Usually when people think of roses they think of a lot of work; and yes that can be true when trying to grow the Tea’s or Floribunda’s. The Carpet or Shrub Roses are different though.
The Carpet Rose is basically a wild rose with tame root stock. The wild top is very resistant to fungus and bugs. The roots transform a “one time” bloomer into a flower producing machine from late May until multiple frosts stop it in the fall.
Let me go over what I just wrote: When God created plants on the third day wild roses appeared and not much but fire hassles them. They are rather indestructible, being impervious to fungus and bugs.
On the sixth day God made man., and after his expulsion from the garden started messing with the rose. Throughout the ages he has wanted to make the blooms bigger, add more colors and color variations. Unfortunately this made the rose weaker, made it more susceptible to fungus and bugs.
Why? You might be asking. Why did it become weaker?
A plant when it is strong produces starch throughout its system; when it is struggling or weak it needs to heal itself and the starch turns to sugar. (Wouldn’t it be great if a candy bar would cure what ails us?) Anyway…. with sugar coursing through its veins bugs and fugues are drawn to the plant like ants to a wet sucker; and this is where you come in with your haz-mat suit, toting the bug and fungus spray… multiple time throughout the growing season.
The Carpet Rose is different; its top remained wild, with all its bug and fungus defenses still intact. The only difference is the root telling this “one time bloomer” to bloom all the time now. No need to spray it for bugs or fungus; no need to cut it down in the fall, though it does it good to cut it back to a third its size to shape it up and cut out any dead wood.
It comes in red, pinks, and white at this point, with more colors to follow for sure. Heights and widths are from 2’ high to 5’ across in the carpets, to 4’ by 4’ in the shrub roses.
I would fertilize them if you want to see an abundance of flowers; flowers suck a lot of nutrients out of the soil, fertilizing replaces that.
Like all Roses the east side of the house is the best, but these do fine on the south and west sides too.
Another tip when going for record blooms, don’t let the seed pods form; finished seed production can slow the need to make more seeds (flowers).
In the landscape The Carpet and Shrub Rose are the best of all worlds: they flowers all the time, they only needs a handful of fertilizer once in a while, you’re not on bug or fungus patrol, and it’s a Rose!
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