Friday, May 4, 2012

You Can Grow That! - Roses

Did you know that the rose was named 2012 International Herb of the Year?

Yippee! Roses are wonderful in just about every way.

 I have had very good experiences with growing roses, so it puzzles me when people say that they're difficult to grow. Of course, if you want something that you just stick in the ground and never have to bother with then your choices are more limited.

I like to think of taking care of roses sort of like taking care of yourself -- baggy sweats and dirty T-shirt vs manicured and nicely dressed. You don't get the latter without a bit of care, and that's how roses are.

The key to keeping your roses blooming all season is deadheading.

If you're not familiar with the term, it means taking off the old beat-up roses and any that have lost their petals. I go out in the yard in the mornings and do this, but you can do it any time.

If the plant has too many rose hips on it (what they call the fat part under the flower after the petals fall off) then it will stop blooming. Also, take off any leaves with spots on them, or any that turn brown.

Now this is the important part: do not leave these old nasty leaves on the ground, especially if they have spots on them, look powdery, or show any signs of plant illness. Get rid of them.

If you keep your roses cared for, they will reward you with amazing flowers.

One of the first things I planted when we moved here was this beauty:

This gives me the most amazing, fragrant roses! One of these days I'm going to make some rose jelly with the petals -- it smells that good.

I bought this at Wal-Mart of all places, and it does get a few spotted and browning leaves on it, especially during our hot, humid summers. But over time, it has gotten stronger and the problem has improved considerably. And I have never sprayed or applied any sort of poison, so I can make whatever I like with these flowers and not worry at all about it.


You Can Grow That! is a campaign created by garden writer and master gardener C. L. Fornari. On the fourth of each month participating garden bloggers will write about something you can grow. Stop by the You Can Grow That! Facebook page to read all of the posts.


  1. What a gorgeous rose! Thank you!

    1. I'm glad you like it! I wish I could transmit smell over the internet, it smells gorgeous too ...

  2. I still have a hard time thinking of roses as herbs. I also found that my roses are heavy feeders, so a monthly addition of Rose Tone helps.

    1. Take a look at my interview with Carol Fielding of All About Rose Gardening to get some ideas of how to use roses in cooking at

      I'm not familiar with Rose Tone, can you tell us more about it?