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"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx

Roses

Yes, we can have roses in Alberta

Many people avoid roses thinking they are difficult and require lots of maintenance. Can be true, especially if you are trying to grow older breeds in our prairie climate. But modern roses are more disease resistant, and more weather resistant.

Doesn't mean they are no work. Do your homework before getting any of these.

For years the only rose choices for Alberta were hedge roses, hansa roses, and wild roses. Thanks to rose breeders we have a larger selection.

Series

I'm still trying to work out what a series is. My current guess is that it's a batch of roses that came out of one lab or breeder group.

Parkland

Out of Morden, Manitoba this group does well in extreme cold and drought. Some problems with blackspot fungus in the earlier releases. Mostly compact shrubs, with a blossom that resembles tea roses.

Explorer

Good disease resistance to both blackspot and powdery mildew. There is large variety of shape and size of these including some moderate climbers, and low bush forms. All are hardy down to -32. Some well below -40. Some will get tip kill, or die to the snowline in a bad winter. Where I have found details I've presented them.

Canadian Artists

The goal here was to have roses that could be grown across Canada. The descriptions show them to do tolerably well on the prairies in zone 3b. Colder than that, or in a more exposed situation may need winter protection.

Wild roses

Not really a series, but we do have native roses.

Other roses

A grabbag of other rose types -- hedge roses for shelterbelts, rugosa roses for people with black thumbs.

Planting and care.

I'm new to roses, so all of this is from interent research.

Site and planting

Half to full sun. Well drained. Avoid north exposures.

Loamy soil. These roses hate heavy clay soils. If you have very little soil and your subsoil is solid clay, then build a raised bed for your rose. Mix a good amount of compost in. Prairie dwellers: If your soil is alkali use 1/4 peat moss too. A handful of bone meal in the hole will help your rose get off to a good start.

Fertilizing and care

Roses that bloom all summer -- fertilize in early spring, then about every 6 weeks during the blooming season. Usually roses come with a shot of very slow release fertilizer. It's not necessary to fertilize the first year.

Pruning

Prune in spring when you can see which branches are dead. Then shape the bush if needed. Some branch death is normal.

Overwintering

From my reading snow is enough protection for zone 4 and warmer. Zone 3 and on windy sites, you probably should give them some protection.

You can protect your rose in winter in several ways: A 2 foot diameter tube of snow fence or fence wire, then fill with dry leaves or loose straw (flax is best) If you do dried leaves put a square of something over the top to keep the snow from compressing it, or slide a garbage over the tube. The bag should not go to the ground, and you should cut a few holes in the side near the top. This will keep it from getting too warm, and will reduce humidity.

A large cardboard box will work too. These are good for only one year

Some folks heap a foot of soil or compost around the base, and let the twigs fend for themselves.

Siting them where they can be buried with the snowblower may work too.

Wait until the fruit trees start to bloom before uncovering in spring. This is especially true for us folk on the prairies.

More Info Types of Roses Ramblers, vining, miniature, tea, floribunda... Roses have their own vocabulary. This reference from the University of Missouri gives you a start.

Leaf -- Rose

Species
Cultivar
Container
Format
Available
(# plants)
Height
(feet)
Price
($/Plant)
Rose, Canada #5 Std pot (15 qt) 1 $45.00
Rose, Morden Fireglow #5 Std pot (15 qt) 1 $45.00
Rose, Never Alone #5 Std pot (15 qt) 14 $45.00
Rose, Prickly #2 Std pot (6 qt) 38 $20.00
Rose, Prickly 1000 ml Styroblock 22 $6.00
Rose, Prickly 125 ml plug 150 $3.25
Rose, Purple Pavement #5 Std pot (15 qt) 1 $45.00
Rose, Unlabeled #5 Std pot (15 qt) 1 $30.00
Last Update: 2020-Jun-30


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Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.