Did you know Tagawa Gardens proudly plants our roses onsite in the greenhouse? We’re excited to showcase hundreds of hardy varieties for Colorado gardens!
Shrub roses, particularly Canadian or old garden (species) shrub roses, are known for their hardiness, disease-resistance, and resilience in poor soils. Shrub roses require less maintenance and stand up to tough Colorado winters. Most of these varieties do not have the petal count or flashiness of hybrid teas, but they provide multi-season interest with their rose hips, exciting foliage cover, and some of the best old rose fragrances.
Floribundas are a wonderful choice for anyone new to growing garden roses. Offering a spectacular variety of colors, these roses bloom profusely in bold clusters. They require deep watering and wind protection, but floribundas are more adaptable to variation in pruning and moisture conditions.
Hybrid teas are crown jewels of the garden. These iconic roses require more moisture, wind protection, and rigorous pruning than other roses, but hybrid teas reward with stunningly large blooms, rich in color and fragrance. Reaching heights of 3-5 feet, these roses make excellent cut flowers.
Watering your plants is essential to create a thriving garden. For roses, we recommend putting the sprayer right into the soil surface at the base of the plant. We offer a wide selection of water wands – each designed to meet your individual needs.
Watering Wisely for Roses
Understanding your specific rose variety and grouping it with other roses, perennials, and shrubs that have similar needs will help you maximize water. Roses don’t like to have their leaves sprayed, which makes deep watering at the root zone even more important. Amending the planting area and tucking mulch around your roses also helps improve water absorption and retention.
Did you know that common rose problems like powdery mildew, rust, and black spot are related to moisture? By watering only when your roses need it, you’ll be on track to healthier roses and wiser water use.
Acclimating Your New Roses
Our Rose Team gives exceptional care to our roses as they grow in our greenhouse. When you take your beautiful new roses home, the most important step is to acclimate them before planting! Gradually introduce your rose to the outside elements during daylight hours. Keep it in a semi-shaded area of your yard (no harsh, direct sunlight) for the first 3-4 days, then shift it to a sunnier area for 3-4 more days before planting.
Remember to prune back ½ the rose’s height after planting! If you must remove blooms in the process, turn them into a fresh garden bouquet!
Rose Care at a Glance
- Hardiness: Choose roses that will thrive in your area! Hardier rose varieties for Colorado tend to be shrub roses, climbing roses, and species/old garden roses
- Location: Most roses do well in bright sun, but some like part shade. Think east, south, and west. Research your rose to know where it will be happiest!
- Soil: Colorado soil can be tough! Be sure to amend your garden soil with 1/3 compost to 2/3 native soil before planting your roses.
- Planting: Roses need to be planted deeply in Colorado. The graft, the swollen area where the rose cane joins the main trunk, should be 3” below the soil line.
- Water: Apply water at soil level, avoiding leaves. Deep watering is best.
- Fertilizer: Newly planted roses should not be fertilized! For established roses, we recommend Espoma Rose Tone once monthly, mid-April through mid-August.
Protect yourself while caring for your roses with gauntlet-style gloves. The longer cover that extends over the forearm protects from most rogue thorns that you may encounter during deadheading and other maintenance projects. It also helps protect against the harsh Colorado sun!
Keep those pruners sharp!
When planting new roses, prune back half the rose’s height. For established roses, pruning during the growing season depends on the type of rose. Generally, look for five leaflets facing outward as an indicator of where to make an angled cut. Remember to sanitize shears between different plants and not to prune new growth.
Colorado Rose Calendar
- St. Patrick’s Day: As weather permits, begin removing two inches of winter mound material from your rose bushes every few days.
- April Fool’s Day: If spring comes early, rose bushes may be uncovered.
- Mother’s Day: As weather permits, begin to prune and fertilize established roses.
- June 15: Apply fertilizer per directions. We recommend Espoma Rose Tone.
- July 31-August 15: Apply last fertilizer of the season.
- Late August: Start cutting back on water to encourage dormancy.
- By Halloween: Mound rose bushes with about 12” mulch for winter if there have been three consecutive nights with temperatures below 25°. Plan to winter water!