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A Brief Background on Antique Roses and How You Can Grow Them

Antique roses are most commonly defined as any rose that was in existence before the first hybrid tea rose was introduced in 1867. After 1867 the old roses were often ignored in favor of the new roses that bloomed all season long. Because the antique rose blooms for only two to four weeks in early summer many gardeners favor more modern roses. However, continuing to plant antique roses has many benefits and is not as difficult as you may think.

Antique roses are a gardener’s dream come true. They are proven survivors. Modern hybrids lack this sturdiness. Their main appeal is showy blooms that last all season, but in actuality modern roses are very delicate plants. Modern roses require hours of devoted attention in order to flourish, but antique roses do not demand so much from their cultivators. Some antique roses actually thrive the less they are pruned.  And some specimens of these antique roses have been discovered in old cemeteries and abandoned gardens attesting that they can survive without any human care.

Old roses have flowers that are not as vibrant or striking. Instead antique roses offer a softer more pastel flower. This coloring has become the preference for many rose collectors. In addition, the shape of an antique rose bush is much more appealing than the modern roses. The old varieties display handsome foliage making them wonderful landscape plants. They are valuable because they climb, trail and ramble.

In addition, antique roses exude an amazing fragrance. This is because the fragrance exists in an undiluted form in old roses.

There are some basic tips to help gardeners add antique roses to their collection successfully. To begin with make sure your antique rose gets adequate sun. It requires a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight in order to flourish. In addition, antique roses should not be planted extremely close to one another. They need to have room to breath and allow the air to circulate between them.

Also, make sure that you are planting your antique roses in a good quality soil. In addition top the soil with an organic fertilizer such as compost, manures or seaweed to add some additional important nutrients that plants nee to thrive. This mulch should be applied in a layer that is several inches thick and repeated two or three times a year. Also make sure that your garden has adequate drainage. Roots that are soggy or wet for long periods of time cannot grow.

Also remember to water your roses. Roses require plenty of water, especially in the hotter, drier months. When watering, make sure that the rose gets enough water and that the excess will drain quickly.

Antique roses do not have to be pruned often. In fact, most antique rose will flourish if you avoid pruning them all together. A helpful tip is to remove any dead foliage and if you must trim the plant back further then clip back no more than one third of the remaining leaves.

If your antique rose is a climber, make sure that you provide adequate support and room for the plant to take off.

You should avoid spraying antique roses with any type of insect or disease sprays. And as with all plants, the more attention and time you dedicate to your antique roses the better they will look. One of the advantages of antique roses, however; is that once they are established they demand much less attention than the modern roses do. This means if you aren’t able to attend to them for a while you don’t have to be concerned that they will be seriously damaged.


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