California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Hybrid Tea Roses

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Ingrid Bergman Hybrid Tea Rose

Hybrid Tea roses are the perfect show rose. They last well as cut flowers. They have high centered, pointed blooms. There is frequently only one bloom at the top of each stem, though at times a second or third will start before the primary bloom has completely blown. The flowers were bred first for aesthetics, then disease resistance, and then finally for the scent. I consider them to be the most finicky group of roses. There are a wealth of soil preparation and fertilizing recipes; they all work to some degree, but I don't think they are worth the effort. I do three things to keep these beasts of bushes tamed: I give them ample water; I mulch them heavily (and whenever they are getting rust or the weeds are starting to grow I mulch them some more); and I prune them fairly hard throughout the year. Removing the diseased portions, through good garden sanitation, can limit much of the damage. Hard pruning encourages more vigorous growth. There may be a few less flowers but the plants look great. I have put gardens on a regular spray and fertilizer program at a homeowners request and then not sprayed at all on an adjacent property. The 'no spray' roses have fewer insect and fungal problems. It is my opinion that fertilizer softens up the tissues so the aphids and mites have a much easier time feeding all of the lacewings and ladybugs. Then the chemicals are the only thing that are keeping the bugs at bay. Roses have been growing, much to our pleasure, for thousands of years. The chemicals have only been here for the last fifty or so. I have enough to do in the garden so spewing toxic stuff around just seems unnecessary and unhealthy for me.

Fragrant Cloud
Ingrid Bergman
Just Joey