The rose is considered the queen of all flowers, with its velvety soft petals on highly fragrant, perfectly shaped blossoms. Although few flowers can match the roses' sweet scent, some flower varieties look similar to roses. A few rose look-alikes require special cultural requirements, but some varieties are much easier to grow than roses.
A tender perennial, ranunculus (Ranunculus spp.), also called Persian buttercups, are damaged at temperatures below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Their double flowers greatly resemble the flowers of old-fashioned cabbage rose varieties. Rananculus grow from tuberous roots planted in spring in temperate areas, or fall in mild winter areas, and grow best in full sun. The 20 to 24 inch plants produce flowers in most colors and bloom in spring and summer. Dig their tubers when the foliage dies back in fall and store the roots dry at temperatures between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most popular annual bedding plant in America, according to Iowa State University Extension, impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) are available with single or double flowers. The double flowers resemble miniature roses. All varieties of impatiens grow best in partial to deep shade and will not perform well in full sun sites. They are heavy feeders and grow best in rich, fertile soil that is kept consistently moist but not wet. Fertilize the ground before planting and apply supplemental water soluble fertilizer throughout the growing season by spraying the foliage or watering with the fertilizer solution. Impatiens make excellent container plants.
Developed from a native American wildflower, the double flowers of hybrid lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum x hybrida) resemble a wild rose. Although the native wildflower has blue flowers, hybrid varieties are available in a wide range of colors, including purple, lavender, dark pink, light pink, cream and white. Lisianthus started from its tiny seeds take five months to produce flowers. Small transplants are more often available as nurseries begin cultivating them to sell to home gardeners. Plant lisianthus in full sun and well-drained soil after all danger of frost has past. Space them 6 to 8 inches apart so the plants can support each other as they grow taller. Some large specimens many need to be staked.
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