Monday, March 14, 2011

Old Fashioned Roses Are New Again

There is a new phenomenon in the south Florida gardening world. What is old is new again. Heirloom roses are becoming available at local garden centers and nurseries. There are wonderful benefits to growing the old fashioned roses.

Old fashioned roses are easier to grow than the new hybrid roses. They require little to no spraying of insecticides or fungicides. Heirloom roses flower more profusely than the newer hybrids. They often have a wonderful aroma. They grow on fuller bushes so they look less straggly than traditional hybrid roses. They require less pruning than modern roses.

The drawback of heirloom roses is that they do not have long stems, so they are not used in large vases. The stems are also very thin and are best suited for a bud vase. The flowers usually have fewer petals and fall off the stem in a shorter time than new hybrids. The color selection is limited.

There are a bountiful amount of old roses, such as the Gallica, Damask, Centifolia, Portland, Bourbon, Ramblers and more. Some of these early hybrids originated from the old china roses. European in origin, they came here with early settlers to the United States. Southern plantation owners covered their entry fences with many of these roses. They became own as Dixie roses.

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