The Q&A Archives: Rose Breed For Southeastern Virginia

Question: I would like to start growing roses, and do not have a idea as to what Rose breed would do good in southeastern Virginia.
Also what type of soil mixture should I use when planting?

Answer: There are many types of roses that would do well for you in your area. In general, you would want to look for varieties known to resist foliar diseases such as black spot. Hybrid tea roses as a group tend to be fussier than other types of roses in that they need more regular care and attention and pruning throughout the growing season. After that, personal preference would guide your choices.

Roses need a location in full sun and with good air circulation. The soil should be of at least average fertility. It should also be evenly moist yet well drained, meaning there is never standing water and it does not stay water logged after rain or watering. You will need to be able to water if rainfall is sparse, to keep that in mind when selecting the location.

You should test your soil and then add amendments as needed based on the results. Your county extension should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results. In most cases it is a good idea to add ample organic matter to improve the soil structure; using an organic mulch on an ongoing basis also helps to feed and improve the soil as it breaks down over time.

Since you are new to roses, I would suggest you look at a book or two to research them in more detail than I can address here. One I particularly like is "Roses for Dummies" by Lance Walheim, paperback ISBN: 0764552023. It includes straightforward overviews of the various kinds of roses along with detailed practical instructions on how to select, plant, prune and care for them. There are also selected lists of varieties to suit different needs.

Enjoy your roses!

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