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Happy spring! We love our roses here in northeast Florida because they give us beautiful blooms all year round. Right now, we have Fortuniana rootstock roses in our Garden Center, and they are especially amazing – not to mention, hard to find!

Something else we have in stock is Mills magic. If you haven’t heard of this mystical product before, we’ll give you the low down! Basically, it’s loved among those who love roses as it serves as a fertilizer (specific to roses). Another plus to this product is that it’s 100% natural!

In northeast Florida, over the last 5 to 10 years, we have seen a proliferation of new varieties of shrub style roses that are easier to grow and maintain, such as knock out and drift roses. These low maintenance roses typically require minimal amounts of care. A light trimming in spring, summer, and fall, with fertilization and treatment of any disease or insect issues, is generally all that is required.

If you have decided to start a garden with roses, the first thing you must do is to choose the best roses to plant that are able to thrive in Florida. Many types of roses are available from rose growers. It is important to purchase roses from nurseries or garden centers that have suppliers from Florida growers. Success with rose gardening is very much about simply having the right plant in the right place!

A fortuniana rootstock rose can withstand heat, Florida soil, and other external factors that can occur. They are better growers, smell heavenly, and are more suited to our humid environment. Keep in mind that roses need direct sunlight for at least six hours a day! If shade cannot be avoided, a location that supplies morning sunlight would be best because it will dry the dew on the leaves and lessen the chance of black spot.

Roses should be planted in rich, but well-drained soil that can also hold an adequate supply of moisture and nutrients. Most of our soils in northeast Florida are sandy and don’t hold nutrients or moisture, which is why it’s important to amend the soil in the whole bed before fitting your roses with compost, peat, or castings.

Old fashioned roses need weekly watering and spraying, frequent grooming to remove old flowers, fertilizing after each flush of bloom, and pruning and mulching in early spring. We suggest a monthly regimen of removing spotted leaves from the plants and the ground, trimming, fertilizing and spraying with insect/fungus control. It is also recommended to prune rose bushes at the start of spring so that you can set your roses up for strong blooms and healthy branches.

If you have any questions about growing roses this spring, give us a call today or come down to Trad’s Garden Center!