Have you ever leaned over to sniff a rose at the grocery store and found yourself disappointed that you smelled. . . nothing? Unfortunately, that’s the case with most roses. They’ve been created for ease of growing and colorful petals and not much else.
Luckily, you do have some choices if you want that gorgeous, rich rose scent in your garden.
This year, we’re excited to offer David Austin Roses, known for their huge blooms and wonderful, heady fragrance, to you. Here’s why you’ll want to grow David Austin Roses.
Big Flowers & Big Fragrance
David Austin is an English rose breeder who has been working since the 1950s to create roses with wonderful fragrance that are also gorgeous and easy to grow. His plants are immediately recognizable by their huge, colorful flowers. Some people call them “Cabbage Roses” because they’re absolutely packed full of petals.
In your garden, you’ll be calling them “my favorite plants,” because of their pretty flowers and wonderful scent, and your friends will be saying, “What is THAT?”
Which David Austin Rose is Right for You?
That depends on where you want to grow it and what you’re looking for. If you want super easy care, check out the tags for disease resistant roses. Do you have an arbor or trellis you want to cover? You’re looking for the climbing roses, which grow on very long stems that you can secure to a support structure. Flower power and fragrance are most prevalent in the English Roses from David Austin. Shrub roses look great when you plant a bunch together in a landscape bed or along a house foundation. Floribundas are some of the most disease-resistant, but they don’t have the scent that other choices offer.
Long story short, there is a David Austin rose for every garden — just depends on what you’re looking for.
How to Plant David Austin Roses
Here are some tips to make planting and growing your David Austin Roses a snap!
Select a sunny spot
All roses grow best and flower best when they get at least 6-8 hours of sun per day. That’s non-negotiable. If they’re in the shade, they’ll decline and eventually disappear.
Plant at the right depth
Dig a hole twice as wide and about an inch deeper than the rootball of the rose is tall. Take the plant out of the pot and set it in the hole. Place a plant stake or spade handle across the hole and check the depth of the plant. The graft union (the place where the stems meet the roots) should be about an inch or two below the handle, putting it 3-4 cm below ground. Fill in with soil around the plant and firmly pack it down.
Mulch around the plant
Spread mulch about 3-4 cm deep around the planting area. Don’t pile the mulch up around the stems as that can promote fungal and bacterial diseases to grow around the plant.
Water well when you plant
Count to ten on each plant when you water and water new roses every 2-3 days. Once roses have established themselves in the garden (after two months or so), water once per week. If the flowers are wilting, the plant is thirsty and needs water.
We hope this helps you get your David Austin Roses off to a great start! Stay tuned for part two: Rose maintenance- where we’ll explain how to fertilize, prune, and keep your roses healthy for years and years.