The Fairy roses were first bred in 1932 in the United Kingdom by Bentall. They were introduced into the US market some years later by Conard-Pyle in 1941. Bentall was a very active rose hybridizer during the 1920’s and 30’s and is credited with producing a number of wonderful roses that we still enjoy today. The rose The Fairy was created by crossing the rose Paul Crampel with the Lady Gay rose. The result is a classic soft pink polyantha rose that produces small blooms about 1.5 inches in diameter.
The rose The Fairy will grow to heights of about 4 feet tall at full maturity with a width of about the same or a little less. The blooms will start off as a soft pink but in the hot summer heat they will quickly turn near white. The blooms will be somewhat full, with as many as 25 or so petals each and they will carry with them a subtle fragrance that smells a lot like apples. This rose is very hardy and can survive in most climates ranging from zone 4 through 9. It is also highly resistant to diseases, making it an excellent choice for growers who want a low maintenance plant.
Growing the rose The Fairy is not very hard and if you have any prior experience growing roses, then you should not find this one to be much of a challenge. The most important decision that you will make in the life of your rose is where in your garden you ultimately decide to grow it. This is important because roses require a 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 no less than 6 to 8 hours each day of full sun light. More is even better!
You also will need to grow your The Fairy roses in soil that drains well. This is a common mistake that I often see growers make, yet it is one that is very easily prevented early on. If you take a trip to your local garden center, you are likely to find that they carry a wide range of soil mixes, many of which are designed specifically for roses. In most cases, it is just a matter of selecting the one that best suits your application and using that. Your rose The Fairy will thank you for it.
Getting your rose The Fairy into the ground is also not very hard and most growers can get the job done easily with just a few basic hand tools. How you go about planting your roses depends a little on how you purchased them in the first place. If you bought one from a local nursery, then more than likely they already had it planted for you in a container. These are the easiest roses to plant because all of the guesswork has been done for you. 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 The Fairy roses online, then they may have shipped them to you as bareroot plants, which is very 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, 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 The Fairy set in place on top of the mound, spread the roots out in all directions and then backfill the hole only 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 finish filling the hole. Give the soil one more heavy watering and be sure to top off any final settling that may occur. Do not tamp down the soil. This method should make sure that you don’t get any air pockets around the roots of your roses.
Taking care of the rose The Fairy is pretty 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 provide your roses with enough water and nutrients, while taking care not to overdo it. For most climates this usually amounts to about one deep watering per week. If you live in a hot or dry climate, then you should check on your roses every couple of days just to be safe.
You also should consider giving your The Fairy roses a dose of a granular all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves begin to open. This will help get your roses off to a fast start. Like many other polyantha roses, this one is also a continuous bloomer which means it will benefit from additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will usually give my roses their second feeding right after they have completed their first big bloom, then a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer. Your rose The Fairy should do nicely on this schedule as well.
You should prune the rose The Fairy in the very early spring when the weather starts to warm, but before the leaves begin to open. Start by removing all the dead and discolored canes from the plant and set your cuttings aside. Next, prune back any overlapping canes from the plant so these will not compete with one another for sun light when the leaves fully open. Lastly, cut back the remaining canes by about one third of their height to promote new growth.
This is also the time to clean up around the base of your The Fairy roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that collects there over a growing season. Throw all of this material away in the trash along with your cuttings. Never let dead matter lay around your roses and never throw this stuff into the compost bin. Finish up your pruning by giving your rose The Fairy a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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