Thursday, September 16, 2010

Roses in South Florida

Hybrid tea rose 'Color Magic'

 I always think of roses as temperate plants, yet
 there are substantial rose societies and rose nurseries
in Florida. Even in almost-tropical Miami, there is an established rose society, and some very fine rose growers in it. One grower, Jeff Chait from Kendall,
has over 600 roses. As might be expected, roses in
this hot and humid climate need some extra attention compared to more temperate climates, but
it is possible to grow even hybrid tea or antique roses here with success. There are rose varieties quite well suited for landscape use here in South Florida such as
'Knockout', 'Mrs. Dudley Cross', and the highly
vigorous 'Fortuniana'.

Growing roses here involves the same basic planting
techniques as growing roses 'up north'. Soil preparation involves digging deeply into the soil, amending the soil with as much organic material as possible, using organic fertilizers where possible, and tending to the fungus problems which will inevitably arise. Roses are worth the effort to care for, producing some of the most memorable flowers in the plant world.  Roses have a
mystery and aura about them equaled only by orchids, and like orchids, roses are thought to be difficult, fussy and temperamental. In  both cases, most people are mistaken about both groups. Simple tools, basic culture techniques, and persistence are the keys to growing roses. Use your local society resources to help you through the early acclimation to rose growing, and start slowly until you understand the cadence of rose culture.

Start by growing roses in large pots of well-drained soil, and measure your success with a few sturdy plants. Local rose shows can be enchanting, as well as highly seductive. It would be easy to buy a dozen magnificent rose plants, only to have them fail if you don't have the time and skill to grow them. One thing is certain: once you learn the techniques of growing roses, harvest fresh flowers for your table or for friends, and incorporate roses into your garden, you'll be hooked on yet another fascinating plant group.

Craig Morell
Pinecrest Gardens

 hybrid rose 'Knockout'

'Cracker' landscape rose

'Mrs. Dudley Cross' hybrid rose


  1. dont forget to add: 'Belinda Delight'...does very well in south flower as long as u do everything u said u need to do with cultivars like 'knockout'.

  2. I believe you mean Belinda's Dream. I have one and it has been a no fail rose for me. It was my first rose and it gave me the confidence to try other roses. But it is still the best and easiest rose I own.

  3. Greetings Andrew and Denise, I believe that 'Belinda's Dream' is the correct name, and is indeed an easy-growing rose. It has all the qualities we like in a rose: great fragrance, good flower production, and good vigor. Thanks for the feedback !

    Craig Morell
    Pinecrest Gardens

  4. what about mini roses bought thru ftd