Olympiad Roses

History of Olympiad Roses:

The hybrid tea rose Olympiad was first bred in New Zealand in 1982 by Samuel McGredy IV.  The McGredy’s are world famous rose breeders who began their company in Ireland but later moved to New Zealand where the climate all but eliminated the need for greenhouse environments.  This particular variety was created by combining the Red Planet rose with the hybrid tea rose Pharaoh.  The result is a large blooming classic red rose that produces blooms as big as 5.5 inches in diameter.

Olympiad roses will grow to average height for hybrid teas, about 3 to 5 feet tall at full maturity and the blooms will be quite impressive with a mild fragrance smelling not unlike tea.  They make for great cut flower since they are mostly solitary blooms or small clusters on long stems.  The rose Olympiad is not only a very vigorous grower but it is also quite hardy and it can survive in zones 5 and warmer.  Another great feature about this rose is it is quite resistant to diseases, making it a favorite among newer growers, or those who want a low maintenance plant.

Growing Olympiad Roses:

Growing the rose Olympiad is not too difficult and most rose lovers will be delighted to hear that you can follow the same basic gardening rules that you do for your other roses.  The most important decision you will make in the life of your roses is where to plant them.  Roses need a lot of sun light to do well and this one is no exception.  Try to find a location that gets a minimum of 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light.  If you can give them more then that is all the better!

You also need to plant your Olympiad roses in soil that drains well.  This is not really a big concern if you decide to grow your roses in containers, but it is incredibly important when you grow them in flower beds.  If you are unsure about the quality of your garden soil then I suggest that you take a trip to your local garden center or nursery and pick up a bag of a good organic compost.  Mix this into your garden soil at a ratio of 1 part compost for every 2 parts soil.  This is a great mix and your rose Olympiad will love it!

Planting Olympiad Roses:

Getting your rose Olympiad into the ground is a pretty straight forward matter and just about anyone with some basic skills and hand tools can really get the job done well.  How you go about planting does depend a little on how you purchased your roses.  If you bought them locally then more than likely they were already planted in containers and ready to bloom.  These are real easy to plant.  Dig your hole twice the diameter of the container and equally as deep.  This keeps the bud union at its current depth and still gives you ample room around the root ball for your soil mix.

If you bought your Olympiad roses online, then there is a good chance that they shipped them to you as bareroot plants which is very common.  You should first soak these overnight in a bucket of room temperature water to help rehydrate the roots.  Then you want to dig 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 and keep the bud union no more than an inch or two below the surface of the soil.

Once you have your rose Olympiad set in place, spread the roots out in all directions around the mound and then back fill the hole 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 go ahead and back fill the rest of the way.  Be sure to top off any final settling that may have occurred.  This method should ensure that no air pockets have formed around the roots.

Caring for Olympiad Roses:

Taking care of the rose Olympiad is fairly easy and again, you can follow the same rose care guidelines you have always used in the past.  You will need to provide ample water to your roses without overwatering them.  This can be a little tricky in some climates but a good rule of thumb is one deep watering per week.  If you live in a hot or dry climate, then you may need to check your roses every couple of days.

You also should give your Olympiad roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the spring when the leaves begin to form.  This will get them off to a great start.  Since these are also repeat bloomers, they will benefit greatly from a couple of additional feeding over the course of the growing season.  I will usually give my roses a second dose of fertilizer right after the first big bloom, and then a third dose sometime around the middle of the summer to encourage late season blooms.  Your rose Olympiad will do well on this schedule also.

Pruning Olympiad Roses:

You should always prune your rose Olympiad in the early spring before the leaves start to appear.  Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant and set the cuttings aside.  Next, prune back any lateral canes that overlap one another as these will eventually compete for sun light when the leaves fully open.  Lastly, cut back the remaining canes by about one third of their current height to promote new growth.

This is also the time to rake up around the base of your Olympiad roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that may have collected there from the previous growing season.  Discard all of this material in the trash along with your cuttings.  Never let decaying matter lay around your roses as it can quick become a breeding ground for various pests and diseases.  Finish up by giving your rose Olympiad a fresh layer of mulch to start off the new growing season.

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Olympiad Roses
Olympiad Roses
Olympiad Roses
Olympiad Roses
Olympiad Roses