Southampton roses were first bred in 1971 in the United Kingdom by Harkness. They were introduced to market the following year by their family rose company. This rose was created by crossing a Yellow Cushion rose with the offspring of an Ann Elizabeth and the Floribunda rose Allgold. The result is a very pretty apricot colored rose that gets blends of pinks throughout the petals. This rose really puts on a show and growers are equally rewarded with a strong fragrance.
The rose Southampton will grow upwards of 3 to 4o feet tall at full maturity, with a width of about 2 to 3 feet across. The blooms will be somewhat typical for a Floribunda rose averaging 3 to 4o inches in diameter. This rose does not tend to do very well in the warmer climates, however you will have no trouble growing in zones down to 6. You will most commonly find this rose grown in border gardens but it can also be grown as a container rose if properly pruned and cared for.
Growing the rose Southampton is not a difficult task and if you have any past experience growing roses, then you should not have any trouble with this variety. The most important decision you will need to make in the life of your roses is where in the garden you ultimately choose to grow them. Roses will require a lot of sun light if you want them to perform at their best and this variety is no exception. Try to find a spot in your garden that will get at least 6 to 8 hours a day of direct sun light. More is even better!
You also are going to want to grow your Southampton roses in soil that drains well. Roses that are grown in soggy soil for long periods of time tend to stay weak and very unhealthy. Not to mention that dampness often promotes mold and other types of problems. This is a common mistake but it is also one that is easily avoided. You will find many different types of garden soils available on the commercial market today, many of which are designed just for roses. All you need to do is select the one best suited to your needs and go with that. Your rose Southampton will thank you in the long run.
Getting your rose Southampton into the ground is pretty straight forward and most folks can get the job done well with just a few basic hand tools. How you go about planting your rose depends a little bit on how you originally purchased it. If you bought the rose from a local nursery, then chances are they already had it planted for you in a container 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 keep the bud union at its original depth while still giving you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix.
If you bought your Southampton roses online, then they most likely shipped them to you as bareroot roses, 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 let you set your rose on top of 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 Southampton 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 the garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows around the roots like mud, then you can go ahead and finish filling the hole. Give the soil one more heavy watering and top off any last settling that might occur. Never tamp down the soil around the roots.
Taking care of the rose Southampton is not unlike taking care of any other rose and once again, any prior experience you have growing roses will definitely come in handy here as well. You will need to make sure that you are providing your roses with enough water and nutrients, while taking care not to overdo it. For most mild climates this usually amounts to one deep watering every week. If your region is hot and dry, then you should check your roses every 4 to 5 days.
You also should consider giving your Southampton roses a dose of a granular fertilizer in the spring when the leaves begin to form. This will help them get off to a fast start on the season. Like most Floribundas, this rose is also a repeat bloomer, which means it will benefit from additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will generally give my roses their second feeding right after the first big bloom, and then a third feeding around the middle of the summer to encourage late season blooms. Your rose Southampton should do very well on this schedule also.
You should prune the rose Southampton in the very early spring when the weather starts to break, but before the leaves have started to open. Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant and set your cuttings aside. Next, prune back any overlapping lateral canes as these will eventually compete for sun light once the leaves have fully opened. Lastly, give the remaining canes a cut back by about one third of their current height to promote new growth.
This is also the time to clean up around the base of your Southampton roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that tends to collect there over time. Throw all of this material away in the trash along with your cuttings. Never let dead and decaying matter lay around your roses as they can turn into a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose Southampton a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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