The Q&A Archives: Carpet Roses and Clay Soil

Question: My flower beds have clay soil that has been very well amended with compost, etc. down to about 15 inches. After that it's just hard clay and lots of rock. I've planted two Monrovia coral flower carpet roses and am now worried that they won't survive. The site gets about 8 hours of sunlight. Other perennials in the beds are doing fine (geranium Rozanne, Salvia May Night, Moonbeam coreopsis, rhodies and azaleas in the back) but I don't know much (well, actually, anything) about roses and I'm worried that I've made a mistake buying them for this site.

Answer: I don't think you have anything to worry about. Since you've amended to about 15" and the roots of mature carpet roses will remain in the top 10-12" of soil, everything should be just right for them. Clay soils drain very slowly which can suffocate plant roots. But the soil you've amended should drain perfectly for your new carpet roses. Eight hours of sunshine should make your roses bloom their little heads off. Enjoy!

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