‘Groundwork’ for Feb. 3, 2013

Now is an excellent time to consider adding roses to your landscape. There are several different categories or types of roses available, and within each type are numerous varieties. Before you go to the nursery, it’s important to think about the type of roses you want to grow so you can make proper selections.

First, decide how you want to use roses in the landscape and why you intend to grow them. The trend these days is to incorporate roses into landscape plantings just like any other shrub. This works particularly well with the old garden roses, landscape roses, polyanthas and floribundas.

The following is not a complete list of all the many types of roses, but it includes some of the more popular categories that will do well in our area. Repeat-flowering (everblooming) roses bloom intermittently from around late April to early December.

Once they begin blooming, roses bloom profusely around May and produce few or no flowers afterward.

Modern roses —- These types were developed after 1867, the year the first hybrid tea was introduced:

Hybrid tea roses: These large, exquisitely shaped flowers are generally produced singly on long stems. An amazing range of colors is the hallmark of hybrid teas. The plants range in size up to more than 6 feet, and can be leggy and awkward in appearance.

Often highly susceptible to black spot disease, these roses generally require regular spraying and pruning to remain healthy and vigorous. Repeat flowering.

Polyantha roses: Excellent in landscape plantings, polyantha roses are vigorously growing, bushy plants that produce small flowers in large clusters or sprays.

Most are relatively disease resistant. They are some of the more reliable and easy-to-grow roses for our area. Repeat flowering.

Grandiflora roses: These are tall plants that produce hybrid tealike flowers singly or in clusters of a few flowers on long stems. Generally comparable to hybrid teas, they also require similar care. Repeat flowering.

Floribunda roses: A useful type of rose for landscape planting, the shrubby growth is less ungainly than hybrid teas. The flowers are smaller than hybrid teas, often brightly colored and produced in clusters. Fragrance is light or lacking entirely. Repeat flowering.

Landscape roses: This is a catchall category for roses that tend to be bushy, disease-resistant and useful for landscape planting. This category includes English roses, ground cover roses (such as Drift roses), landscape roses, hedge roses and others.

The Knock Out rose and its several color forms are a very popular part of this category. Repeat flowering.

Climbing roses and ramblers: These roses produce long canes that can be tied or trained on a support. Some roses have been bred to climb, while others are vigorous mutations of bush roses.

Ramblers and many climbers are once-blooming, but some climbers are repeat-flowering, so check before purchasing. Members of this group can be modern or old garden roses.

Old garden roses — These were developed before 1867. The term “old garden rose” is a catchall term used for many distinctly different categories. Some grow better than others in Louisiana. The following are just a few of the many categories:

China roses: Known by its botanical name, Rosa chinensis was the first repeat-blooming rose discovered, and the China roses are derived from this species. (All repeat-flowering roses likely have R. chinensis in their breeding.)

The abundant flowers are not highly scented and have thin, delicate petals. The foliage is neat, dark green, pointed and rarely bothered by black spot disease. These roses have a bushy, twiggy growth habit that fits in well with landscape planting. Repeat flowering.

Tea roses: Wonderful roses for Louisiana, teas produce relatively large flowers in pastel shades and light reds. The fragrant flowers are produced continuously on robust bushes that are rugged and disease-resistant. Repeat flowering.

Noisette roses: Mostly climbers, although a few are robust shrubs, these roses thrive in the Deep South. The pastel-colored flowers are fragrant and produced in clusters that hang down from the canes. Repeat flowering.

Bourbon roses: Though more susceptible to black spot disease than the previously mentioned old garden roses, many of the Bourbons will thrive in our climate.

The flowers are usually quite fragrant and produced on large, robust shrubs. Many are repeat flowering.

Don’t forget that late January through mid-February is when you want to prune repeat-flowering (everblooming) roses.

Camellia viewing

View more than 1,500 blooms on display at the camellia show sponsored by the Baton Rouge Camellia Society on Saturday and Feb. 10, at the Rural Life Museum, 4560 Essen Lane at I-10.

The show is open to the public from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

According to Patrick Hegwood, former LSU AgCenter professor and Camellia Society member, there is no admission to the show and many of the camellia cultivars will be on sale. Experts will answer any questions about growing the bushes.

The public is also invited to enter blooms for judging from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, he said.

Besides coordinating their annual show, the Baton Rouge Camellia Society members maintain the Vi Stone Camellia Collection at Burden.

For more information, contact Hegwood at (225) 266-6054.

Got a gardening question? Write to Bob Souvestre, horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter, at Burden Center, 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809, or email to bsouvestre@agcenter.lsu.edu, or call Master Gardeners at (225) 763-3990.