Growing roses in Colorado is easy following a few steps. The dry and cold weather makes it tricky for roses to adapt so we provide only roses that are suitable for Colorado.
When most people think of a rose, they are thinking of hybrid teas. Normally a hybrid tea has a large bloom at the end of a long cane. They are the most popular roses sold at florist shops. They are generally upright growing plants from 3-6 feet and the blooms come in most colors. Examples include Double Delight, Mr. Lincoln, St. Patrick, Veterans’ Honor, Gemini, and Brandy.
They are usually smaller plants with smaller blooms that tend to come in clusters though there are some where the bloom comes singularly. The cluster types make great landscape plants. Floribunda roses come in most colors. Examples include Iceberg, Angel Face, Playboy, Playgirl, Betty Boop, Honey Bouquet, Simplicity, Sexy Rexy, Tuscan Sun and French Lace.
The grandifloras are a combination of hybrid teas and floribundas with some one-bloom stems and some cluster blooms. Grandifloras (Gr) are tall elegant plants (6 foot height is not uncommon), which bloom repeatedly during the season. They generally feature clustered blossoms with stems, which are slightly shorter than those of hybrid teas. Examples include Queen Elizabeth, Gold Medal, Octoberfest, and Arizona.
An important thing to remember about miniatures is that the term “miniature” refers to the size of the bloom, not the size of the actual rosebush. The blooms can range from 1/2-inch up to 2 inches. Miniatures are very popular and can be grown in containers. The plants range in size from about 1-3 feet in height and some in spread. Examples of miniatures include Hot Tamale, Winter Magic, Harm Saville, Irresistible, Kristin, and Arcanum.
This is often referred to as a catchall group. They are generally roses that are hybrids of species, or roses that do not fit nicely in other classes, also these are the HARDIEST for our area since most of them have their own root.
Climbing Roses, Ramblers & Sports:
Climbing roses are very vigorous roses that can grow to great heights. There are three types. Large flowered climbers (LCI) are more modern and have stiff canes and usually have good repeat bloom. They can range in size from 8-20 feet. The blooms come in many colors and can have blooms singularly or in clusters. Examples include America, Altissimo, Fourth of July, and Berries ‘n’ Cream.
The rambler types of roses are older roses that bloom once, usually in the spring or early summer. While once-blooming, most will be covered with blooms for a month or more. They are excellent for training on pillars, pergolas, and trellises. The canes are pliable, and the blooms are small and come in large clusters. Examples are American Pillar, Seven Sisters, and Newport Fairy.
The sports of hybrid teas, floribundas, and others, resemble their bush counterpart except for their climbing growth habit. These usually have an outstanding spring bloom, followed by scattered blooms later in the fall. Examples include Cl. Double Delight and Cl. Queen Elizabeth.
The standard tree rose has a 36″ trunk and full-sized flowers. They are very elegant lining a walkway or as a feature amongst other plantings. These roses are rose plants grafted on top of a tree stock and are not typically very hardy in Colorado unless you protect the “graft”.
Learn how to identify Rose Problems. A rose problem is almost always a reflection of the plant’s environment. Conditions such as bad drainage, too little water, poor soil preparation, insects, and diseases can either be remedied or cured from the start. Preventative spraying saves time and money and keeps your plants looking healthier.
For many of the common insects you can use Triple Action or Safer Soap, a water based (a gentler product) to control the problem. If the infestation is severe you may want to use a systemic product on your roses and ornamental plants. (note: do not apply a systemic product on any edible plants)
Aphids are masses of red, green, black or peach bugs that cluster on the new growth of buds and leaves.
Thrips are light brown and very slender. They live within blooms and cause them to shred, discolor, and distort.
Spider-mites are microscopic but visible spiders caused by dry hot weather and lack of watering. Plant leaves appear webbed on surface and red specks dot the undersides with webbing and moving insects.
Japanese beetles are metallic brown with a green head and they devour leaves, causing skeletonization.
Omnivorous leaf roller is a moth larvae that makes a cocoon-like structure with leaves. The leaves stick together along with unopened buds with holes bored into them.
Leaf cutter bees leave holes in pruned cane ends and remove circular pieces from leaf margins. If they burrow into the rose cane apply white glue to the cane end.
Rose Midge is a small fly that lays eggs in the soft upper stem. When the larvae hatch they eat the stem which causes breakage. The rose has unopened, drooping buds with a discolored stem slightly below the bud.
For most diseases you can use a fungicide to solve or correct the issue, unless cutting back is the only solution. If you need to cut back your plants, clean your tool blade with rubbing alcohol to avoid the spreading of the disease.
Powdery Mildew is from cool nights, warm days and high humidity. The leaves will distort at mid-rib and are covered with a whitish gray mold.
Black Spot is a fungus brought on by rainy weather or improper watering. There are round dark spots on leaves while half of the leaf yellows or drops from bush.
Rust is present in the soil and may cause problems once the temperature reaches 55-65ºF. There are orange spots which turn black on the undersides of leaves, and new shoots will turn reddish and shrivel. Usually emerges due to a cold spring following a dry summer and a hard winter.
Canker is a brown and sunken area close to the base of the stem caused by insects, disease or mechanical damage. It can encircle the whole stem and cause it to fall off. Cut off and get rid of the wood.
Die-Back can be caused by frost damage, canker, waterlogging, mildew or black spot. Fertilize in spring if die-back is a problem and cut off affected shoot at a bud below the dead area.
Downy mildew is an airborne, cool season fungus that is always fatal if left untreated. There are violet-purple blotches on canes at temperatures below 45ºF. Cut away affected areas, disinfect pruners between cuts, use Daconil (Fertilome Liquid Fungicide) as a preventative spray, which is in Fertilome Rose Spray and Triple Action.
Shady areas are not ideal locations for growing roses.
They tend not to bloom as well in shade and are more susceptible to disease problems, especially fungus issues.
To improve your luck with roses in a shady yard, choose the brightest location possible: minimum four hours of sun being extremely preferable. Also, do not plant roses too close together. Allowing proper air circulation greatly reduces incidents of fungus. Water plants in the morning so that they can dry out adequately during the day. When watering, try to water the roots of the roses, as opposed to overhead watering the entire plant. A soaker hose or drip watering system is excellent for this. There are also systemic fungicides available to use as a preventative for fungus on your roses.
Following is a list of roses that tend to grow and bloom better in shady locations then many other varieties:
Betty Prior – Own root pink shrub rose
Carefree Delight – Own root pink/white shrub rose
Carefree Wonder – Own root pink/white shrub rose
Golden Showers – Climbing yellow rose
Iceberg – White floribunda rose
L. D. Braithwaite – Crimson David Austin
Livin’ Easy – Apricot floribunda rose
Mary Rose – Clear pink David Austin
Meidiland Pink – Own root pink groundcover
Meidiland Scarlet – Own root scarlet groundcover
Mister Lincoln – Deep red hybrid tea rose
New Dawn – Pink climbing rose
Sea Foam – Own root creamy white shrub
Sexy Rexy – Coral pink floribunda
The Fairy – Own root pastel pink groundcover
William Baffin – Own root Canadian climbing pink shrub
Zepherine Drouhin – Rose pink thornless climbing shrub