|Knockout roses bloom faster than anyone can imagine.|
Knockout Roses are a popular variety of shrub roses. I see them all over this area, and most of them are neglected - the American approach to roses.
All roses need mulching and pruning. They do not need spraying and fertilizing. Total neglect means they are under-watered (with no mulch to hold water in the soil) and under-fed, with no organic material to rot into the soil. Since cutting new roses will make them bloom (John 15:1-10), letting them back in the sun means they will be increasingly unsightly, even after a good rain.
Hybrid tea roses are the second main group of roses, although there are many more. I joined the American Rose Society so I could keep up with the latest plants being offered. January is the time when gardeners get to plan and buy in advance, so I wanted to be ready.
Knockout roses bloom profusely and do not get blackspot, the fungus that attacks rose leaves and leaves the plant weak and ugly. The buds and blooms are smaller, but their profusion makes up for this. I have the original magenta Knockout rose, which is still producing roses in early November. The pink version is not so prolific but has kinder stems - fewer prickles. The white Knockouts did not really grow stronger until late in the season. They are five-petal roses with tiny buds, the hardest to cut for vases since the blooms do better on the bush than in an arrangement.
Hybrid tea roses have many advantages over shrub roses. Hybrid tea blooms are larger with various advantages in color and fragrance, though few roses have everything in abundance. Usually one key characteristic is slighted - aroma, immunity from disease, foliage, or frequency of blooms.
The Knockouts make me impatient for the hybrid tea roses to bloom. The hybrid tea buds form much more slowly and open at a glacial pace. The five sepals enclosing the bud have to be open for the bud to complete its blooming after being cut. That also seems to take forever after cutting Knockouts like crazy and having even more to share. Harvesting a bud too soon means a bud will be sitting in a vase, but no bloom will form.
My best bud story was this one. Our neighbors love roses - and who doesn't. Mrs. Right (who lives ot the right of us) loves to get them. She was coming home when I was pruning. I had a long-developing bud at the top of a rose bush, one that kept aiming at seven feet all summer. I cut one long-stemmed bud, knowing the sepals were fully open. I gave to her to take into the house. She was not impressed. I said, "Give it some time and you will have a beautiful bloom."
She told Mrs. I later, "I didn't think much of that rose, but it bloomed in the vase, just like your husband said it would." A bud like that will open up over a period of days and stay beautiful for many days more as it continues to open up. Hybrid team blooms are normally very large and showy. If the buds are especially large, the blooms will be extremely large.
I have two hybrid tea buds (rescued from the frost) slowly opening in the vase, next to some Knockouts we cut for the altar on Sunday. These have thin petals, so they look like colored tissue paper as they open.
|The Double Delight rose, a hybrid tea, has the color and the fragrance.|