Fellowship roses were first bred in 1992 in the United Kingdom by Harkness, and later introduced to market in the United States by Weeks Wholesale Rose Grower. The Harkness family has been breeding roses in England since the late 1800’s and they are among the most well known breeders in their region. The rose Fellowship was created by crossing the Southampton rose with the rose Remember Me. The result is a gorgeous orangish-apricot colored Floribunda rose that carries a sweet smelling citrus fragrance.
The rose Fellowship will produce blooms that are very typical for a Floribunda rose, averaging about 4 inches or so in diameter. The blooms will be large and full carrying as many as 40 or so petals per bloom. The plant itself will grow anywhere from 3 to 5 feet tall at full maturity, with a width that can get 4 to 6 feet across. This rose is a vigorous grower that is very resistant to diseases, especially blackspot. It also can handle climates a little colder than some roses. You can grow this rose well in zones 5 and warmer.
Growing the rose Fellowship is not hard and if you have any past experience growing roses then you should not find this variety to be all that difficult. The biggest choice you will need to make in the life of your roses is where in your garden you choose to grow them. Roses require a lot of sun light if you want them to perform at their best and this variety is no exception. Try to select a location that will give your roses at least 6 to 8 hours a day of direct sun light. If you can provide more, then that is even better.
You also will want to grow your Fellowship roses in soil that drains well. This is a very common mistake that many newer growers make, but it is also a pretty easy one to overcome. You will find that in the commercial market, there are many different types of growing soils, and some of which are designed specifically for growing roses. You really just need to select the one that best suits your application and go with that. Your rose Fellowship will thank you for it.
Getting your rose Fellowship into the ground is not a difficult task and most growers can get the job done pretty well with just a few basic hand tools. How you go about planting depends a little bit on how you originally purchased your roses. If you bought 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 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 Fellowship roses online, then they may have shipped them to you as bareroot plants, which is not uncommon. You should first soak these overnight in a bucket of room temperature water, prior to planting day. Then dig your hole as wide as the longest roots on the plant, and deep enough to let you place 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 Fellowship 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 loose soil one more heavy watering and top off any final settling that may have occurred. Do not tamp down the soil. This method should make sure that no air pockets have formed around the roots of the plant.
Taking care of the rose Fellowship is pretty easy and once again, any past 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 you live in a hot and dry region, then you should check on your roses every 4 to 5 days.
You also should consider giving your Fellowship roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves begin to open. This will get your roses off to a great start to the season. Like most Floribunda roses, this one is also a repeat bloomer so it will benefit from additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will usually give my roses their second feeding right after they have completed their first big bloom, then a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer to encourage late season blooms. Your rose Fellowship should do very well on this schedule also.
You should prune the rose Fellowship in the very early spring when the weather starts to break, but before the leaves have started to form. This will make your 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 eventually compete for sun light once the leaves have fully opened. 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 Fellowship roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that may have collected 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 turn into a breeding ground for various pests and diseases. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Fellowship a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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