Growing Roses in Florida

Growing roses in Florida is a Florida rose gardening guide. How rose growing in Florida differs from rose gardening in cooler climates. How rose growers avoid rose diseases in Florida.

Growing roses in Florida. The rose garden at Leu Gardens, Orlando.

The Polyantha rose, Margo Koster fronted by either Rosa Neon Lights or Raspberry Punch in the rose garden at Harry P. Leu Gardens, Orlando.

Rose gardening is a bit more challenging in the Sunshine State due to our scorching summer heat and high humidity. Roses bloom most prolifically in cool weather and rain spreads the fungal diseases that plague rose plants.

Does this mean that you can't grow roses in Florida?

Not at all.

Although roses enjoy their best health and bloom in drier, cooler states like California or Oregon, there are many types of roses that will not only grow, but thrive in Florida.

Growing Roses in Florida. Close up of Margo Koster blooms.

Polyantha Rose Margo Koster

Florida Roses

Floribunda roses, Polyanthas, Chinas and Teas (the old garden Tea roses not the modern Hybrid Teas) perform best on Florida soils.

This does not mean that they will tolerate being planted in the unamended sand here.

Rose growers in Florida will need to give particular attention to properly preparing the soil in their rose beds. Dig in copious amounts of composted manure and/or leaves.

Not all Florida soil is sandy. There are some clay soils scattered throughout the state. But, for the most part, Florida's a great big beach.

If growing roses in Florida sand is too challenging,

growing roses in containers is the perfect solution.

Growing roses in Florida. Hybrid Teas at Leu Gardens, Orlando.

Floridians who love cut flowers will be glad to know that some of the more disease resistant Hybrid Tea Rose Varieties perform well in Florida.

Expect them to grow much taller than they would up north because of our longer growing season.

Pay close attention to disease resistance when choosing varieties to plant. Another thing you should look for in Florida roses is heat tolerance.

Hundred degree summer temps will stop most roses cold. Look for the few types that will keep blooming, albeit lightly, right through the heat.

Strong sun can cause rose flowers to fade. This looks pretty on some varieties. Not so much on others.

Roses need at least 8 hours of full sun per day in order to grow healthfully in most climates. They will sometimes do better with slightly less in Florida.

Six hours of full sun may be enough and many rose bushes thrive in dappled shade here.

Growing Roses in Florida
Rose Diseases in Florida

Rose diseases in Florida. Black spot on an Angel Face Rose at Leu Gardens, Orlando.

This Angel Face rose growing in central Florida has a bit of black spot as you can see from the yellow leaves in the photo.

This is, by far, the biggest problem you will face when growing roses in Florida.


Fungal Diseases.

I have never seen a Japanese Beetle in the 20some years I have lived here. I've seen a few thrips.

I am well acquainted with black spot.

No so much because the roses in my yard have been plagued by it--they haven't--but because I constantly hear so much about it from other gardeners here.

I order, or at least research, roses online before planting them. My neighbors tend to buy their roses at the big box stores and just hope for the best.

My rose plants do ocassionally suffer from a touch of black spot. I don't recall ever seeing powdery mildew or rust on a rose in my landscape.

Research is the key to growing healthy roses in Florida, even organic rose growing in Florida.

Fortuniana Rootstock

Growing roses in Florida. Climbing red mini rose at Kanapaha.

Even miniature roses like this climbing red mini rose scrambling over a fence at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville can be grown outdoors in Florida.

You can grow roses on their own roots in Florida or you can grow grafted roses.

Most of the old garden roses for Florida are propagated by cuttings and grown on their own roots. China and Tea roses will live for decades on their own roots.

Most of the rootstocks roses are grafted onto throughout the U.S. will be short-lived on Florida soils.

Rosa fortuniana rootstock is the best rootstock for growing roses in Florida.

Dr. Huey rootstock runs a close second.

Rose varieties on fortuniana rootstock will enjoy greater disease resistance and longevity. Grafted roses grown on other rootstocks may only live for a few years in the Sunshine State.

Growing Roses from Cuttings
Growing roses from cuttings is a guide to growing rose cuttings into beautiful, flowering rose bushes. How to care for a growing rose cutting so that it will thrive. When a cutting grown rose is most likely to fail.

Growing Roses from Seed
The pros and cons of growing roses from seed. Simple instructions for growing roses seed. The growing of roses from seed vs growing roses from cuttings.

Landscaping with Groundcover Roses
Landscaping with groundcover roses. Using disease resistant ground cover roses in the garden. Choosing the best groundcover rose for your situation. Cascading roses.

Pruning Roses
Instructions for pruning roses secrets revealed. Rose pruning 101. How to prune roses for maximum bloom. Pruning carpet roses. Pruning Floribunda roses. Pruning tree roses. Pruning techniques and gloves.

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