About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Friday, November 13, 2009

Who said you can’t Grow Roses in Florida?

Now that the weather is cooler you'll notice the rose blossoms are larger and more beautiful. In the summer heat they look dwarfish and stressed, but then again, so do I :-).

You’ve probably heard many newcomers adamantly state that, “You can’t grow roses in Florida!” Roses may be a little more challenging in our zone 9 climate but it is possible to grow them if you know the TWO BIG SECRETS to success.

The FIRST BIG SECRET is rootstock. It seems boring and unnecessary but it’s of the utmost importance when it comes to growing roses in Florida. There are two kinds - fortuniana and Dr. Hughey. If you buy a rose that isn’t grafted onto one of these rootstocks, you might as well bury your money because it won’t last long in our heat.

The SECOND BIG SECRET is the variety. Choose roses that tolerate our hot and humid climate. You’ll enjoy more success and your roses will be happy, too. And, after all, a happy rose leads to a happy rose grower. :-)

Fortunately, there are plenty of rosarians in our area who have already done the hard work for you. So whether you prefer to grow hybrids or antique (a/k/a vintage or old-fashioned) varieties, start with their list of favorites, and then take their well-seasoned and hard-earned advice. You’ll save a lot of time and money!

Central Florida Rose Society
Central Florida Heritage Rose Society
Gainesville Rose Society
Orlando Area Historical Rose Society
Sarasota Rose Society
Tampa Rose Society
Volusia Rose Society
- Jeanne Savoie, President Deland FL jeanne617@yahoo.com (386) 734-9371

These TWO BIG SECRETS are 90% of what you need to know to grow roses in the Sunshine State. The other 10% is - soil preparation, location, fertilizer, pesticide, water and mulch.

So why not give it a try!

Favorite roses growing in my yard are knock-out (picture shown above - great color & great performers), 4th of July (a climber) and a handful of antiques - Louis Phillippe‘, Sombreuill and sea foam. My best tip is adding coffee grounds and Epsom salts to the soil. If you are an experienced rosarian or a newbie, we welcome your best “tried & true” tip and a list of “favorite” roses growing in your garden.


Cheryl said...

Hi Susan.....tku for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment.

I have travelled to Florida many times, including this year, and must confess I did not see any roses growing. I would have thought the climate would have been way too hot. You, of course, have proved me totally wrong. I am amazed....well done for persevering....beautiful addition to any garden......

Organic Plant Fertilizer said...

nice pics!!thanks for ur tips of growing roses in the garden.i like flower very much n specially roses.

Unique horticultural oil said...

I am leaving a link to a product that is manufactured in central florida. I is great for natural control of insects and fungus, such as black spot on roses. It is a natural horticultural oil foruls enhanced with cedar oil. This formula is safe and highly effective. If you grow roses, you should give this a try.You won't regret it. You may have heard The Garden Rebel talking about it on his radio show.

Floridagirl said...

My favorite rose for Central Florida is 'Louis Philippe,' which I call the "Florida Cracker Rose." It performs wonderfully here--no disease, no pests, evergreen, beautiful flower, and sweet scent. I've had a problem with powdery mildew on the knockouts, though it doesn't seem to affect the blooming. Thanks for the informative article. Would love to find some of the fortuniana rootstock. Why don't they carry these things in garden centers?

Susan said...

Cheryl..After the winter we're having this year, we'll probably see more people growing them since they don't freeze.

Floridagirl...Louis Phillippe is one of my favorites, too. It even does well in part sun/part shade. If you go to a "real" nursery - like the old mom & pop shops - you should be able to find either Nelson roses on fortuniana or Jackson & Perkins roses on Dr. Huey rootstock which works well, too. The local box stores carry the roses that come from up north and are cheaper. The fortuniana and Dr. Huey rootstock roses aren't cheap, but in the long run they last much longer. My mother had one for over 20 years.