Sir John Betjeman roses were first bread in the United Kingdom by David Austin. They were introduced to the market in England in the year 2008, and then later in the United States in 2010. There are few rose lovers who do not already know the name David Austin, and you are likely to find his many wonderful roses across much of the world’s gardens. The parentage of this particular rose has not yet been released.
The rose Sir John Betjeman will produce beautiful pink blooms that will average about 3 inches or so in diameter. The blooms will not have a big fragrance to speak of but they will be fairly full, having 50 or so petals per bloom. The plant itself will be typical for one of David’s shrub roses, growing a little over 3 feet tall with a width of slightly less than that. You will often see the rose Sir John Betjeman used in border gardens but it will also make a nice centerpiece for a small rose garden.
Growing the rose Sir John Betjeman is not all that difficult and if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you will most likely not find this one to be much of a challenge. The biggest decision you will make in the life of your roses is where in your garden you choose to grow them. Your roses will need a lot of sun light if you want them to perform well and this one is no exception. Try to pick a spot that will get no less than 6 to 8 hours each day of full sun, but more is even better.
You also will need to grow your Sir John Betjeman roses in soil that drains very well. This is such an easy thing to do for your roses, but I am always shocked at how many growers fail to consider the quality of their garden soil. One of the easiest things you can do if you aren’t sure about your soil is pick up a bag or two of a good quality soil mix that has been developed specifically for roses. Grow your rose Sir John Betjeman in that and it will reward you for it in the long run.
Getting your rose Sir John Betjeman into the ground is fairly straight forward and most growers can get this job done very 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. If you picked one up at a local nursery, then it was probably already planted for you in a container. These are the easiest roses to plant. 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 planting depth.
If you bought your Sir John Betjeman roses online, they may have come to you as bareroot plants, which is not uncommon. 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 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 below the surface once planted.
Once you have your rose Sir John Betjeman 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 all around the roots like mud, then you can go ahead and finish filling the hole the rest of the way. Give the loose soil one last heavy watering and be sure to top off any final settling that may occur, but never tamp down the soil. This method should make sure that you don’t get any air pockets around the roots of your rose.
Taking care of the rose Sir John Betjeman is not hard 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 providing enough water and nutrients to your roses, while taking care not to overdo it. For most climates this amounts to about one deep watering every week. If you live in a hot or dry region, then you should check on your roses every couple of days just to be safe.
You also should consider giving your Sir John Betjeman roses a dose of a granular, all-purpose fertilizer in the spring time when the leaves start to form. This will help get your roses off to a great start. Like most of David Austin’s creations, this one is also a repeat bloomer which means it will do nicely with a few additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will generally give my roses their second feeding immediately after the first big bloom, with a third feeding coming sometime around midsummer for those late season flushes. Your rose Sir John Betjeman should do nicely on this schedule as well.
You should prune the rose Sir John Betjeman in the late winter or very early spring when the weather starts to warm but before the leaves start to open. This makes pruning much easier on you and the plant. Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant and set your cuttings aside. Next, cut back any overlapping lateral canes so these do not 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 Sir John Betjeman roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that may have collected there over the previous growing season. Throw away all of this material in the trash, along with your cuttings. Never let dead matter lay around your roses or it can turn into a breeding ground for all kinds of diseases and pests. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Sir John Betjeman a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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