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A result of a cross between a hybrid tea rose and a floribunda rose, grandiflora-type roses were born of necessity, as the new cross didn’t fit in either of the parent categories. Featuring habits of both parents, grandifloras are known for their showy, high-centered blooms similar to their hybrid tea parentage, as well as their taller plant height. From their floribunda parent, grandiflora roses sport multiple blooms per stem, unlike gthe hybrid tea rose. The pioneer of this group of roses was the beautiful ‘Queen Elizabeth’ in 1955.
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Grandiflora roses add a pop of color (in almost any color possible!) to the garden along with their lovely scented blooms. Because of their tall and fairly sparse plant habit, grandiflora roses fit in well among other perennials and shrubs. Position them so you can enjoy their fragrance throughout the day and into the evening.
Grandiflora Rose Care Must-Knows
Like all other rose types, grandiflora roses need full sun. With anything less, you increase the probability of numerous problems, such as poor-quality blooms, greater likelihood of plants flopping, and overall weak, sparse plants. Foliar diseases are the biggest problem of many roses, and grandifloras are very susceptible. One of the biggest concerns is black spot, a fungal disease that causes black spots on the foliage. In many climates black spot is almost inevitable for rosebushes. The best thing to do is to be proactive and plant in full sun, prune properly for good airflow, and avoid wetting the foliage when possible. Mildews are also troublesome, including powdery and downy varieties. Control these as you would black spot.
Grandiflora roses generally will survive in full sun and in well-drained soils. If you have poor soil, amend it by adding a good amount of general purpose potting mix and peat moss to help lighten it up. Once you have dug the hole for your rose plant, gently spread the roots over a mound of soil and fill in with the amended soil, filling any gaps and packing down lightly to remove any air pockets around the roots. Many grandifloras are grafted plants, meaning the top growth is actually a separate plant from the roots. When planting grafted roses, make sure the graft union (the bulging knob-like spot near the base of the plant) is buried 1 to 2 inches below the soil level in northern climates, and just above the soil in warmer climates. Prune back any stalks emerging from below this union; otherwise you risk the more vigorous rootstock taking over your beautiful top variety.
Once planted, make sure to water well at the base of the plant. As the plant grows, make sure to continue watering regularly until established. Roses are heavy feeders, so plan accordingly; repeat blooming varieties will be happy with regular doses of fertilizer.
Pruning Grandiflora Roses
Pruning grandiflora roses is the same deal as hybrid teas. If you're not familiar, it is best to prune in late winter, before the plants have put on their new spring growth. At this point, remove any old, dead growth and diseased wood. Long, vigorous shoots can then be cut back to 4 to 6 buds from the base, which is generally 10 to 15 inches above the graft union. After a harsh winter, you may have substantial dieback on these long canes; simply cut back to the first signs of live wood. As plants get older and canes get thick, you may need to cut some of these older canes almost back to the ground. This will help to encourage new growth from the base of the plant, and can also help to increase airflow.
More Varieties of Grandiflora Rose
'Earth Song' Rose
Rosa 'Earth Song' is an extra-tough grandiflora bred at Iowa State University. Large, clear-pink, urn-shape blooms begin opening in early summer and continue until frost. The vigorous plant has an upright growth habit with glossy dark green foliage. It grows 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 4-9
'Scarlet Knight' Rose
Rosa 'Scarlet Knight' is an award-winning variety with deeply colored and dramatic blooms that start from nearly black buds and unfurl to double crimson flowers with a light old-rose fragrance. Appearing one per stem or in clusters, the blooms hold up well in cut bouquets. Foliage is dark green on tall, upright plants that reach 5 feet tall and 2-1/2 feet wide. Zones 5-9