The rose Queen Elizabeth was first bred in 1954 in the United States by Dr Walter Lammerts. It was later introduced to market by Germain Seed & Plant Co. This regal looking rose was created by crossing the Floradora rose with the rose Charlotte Armstrong. The result is a wonderful pink rose that gets nice large blooms that will carry with them a somewhat moderate fragrance.
Queen Elizabeth roses will produce blooms that are typical for a Floribunda, about 4 inches or so in diameter. They will be very full with as many as 40 petals per bloom. The plant itself will grow quite tall, in excess of 5 feet or more if left unchecked. This vigorous grower is highly resistant to diseases and you will often find this rose grown as a hedge rose, or for cut flower arrangements.
Growing this rose is not difficult and if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you should not find this variety to be all that challenging. The biggest decision you will make in the life of your roses is where in the garden you decide to grow them. Roses will require an awful lot of sun light if you want them to perform at their best and this variety is no exception. Try to select a location that gets at least 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light. If you can provide them with more, then even better!
You also will want to grow your Queen Elizabeth roses in soil that drains very well. As a general rule of thumb, roses tend to do poorly if they are grown in soil that stays soaking wet for long periods of time. This is one mistake that I see growers make all the time and it is a very easy one to correct. You will find a wide variety of growing soils available on the commercial market today, many of which are specifically for growing roses. You need only select the one that works best for you, and use that. You also should not be afraid to plant your rose Queen Elizabeth in a location that gets good airflow through your garden. This can only help to keep your rose healthy and strong.
Getting your rose into the ground is not a tough task, however how you purchased your rose does determine, to some extent, how you go about planting it. If you bought your rose locally, more than likely it was already planted in a container and probably ready to bloom. These are really easy to plant. You should dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container and equally as deep. This will give you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix while keeping the bud union at its original depth.
If you bought your Queen Elizabeth roses online, they may have shipped them to you as bareroot plants, which are not hard to get planted. You should first soak these overnight in a bucket of room temperature water, prior to planting day. Then dig your hole as wide as the longest roots and deep enough to allow you to set the plant atop a mound of soil, while keeping the bud union no more than an inch or two below the surface of the soil.
Once you have your rose Queen Elizabeth set in place on top of the mound, spread the roots out in all directions and then back fill the hole about 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 go ahead and fill the hole the rest of the way. Give the soil one last heavy watering and top off any final settling that might occur. Do not tamp down the soil.
Taking care of the rose Queen Elizabeth is not hard either and once again, if you have any past experience growing roses, then you should not find it difficult to care for this rose successfully. You will need to make sure that you are providing your roses with ample water and nutrients while taking care not to overdo it. For most climates, this amounts to about 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.
You also should consider giving your Queen Elizabeth roses a dose of a granular fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves begin to form. Like most Floribunda roses, this variety is a repeat bloomer which means it will benefit nicely from a few additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will typically give my roses their second feeding right after they complete their first big bloom and then their third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer to encourage late season blooms. Your roses should do nicely on this schedule as well.
You should prune your roses in the very early spring when the weather starts to turn, but before the leaves begin to open. This makes pruning so much easier when you can see what you are doing. Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant and set your cuttings aside. Next, prune back any overlapping canes as these will eventually 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 a great time to clean up around the base of your Queen Elizabeth roses and get rid of all the junk that usually collects there over the winter months. Throw this material away in the trash along with your cuttings. Never let dead matter lay around your roses. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Queen Elizabeth a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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