The Q&A Archives: Unidentified Rose Tree

Question: I received as a gift a "rose tree" that stands about 5 feet tall. The tag that was attached said "flower carpet red groundcover rose" which is not correct (I don't think). I'm trying to find out which specimen I have by looking through your plant catalog. Could it be a "dream red floribunda"? The buds are starting to come out and they appear to be a crimson red color. Do you need more information to identify it? What information do you need? Obviously, I am new at this. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. Could you also give me general care information (water, fert., planting,etc)

Answer: Unfortunately, based on your description I am not certain which rose you have. Actually, nearly any rose could be grafted onto a taller stem to form a tree shaped plant, so you may have the best luck by comparing a bloom from your rose with other blooms on labeled plants. This can be tricky though, since the color can change a little bit depending on time of day, soil conditions, and sometimes even temperature. Number of petals and shape of the bud will be good clues as will the color and sheen of the foliage and possibly the size, shape and coloring of the thorns and stem.

In general, you will want to keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet; avoid wetting the leaves when you water. Feed regularly with either a water soluble fertilizer for blooming plants or with an application to the soil of a slow release fertilizer formulated for blooming container plants. Be sure to read and follow the instructions as to frequency and amount to use. For best looks, trim off the spent flowers as they fade.

In the late fall, you will need to take steps to protect the rose -- or more importantly the graft -- from excessive cold. You could try storing it in an unheated garage (water just enough to keep the soil from drying out completely), or lay it out more or less horizontally in a trench outside, burying the pot and the stem to protect the graft underground.

Enjoy your rose!

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