Hybrid tea roses are favorites.
image by H.B. Dean
When someone receives a long-stemmed rose, more than likely it is a hybrid tea rose. With long, strong canes supporting fragrant blossoms, hybrid tea roses are a favorite choice of florists and home gardeners. Raising healthy hybrid teas begins with soil preparation and proper planting.
Select a site for the rose. All roses need full sunlight for at least six hours each day. They thrive in rich, well-draining soil that retains moisture and has a pH of 5.8 to 6.8. Choose a spot that allows the mature rose plenty of room.
Prepare the site a month before planting. Dig up the soil to 2 feet deep and remove rocks and weeds. Incorporate well-rotted manure or compost into the soil to enrich it. Test the soil and add hydrated lime to make it more alkaline and sulfur to make it more acidic. The Garden Helper has a chart for specific amounts of lime or sulfur for different types of soil. Two weeks later, test the soil again.
Plant the rose when the last threat of frost has past. Dig the hole that is 2 feet by 2 feet; transfer the soil to a wheel barrow or tarpaulin. Approximate the amount of soil in the wheel barrow and add that much mulch, peat moss and potting soil to the wheel barrow; mix well. Fill the hole about half full with the soil mixture. Fill the hole completely with water and mix; the water-soil mixture will have the consistency of pudding before it sets.
Put the hybrid tea rose in the water-soil mixture and position it so that the bud union--the part where the roots and canes meet--is right above the surface of the hole. Add soil mixture from the wheel barrow to the hole until the water-soil mixture is firm. Tamp down the soil gently.
Spread mulch around the base of the hybrid tea rose--about a 2-inch layer--and cover the bud union. Use a stick to draw a circle in the mulch that is 1 foot from the rose on all sides. Build up the mulch on this circle, creating a dam. This will help retain water for the next several weeks.
Water the rose daily until the rose puts out red leaves, which is a sign that the rose has settled into the garden and is growing. Gradually remove the mulch from around the bud union every day until the base of the rose is free from mulch.