History of Flutterbye Roses:
The rose Flutterbye was first bred by Tom Carruth in the United States in 1996. Serious rose growers all know Tom’s many achievements which include the Fourth of July rose, the Betty Boop rose, and his first AARS winner, the Scentimental rose. Flutterbye was created by crossing the Playboy rose with a seedling of Rosa soulieana. The result was a rose that could be grown either as a climber or as a shrub, and produces blooms with shades of yellow and pink.
Flutterbye roses will grow about 6 to 8 feet tall and they tend to get very wide, reaching out to widths up to 10 feet across. The blooms on this particular will stay fairly small, averaging about 2 inches or so in diameter and they will have a somewhat moderate fragrance of spice. The rose Flutterbye will do well where most roses grow in zones 6 through 9. This variety is especially forgiving of newer gardeners and it has a very high resistance to diseases. This beauty is sure to find a home in most gardens.
Growing Flutterbye Roses:
Growing the rose Flutterbye is not unlike growing most roses and you can follow the same basic guidelines you would normally. First off, make sure that you select a location for your rose that has soil that is well drained. If the soil stays wet for too long you will run the risk of rotting the roots, making the plant weak and unhealthy. Flutterbye will also require a lot of sun light if you want it to perform at its peak performance. A good rule of thumb is to give it at least 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light.
You should also plant your Flutterbye roses in a location that is subject to the normal air currents throughout your garden. This is a consideration that is often overlooked to the detriment of the rose. Roses in general do not like to stay wet for long periods of time, especially the leaves. Planting your rose Flutterbye in a location with good airflow will allow the leaves to dry out in-between watering which makes for a healthy plant. For this same reason, when you water your roses, always try to water them at the base and not from the top down, needlessly soaking the leaves.
Planting Flutterbye Roses:
Planting the rose Flutterbye is not difficult but it does depend a little on how you purchased it. Most local nurseries will sell roses already planted in containers, or wrapped up with a little bit of soil and an already established root system. These are real easy to plant. All you have to do is dig a hole that is at least twice the diameter of the container or root system, and equally as deep. This will keep the bud union at its current depth, while still leaving you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix.
If you bought your Flutterbye roses online, then many times these will be shipped to you as bareroot plants because they tend to handle the shipping better. You should soak these plants in a bucket of lukewarm water overnight to help re hydrate the roots prior to planting day. Then dig a hole that is at least as wide as the longest roots, and deep enough to allow you to set your rose Flutterbye atop a mound of soil and keep the bud union an inch or two below the surface. When you back fill the hole, water the loose soil until it flows around the roots like mud so that it eliminates air pockets beneath the soil.
Caring for Flutterbye Roses:
Taking care of the rose Flutterbye is pretty straight forward as I said before and there are not really any special requirements that you need to worry about. You will need to make sure that you water your roses deeply so the roots get proper nutrients, but also take care not to over water them. A good rule of thumb for most climates is to give them one deep watering every week. If you live in a hot or dry climate, you may need to water every 4 to 5 days instead.
You should also give your Flutterbye roses a dose of fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves begin to open. This will give them a boost when they need it the most. I always prefer to use a good all-purpose granular fertilizer, or one developed specifically for roses. I stay away from the liquid chemical fertilizers as they can burn some varieties very easily. Since the rose Flutterbye will bloom repeatedly throughout the season, you should consider giving a second dose of fertilizer after the first big bloom, and then one more around the middle of summer to encourage late season flushes.
Pruning Flutterbye Roses:
I always prefer to prune my roses in the very early spring just before the leaves start to form. Begin by cutting away all the dead and discolored canes from your rose Flutterbye. Then begin pruning back lateral canes that are overlapping one another as these will ultimately compete with each other for sun light once the leaves open. Lastly, give the rose an overall light pruning for shape, and to train it to grow around the available support.
This is also the time where you should rake up around the base of your Flutterbye roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that has collected there from the previous growing season. Throw all of this material away in the trash along with your cuttings. Never throw them into the compost bin or let them lay around the base of your rose Flutterbye. Decaying matter is a breeding ground for certain pests and diseases and some spores can even survive the cold winter months only to reinfect your plants the following spring. Finish up your pruning by giving your roses a fresh layer of mulch to start off the new growing season.
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