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The Top 5 Myths About Roses

By Monrovia Nursery Company
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia Nursery Company

Let’s face it, roses have gotten a bad rap. These stunning shrubs with beautiful blooms have a prickly reputation, with reasons not to grow them taking on mythical status. But modern breeding is making rose growing easier and more enjoyable. From the front yard flower garden to backyard containers, your landscape deserves a rose or two!

Monrovia works with rose breeders around the world to bring only the highest quality plants to market. Hundreds of varieties are trialed and tested at their nursery locations across the country, and only the very best performers make it to market. Once they select the top varieties, Monrovia then grows them to its high quality standards. Monrovia’s roses are pruned more frequently before shipping to ensure better branching and a fuller form in the container. Planted in the nursery’s custom soil blends to enhance root development, the roses are also better able to transition quickly into the home garden.

We asked Monrovia’s expert to bust a few rose growing myths, separating fact from fiction.

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Myth #1 – Roses are too fussy

Roses often call to mind tedious and time-consuming garden chores.

“Many people have memories of their grandparents pruning, spraying and fretting over their roses,” said Georgia Clay, plants selections manager at Monrovia. “Many people still struggle with hybrid tea roses. But more modern roses don’t cause that kind of stress; they just bring beauty to the garden. Breeders have worked for years to create roses that are so easy to maintain, and don’t require a lot of consistent pruning or extra care.”

Monrovia’s Grace N’ Grit roses, for example, are a floribunda shrub type that are easy to grow, and deliver loads of beautiful, fully double blooms for the cut flower garden. Grace N’ Grit roses are also more disease resistant and can even handle heat and humidity. “We trialed them extensively in the humid Southeast, and they performed beautifully.”

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Myth #2 – Roses are prone to disease

Newer roses are much more disease resistant than old-fashioned varieties.

“This has been a central focus for breeders,” Clay said. “Today’s roses thrive in the right environment without the need to use chemicals to fend off diseases.”

Monrovia’s Nitty Gritty® roses are incredibly durable and disease resistant. This ground cover series brings pretty, double blooms in vibrant colors to the garden or containers. Choose from peach, yellow, red (pictured), pink, and white. No spraying needed. It’s also self-cleaning, so there is no need for constant trimming. “It’s a blooming powerhouse, too,” says Clay.

Myth #3 – Roses are water hogs

Once established, roses do not require a lot of water.

“Just about every plant you add to the garden needs consistent water at first,” Clay said. “Once newer roses are established, they don’t require any more water than any other shrub in your landscape and can handle the stresses of summer heat and low water very well.”

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Myth #4 – Newer roses don’t offer enough fragrance

Up until a few years ago, this myth might have been fact.

“The gene that provides beautiful fragrance can be tied to disease resistance, so in order to achieve an easy-to-grow variety, breeders often sacrificed the lovely smells we associate with roses. Newer breeding work has focused on bringing fragrance back to roses,” Clay said. “We have waited for years to find varieties that have both attributes. That’s what makes our Eau de Parfum® rose collection so special.”

Eau de Parfum roses feature big, romantic blooms in juicy colors like Berry (pictured), Bling, Blush and Bubbly. Each is wonderfully fragrant and easy to grow.

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Myth #5 – Roses don’t grow in my tough garden conditions

There are several rose varieties that bust this myth.

“I think you’d be surprised at how tough roses can be,” Clay said. “Our Nitty Gritty and Grace N’ Grit roses are known for thriving in tough conditions. But if you’re looking for an exceptionally hardy rose with fantastic fragrance, choose our Seaside Swirl™ roses.”

Seaside Swirl is a collection of Rugosa roses that come in three colors, including pink, red and blush. They are hardy to USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 3 and can take on tough growing conditions.

“They are tolerant of sea spray and road salt and really just are as tough as nails,” Clay said. “Rugosa roses are typically rambling and wild, but the Seaside Swirl collection stays compact and tidy, topping out at three feet tall and wide.”

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