is not all that difficult and if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you should not find this one to be much of a challenge. The biggest decision that you will make in the life of your roses is where in your garden you choose to grow them. You will find that your roses need a lot of sun light if you want them to perform at their best, and this one is no exception. Try to pick a spot in your garden that gets a lot of direct sun light every day. You want at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun, but more is even better.
You also will need to grow your Falstaff roses in soil that drains very well. This is not a hard thing to do but it is one of the most overlooked aspects of rose growing, that I see. Roses that are grown in poor soil will usually underperform, and they also tend to become very weak and sickly plants. This is a rather easy issue to overcome however. Take a trip to your local garden center and pick up a bag or two of a good quality soil mix that is designed specifically for roses. In the long run your rose Falstaff will thank you for it.
Getting your rose Falstaff into the ground is not hard and most growers are able to get the job done very well with just a few basic hand tools. How you go about planting your roses does depend a little on how you purchased them. If you found one at a local nursery, then they probably already had it planted for you 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 your bud union at its original depth while giving you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix.
If you ordered your Falstaff 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 a hole that is 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 below the surface of the soil.
Once you have your rose Falstaff set in place on top of the mound, spread the roots out in all directions and then back fill the hole at least halfway to start, using your soil mix. Take your garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows all over the roots like mud, then you can go ahead and finish filling the hole the rest of the way. Give the soil one last heavy watering and be sure to top off any final settling that may occur but do not tamp down the soil. This method should make sure that you don’t get any air pockets around the roots of the plant.
Taking care of your rose Falstaff is not a tough task 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 taking care not to overdo it. For most climates this usually amounts to about one deep watering per week. If your particular region is unusually hot or dry, then you should probably check on your roses every 4 to 5 days just to be safe.
You should also consider giving your Falstaff roses a dose of a granular all purpose fertilizer in the spring when the leaves begin to open up. This will give your roses a strong start on the season. Like most of David’s roses, this one is also a repeat bloomer and will benefit nicely from a few additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will usually give my roses their second feeding immediately after they are done with the first big bloom, with a third feeding coming around midsummer to encourage late season blooms. Your rose Falstaff should do nicely on this schedule as well.
You should prune the rose Falstaff in the late winter or early spring when the weather in your area starts to warm, but before the leaves begin to open. This will make pruning so much easier for you and the plant. Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant, and set your cuttings aside. Next, prune back any overlapping lateral canes so these do not 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 best time to clean up around the base of your Falstaff roses and get rid of all the debris that often collects around roses. Throw all of this away in the trash with your cuttings. Never let dead matter gather around your roses or it can turn into a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Falstaff a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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