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Grow your own vase-worthy roses

Podcast shares tips on best roses to grow for bouquets

Red rose
Olympiad is one of the best red roses to grow for use in bouquets. (Photo:
Debbie Arrington)

The rose is overwhelmingly America’s pick. Four out of five people say roses are their favorite flowers. Roses make up 84% of all purchased cut flowers – and seven out of every 10 of those are red.

But how do you grow bouquet-worthy blooms at home? Which varieties make the best cut roses? And how do you get them to last longer in the vase?

These are some of the rosy topics discussed by yours truly, master rosarian Debbie Arrington, during this week’s “Garden Basics with Farmer Fred” podcast, hosted by Farmer Fred Hoffman.

“Roses are beginning to put on a show throughout most of rose-growing country, especially USDA Zones six through 10,” says Hoffman. “What are the best roses to grow that not only look nice in the garden, but do especially well as cut flowers in the house? What are the roses that have outstanding shape and color, but also can last a long time in a vase, and aren’t a hassle when it comes to dealing with their prickles, in other words, ones that aren’t a thorny mess?”

Debbie suggests more than two dozen varieties that fit that description plus offers tips for keeping those roses looking good, on or off the bush.

Among the best long-stemmed red roses to grow in your own garden: Olympiad, Mister Lincoln and Veterans’ Honor.

Prefer pink? Consider Pink Promise, Queen Elizabeth, Friendship, Gentle Giant and Hot Princess.

Want longer stems? Cut lower on the stem (farther away from the bud) – even when deadheading (removing spent blooms). Hybrid tea roses tend to grow to a certain height and stem length. By always cutting long stems (instead of snipping off spent flowers near their base), the bush will continue to grow new stems the same length.

Listen in and learn more: .


lavender clematis
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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 2

Plan to make the most of the mild weather in your garden.

* October is the best month to plant trees and shrubs.

* October also is the best time to plant perennials in our area. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

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