History of Julia Child Roses:
The rose Julia Child was created in the United States by Tom Carruth in 2004. Many rose growers know the name Tom Carruth as a longtime author and rose breeder, and he is famous in part, for his creations of the Betty Boop rose, the Scentimental rose, and the Fourth of July rose, all of which have won awards. Like many of Tom's creations, the parentage of the Julia Child is quite detailed and contains elements of several roses including the Voodoo rose, the Summerwine rose, and the Top Notch rose.
Julia Child roses will stay pretty compact and only reach heights of about 2 to 3 feet tall. As such, you will often find them in containers on porches and patios. This floribunda rose produces soft yellow blooms that are about 3 inches in diameter on average. They have a strong fragrance that is a lot like the smell of licorice and the blooms tend to be quite full, having as many as 45 petals each. Make sure that you wear your gloves when handling the rose Julia Child as this one comes armed with a lot of thorns.
Growing Julia Child Roses:
The rose Julia Child will do very well in zones 6 through 9. It is also a perpetual bloomer which means it will generally bloom continuously from spring to fall. If you want the most blooms you can get from this rose, you should try to find a home for it in your garden where it will get a lot of sun light. A good rule of thumb is 6 to 8 hours each day, and if you can give it access to the full morning sun, that is even better! This will help dry the leaves out quickly each day and add to the overall health of the plant.
Julia Child roses are very resistant to diseases such as blackspot and mildew, and this makes them very popular among growers who prefer to stick with hardy, low maintenance plants. In spite of this high level of resistance, you should make sure that the soil you plant the rose Julia Child into drains well and does not keep the plant soaked for long periods of time. A location with good air circulation through your garden is also essential to keeping your roses healthy.
Planting Julia Child Roses:
Planting your rose Julia Child is an easy matter and just about anyone can get the job done. Before you start digging, I always recommend to growers to take a trip to the local garden center and pick up a bag of a good organic compost. This stuff is usually inexpensive and it makes a great amendment for almost any soil type. I have found that plants and roses especially really establish themselves quickly. When you dig your hole, mix in the compost with the loose soil at a ratio of 2 parts soil to 1 part compost.
How you go about planting your Julia Child roses depends a little bit on how you purchased them. If you bought them locally, then you probably got them in a container, already established and blooming. These are the easiest to plant. Dig yourself a hole that is about twice the diameter of the container they came in, and equally as deep. This gives you plenty of room for your new soil mix around the roots, but still keeps the bud union planted at the same depth it was in the container.
If you bought your rose Julia Child online, they most likely shipped it to you as a bareroot plant. Start off by soaking the plant overnight in a bucket of lukewarm water to help rehydrate it. Then dig a hole that is as wide as the longest roots on the plant, and plenty deep enough so that you can mound up some soil in the center of the hole, and set the plant on top with the bud union about an inch or two below the surface. The idea is to make the hole fit the roots, not the other way around.
Set your rose Julia Child in place and spread the roots out in all directions and then back fill about halfway with your new soil mix. Take the garden hose and water the soil heavily until it flows around the roots like mud, then go ahead and back fill the hole the rest of the way. Give it one more heavy watering to fully settle the loose soil and you're good to go. That should ensure that no air pockets have formed and the roots are completely covered.
Caring for Julia Child Roses:
Taking care of the rose Julia Child is pretty straight forward and you can follow typical rose care guidelines. You should make sure that your roses get ample water, but also that they are not growing in soil that is soaking wet for long periods of time. A good rule of thumb is to give them one deep watering each week.
Since Julia Child roses are continuous bloomers, they will benefit from a regular feeding schedule over the course of the growing season. I always give the first feeding in early spring when the leaves start to bud. I'll give a second feeding just as the first big bloom starts to form. You can give your rose Julia Child one more feeding around midsummer, to help encourage additional blooms.
Pruning Julia Child Roses:
Pruning the rose Julia Child should be done in early spring, prior to the leaves forming. Start by removing all the dead wood, along with any canes that look overly discolored. Next, prune back the canes that overlap one another so the leaves do not compete for sun light later on in the season. Lastly, cut back the remaining canes about one third of their current height to promote new growth.
This is also a great time to clean up around the base of your roses. You should never let dead leaves and debris lay around the base of you roses as these are breeding grounds for pests and diseases. Always throw this material away in the trash along with your cuttings. Never throw them into the compost pile and many spores can survive the winter months only to re-infect your plants the following season. I always finish up my spring pruning by giving my roses a fresh layer of mulch.
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