The Q&A Archives: English Rose

Question: In early April, I bought my first English Rose bush (Geoff Hamilton). It was pretty large (3' wide and 4' tall) and it had many many large flower buds and I was eager to see it bloom. As soon as I got it home, I planted it in a very large planter (I can't even move the planter by myself and took about 60 lbs of potting soil to fill). The buds started to open and then the petals immediately fell off as if they were barely attached. I say that they fell of immediately because I had been watching each and every bud very carefully. At first sight of a bud opening up, I tried to smell them (QUITE FRAGRANT!), as I carefully lifted the flower to smell it, ALL the petals fell of, this happened with each and every flower/bud. I wondered if this was from shock of

Answer: This rose has an interesting shaped flower (different from say a hybrid tea rose) in that it is tightly cupped in the center even when fully open, then the flower opens more and drops the petals as it fades. I think if they are truly shattering prematurely then this may be due to transplant shock or possibly to over or underwatering as well. Many roses will take a year or so to settle in and bloom the way they should, so some "settling in" time is somewhat normal.

I hope you used a good quality soilless potting mix formulated for container plants. This is important because these mixes are made specifically to hold both air and moisture in a consistent way, thus helping maintain a healthy root system. You will need to water carefully to keep the soil slightly moist but not sopping wet and never bone dry. The container should allow for free drainage of any excess water, and if there is a saucer under the pot then that will need to be emptied once excess water has drained into it.

You may also want to check back with your retailer if you have more questions about your new rose. Enjoy!

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