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Tips for Choosing Tea Roses

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Tea roses produce large, often fragrant, single blooms with a velvety texture, vivid color, and simple elegance. Hundreds of varieties are available in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Here are ten tips to help you choose a tea rose.

tea rosetea rose

  1. Read the label carefully. Most commercial roses come with a label or catalog description. Even if you love the rose, resist the urge to buy without considering carefully the label information. The last thing you want to do is choose a rose you love but which will not likely thrive in your garden.
  2. Choose a variety that will thrive in your climate. If you live in a mild climate, for instance, choose a tea rose is heat tolerant. If you live in a humid climate, choose a rose that is resistant to mildew and other fungal diseases. If you live in a cold climate, evaluate the plant’s cold hardiness, as most roses do not do well in freezing temperatures.
  3. Be aware of growth habits. Is the rose a climber? Is it a rambler? Does it spread sideways rapidly? Will it make a good groundcover? Visualize the rose in your garden, and what direction it might grow. Also, note the rose’s average height and width to avoid mistakenly planting something that grows too high for its location.
  4. Do you want a rose whose fragrance lingers in the summer air? Or does the mere thought make you want to sneeze? Some tea roses don’t have much of a fragrance, and some are incredibly fragrant. Choose according to your specific likes and needs.
  5. Do you plan on using your roses for cut flowers? Some varieties are better suited for cutting and displaying, while others have petals that are fragile or dry quickly after cutting.
  6. What about disease resistance? Tea roses are all prone to disease, but some varieties are more resistant than others. If the idea of a mildew infection or Japanese Beetles infestation makes you cringe, choose a rose that is widely regarded as disease resistant.
  7. Think about the amount of care you can provide. Some roses demand more attention and care to thrive than others. If you can only provide limited attention, find a rose that can thrive with minimal attention.
  8. Consider color. Even though all tea roses are beautiful, you may want to consider how different colors will look in your garden. Visualize the rose in full bloom. Will it complement the surrounding landscape?
  9. Buy only healthy-looking plants. If you are selecting a rose from your local nursery or garden center, choose a plant with at least three strong canes. Avoid buying roses with brown roots, shriveled foliage, or damaged branches. Choose roses with bright white roots and bright buds at the side of each stem.
  10. Purchase your roses only from reputable dealers. Pick only the most healthy-looking plants. Cheap plants from unknown sources may introduce disease, which can spread quickly among your other roses. The extra bit of money will be well worth it when your roses bloom.
Updated: November 4, 2013 — 1:50 am

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