Grow floribundas for lots of blooms with little effort

Julie Chai,  – November 29, 2005

Easy basics for roses

If you’ve never grown roses, you may believe what you’ve heard about them – that they’re fussy, disease-prone, and need lots of primping to look good. True, certain roses live up to that reputation. But not floribundas. Prized for their clusters of informal flowers, these landscape roses bloom over a long season on little care. Growing about 3 to 4 feet tall or higher, depending on the variety, they have a rounded, bushy habit and are perfect for both hedges and containers.

Of the many kinds available, which are easiest to grow? To find out, we polled rose experts around the West. Their top six favorites are shown here, along with tips to keep them looking good from planting to bloom.

Roses are sold bare-root (their roots are usually packed in moist sawdust and plastic) at nurseries in December and January (early spring in cold climates). Or wait until late spring or early summer to buy blooming plants in containers.

Plant roses in a spot that gets full sun – at least six hours a day – with fast-draining soil; before planting, amend area with compost. Avoid wetting foliage when watering.

Sources: Arena Roses (888/466-7434), Edmunds’ Roses (888/481-7673), Jackson & Perkins (800/292-4769), and Regan Nursery (800/249-4680).