History of Gold Medal Roses:
The hybrid tea rose Gold Medal was first bred in 1982 in the United States by Jack Christensen, and later introduced to market by Armstrong Nursery. Jack is the youngest rose breeder to develop an All-American rose and he is credited with hybridizing over 80 different types of roses. This rose was created by crossing elements from the roses Granada, Garden Party, and Yellow Pages. The result is a gorgeous yellowish rose that has rich copper accents, that ultimately fades to a soft cream color.
Gold Medal roses will grow to heights of anywhere between 3 and 6 feet tall, with a width about 3 feet across. The blooms will be an average size for a hybrid tea rose, about 4 and a half inches in diameter. They will be large and full and have roughly 40 or so petals per bloom. The blooms will have a mild fragrance that is somewhat fruity and somewhat spicy. The rose Gold Medal is a vigorous grower that is highly resistant to diseases and heat. This rose is best suited to zones 7 and warmer.
Growing Gold Medal Roses:
Growing the rose Gold Medal is pretty straight forward and if you have any prior experience growing roses, you shouldn’t encounter too much trouble. The most important decision you will make in the life of your roses is where you grow them in your garden. Roses by their very nature require a lot of sun light in order to give you a good performance. For this reason alone you should try to select a spot that gets more than 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light. More is even better!
Don’t be afraid to grow your Gold Medal roses in a location that is exposed to the natural air currents through your garden either. This is actually most helpful to your roses as the airflow will help to keep the leaves drier longer, which leads to a more healthy plant. You also should grow your rose Gold Medal in soil that drains well. If you allow the roots of your plant to stay damp for long periods of time, or if you don’t allow them to dry out in between waterings, you may discover that your roses are constantly fighting a battle against certain pests and diseases such as blackspot.
Planting Gold Medal Roses:
It is a fairly simple matter to get your rose Gold Medal into the ground and most growers can get the job done with just a few basic hand tools. If you bought your rose from a local garden center, then there’s a very good chance it came already established in a container. These are the easiest to plant. You will want to dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container, and equally as deep. This will allow you to keep the bud union at its current depth, while still giving you ample room around the roots for your soil mix.
If you purchased your Gold Medal roses online, then perhaps they 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 yourself a hole that is as wide as the longest roots, and deep enough to allow you to set the plant atop a mound of soil while still keeping the bud union no more than an inch or two below the surface of the soil.
Once you have your rose Gold Medal set in place atop the mound, spread the roots out in every directions and then back fill the hole halfway 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 fill the hole the rest of the way. Give it one more heavy watering and top off any final settling. This method should ensure that no air pockets have formed around the roots.
Caring for Gold Medal Roses:
Taking care of the rose Gold Medal is not difficult and once again, any prior experience growing roses will certainly come in handy here. You will need to make sure that you are providing enough water to your roses without overwatering them. For most mild climates this equates to about one deep watering per week. If your weather is hot or dry, check your roses every couple of days and always water the bottom of the plant. Try to avoid getting the leaves wet unnecessarily.
You should give your Gold Medal roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the spring when you see the leaves begin to sprout. This will give your roses a good jump on the season. Like most hybrid tea roses, the rose Gold Medal is also a repeat bloomer so you should consider giving it a couple additional feedings over the growing season. I will usually give my roses their second feeding right after the first big bloom and then a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer.
Pruning Gold Medal Roses:
You should prune your rose Gold Medal in the very early spring before the leaves start to form. This makes it much easier to see what you are doing. Start by removing all the dead and discolored canes from the plant and set these aside. Next, prune back any lateral canes that might overlap one another once the leaves form. 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 Gold Medal roses to get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that might have collected there. Throw away all of this material in the trash along with the cuttings. Never let this material lay around your roses and never throw it into the compost bin. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Gold Medal a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the new year!
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