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Want to learn how to grow roses? These SLO experts can help

Tour this rose garden with Mediterranean flair in San Luis Obispo

Zaf and Pat Iqbal's garden in San Luis Obispo features hundreds of roses, which are highlighted by the other flower varieties in adjacent beds.
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Zaf and Pat Iqbal's garden in San Luis Obispo features hundreds of roses, which are highlighted by the other flower varieties in adjacent beds.

Q: “I love roses and would like to plant a few in my landscape. What basic information should I know before I begin this journey?”

Cynthia M., Paso Robles

A: Roses — a timeless symbol of love, sympathy or gratitude; an esthetically pleasing-to-the-eye flower that often produces intoxicating fragrances. There are more than 100 species of roses and thousands of different cultivars or varieties.

Roses are easy to grow and, with a basic understanding of what they require, any garden enthusiast can be successful growing them.

There are many different varieties of roses.

Hybrid tea roses are a large bloom on a long stem. (Double Delight, Mister Lincoln.) Grandiflora are a combination of Hybrid tea and floribunda and can have one bloom per stem or a cluster of blooms on a stem. (Gold Medal, Queen Elizabeth) Floribundas are shorter bushes with shorter cluster blooms but will sometimes bloom singularly. (Iceberg, Betty Boop.) Polyanthas are small bushes with clusters that are about one inch in diameter. (China Doll, The Gift.) Other varieties include miniature, miniflora, tree, shrub and climbing roses.

Roses can be purchased in bare root or plant form.

Bare root roses are dormant, soil-less, leafless plants that are usually packed in moist sawdust to make it easier to store and ship them. With our mild Central Coast climate, the best time to plant roses is early spring.

Prune rose plants at the end of winter or in January or February with clean, sharp pruners. Cuts should be made ¼-inch above the bud eyes. Throughout their growing months, prune off dead leaves, spent rose heads and sucker shoots as needed. Feed roses in early spring and again in early summer.

If you want to know more about growing roses, attend the UCCE Master Gardener’s Advice to Grow By workshop from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday in our demonstration garden at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. Please visit our website to register at http://ucanr.edu/sites/mgslo/. If inclement weather, meet in the auditorium.

If you would like to walk through our demonstration garden, docents will be available after the workshop until 1 p.m.

Jackie Woods is a UCCE Master Gardener.

Aurelia Wick removed all the grass and created a colorful garden at her Paso Robles home — fruit trees, roses, irises, lilies and drought-tolerant plants.

Got a gardening question?

In San Luis Obispo call 781-5939, Arroyo Grande, 473-7190 and Templeton, 434-4105. Visit us at http://ucanr.org/sites/mgslo/ or email us at anrmgslo@ucanr.edu. Follow us on Instagram at slo_mgs and like us on Facebook. Informative garden workshops are held the third Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. to noon at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. Garden docents are available after the workshop until 1 p.m. To request a tour of the garden, call 781-5939.

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