Mr. Lincoln is one of the best hybrid tea roses. It produces deep, rich, true red blooms that are very fragrant. Introduced in 1964 by U.S. breeders Herbert C. Swim and O.L. Weeks, it has become one of the most popular roses for home gardeners who want flowers on long stems for cutting. Its normal height is three to five feet, but you may wish to encourage it to grow taller if, for instance, you'd like a backdrop to other roses or wish to cover more of a wall or fence.
Choose three to four canes--strong stems--to be your framework. These sprout from the main trunk and you will usually have no more than five or six to choose from. Select your canes in spring, when you start your yearly pruning, or when you buy your rose. The fewer main stems you have, the more energy will be channeled into each one, giving the plant the encouragement for strong upward growth.
Fertilize and water generously throughout the year. Apply fertilizer about once a month until six weeks before killing frost and never let the soil dry out completely. Roses love being moist and respond by producing lots of branches and flowers.
Prune lightly but frequently throughout the summer. If you see a branch beginning to grow toward the center of the bush--one that you know will be removed next spring--take it off before it gets more than 6 inches long. Cutting a flower can be part of pruning, too. Instead of making the cut just any place, look for a bud that faces outward, that will grow into a productive branch. Snip off your flower just above that bud.
Protect canes from frost damage by wrapping with burlap or mounding straw around them. Tall stems are more susceptible to injury from extra cold temperatures or drying winds than short ones.
Prune back to your framework next spring, taking off small, twiggy branches from the bottom third of the bush to encourage growth upward. Leave smaller branches on the top third for maximum flowering.