The Violet Anchor on the East Terrace.

For my wife’s birthday, I purchased a gift that will keep on giving for years to come. From Spring Hill Nurseries, one of my favorite online plant centers, I ordered two Violet’s Pride Floribunda bare root roses. The color is perfect and the jumbo size guaranties first year blooms but I never planted a bare root specimen rose so research was needed. The Floribunda variety is a cross between a Tea Rose and Polyantha Roses insuring a beautiful color with large groupings of blooms. But bare root? Most nursery purchases are in pots and there is little preparation needed. So what to do?

The Jumbo size has a large base stem and plenty of strong roots.

First, immediately open the package when it arrives, and place the bare root in a bucket of water as the roots tend to dry out in shipment. I left mine overnight and this morning they look fine. Speaking of looking, examine the rose for damage and get a good feel for the plant. The main stem is large and is several inches wide at the base, The grafting joint is obvious and te roots are large and thick. The stems have been severely pruned and I will reduce them a little further as I want the plant to concentrate on root development. Watch out for those large unforgiving thorns!

Note the soil line and graft joint or bud union.
Violeta and Virtue, my wife’s birthday present after an all-night soaking.

The chosen site is sunny with a good eight hours of bright sun. It is well drained as it is in a terraced landscape just recently completed. The East Terrace is deep and wide giving plenty of space for plant development. The red clay soil has been removed and replaced with a good garden soil sweetened with compost and lightened with potting soil.

Meet your new home, Violeta!
A deep hole…. a warm home!

The placement hole is excavated deep enough to cover the graft joint and a small hill is placed at the hole bottom to support the root system. The backfill is placed carefully so as not to break any roots and I wouldn’t compact it. Let watering pull the soil together. Thoroughly water but don’t drown the plant. For the first week or so, add water everyday and then decrease to every few days during the hot summer. Heavy mulching is needed in the winter but only light mulch is needed in summer to give roots moisture protection and access to air. Keep new growth at the base trimmed and spent leaves collected to encourage air flow around the base. This will reduce latent moisture and discourage mold, mildew, and fungus.

Entrenched!!

If black spots develop on the leaves treat with a fungicide and remove and destroy infected leaves. Japanese Beetles may become an issue and I prefer to handpick them every morning rather than use insecticides. Look out for aphids and mites and a heavy infestation may need a good soapy treatment.

Turk’s Cap neighbors checking out Violeta.

Every February, consider pruning to reduce spurious growth and don’t be gentle with stem cuts. A light fertilizer is recommended in early spring as leaves develop but not too much as we are not raising roses for their leaf color and excess food will produce more leaves than blossoms.

So we are done. We will enjoy our hot tub at night with a nearby fragrant essence and by day with lavender bunches of brilliant blooms!

Can’t wait!!

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