Mary Rose roses were first bred in 1983 in the United Kingdom by David Austin. David Austin is one of the most notable rose breeders around the world who is usually remembered for his stunning English rose collection. The rose Mary Rose was created by crossing the rose Wife of Bath, with The Miller rose. The result is a great classic pink shrub rose that produces fantastic blooms with a strong fragrance.
The rose Mary Rose will produce blooms that are typical for most of David’s shrub roses, averaging about 4 inches or so in diameter. The blooms will also be extremely full with upwards of 40-70 petals each. The plant will stay fairly compact in size, only growing about 5 feet tall at full maturity with a spread slightly less than that across. The rose Mary Rose is tolerant of the shade though it will perform much better in full sun. This rose will do well in zones 5 through 10.
Growing the rose Mary Rose is not difficult and if you have any past experience growing roses, you should not find this one to be terribly hard to grow. The most important decision that you will make in the life of your roses is where in the garden you choose to grow them. Roses require a lot of sun light if you want them to perform well and this variety is no exception. Try to find a spot in your garden that gets no less than 6 to 8 hours each day of full sun light.
You also will need to grow your Mary Rose roses in soil that drains very well. This is usually common sense when growing roses but I am often surprised at how many growers I see who overlook this particular point. Roses that are not grown in the proper soil tend to not only under-perform, but they usually become very weak and sickly plants in general. If you are unsure about your garden soil, take a trip to your local garden center and pick up a growing soil that is designed for roses. Your rose Mary Rose will thank you for it.
Getting your rose Mary Rose into the ground is not hard and most growers can get the job done well with just a few basic hand tools. How you go about planting your roses does depend a little bit on how you purchased them in the first place. If you bought one from a local nursery, then chances are it was already established in a container for you and ready to bloom. These are the easiest roses to plant. Dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container it came in and equally as deep. This will give you ample room around the roots for your soil mix while keeping the bud union at its original depth.
If you bought your Mary Rose roses online, then they might have sent them to you as bareroot plants, which is pretty common. You should first soak the roots of 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 allow you to set the plant on top of a mound of soil while keeping the bud union no more than an inch or so below the surface of the soil.
Once you have your rose Mary Rose set in place on top of the mound, spread the roots out in all directions and then backfill the hole at least halfway to start, using your soil mix. Take your garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows around the roots like mud, then you can finish filling the hole the rest of the way. Give the soil one last deep 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 no air pockets have formed around the roots of your plant.
Taking care of the rose Mary Rose is fairly straight forward 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 giving your roses ample water and nutrients while being careful not to overdo it too much. For most climates this amounts to one deep watering per week. If you live in a hot or dry region, then you should check on your roses every 4 to 5 days to be safe.
You also should consider giving your Mary Rose roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves start to open. Like most of David’s creations, this rose is also a repeat bloomer so it will benefit nicely from a few additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will usually give my roses their second feeding right after they have finished the first big bloom, with a third feeding coming later around the middle of the summer to encourage late season blooms. Your rose Mary Rose should do very well on this schedule also.
You should prune the rose Mary Rose in the late winter or early spring when the weather starts to warm but before the leaves begin to open. This makes pruning so much easier. Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant and set your cuttings aside. Then prune back any lateral canes that overlap one another as these will 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 Mary Rose roses to get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that tend to collect there over the season. Throw all of this material away in the trash, along with your cuttings. Never let dead matter lay around your roses or it can turn into a breeding ground for various diseases and pests. Finish up your pruning by giving the rose Mary Rose a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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