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About Roses

What is an Antique Rose?

An Antique Rose is generally considered to be a rose that was introduced before 1867, when the modern Hybrid Tea Roses were introduced. Most Old Garden Rose collectors embrace any rose that is more than seventy-five years old or display characteristics of the Antique Rose. Some of those characteristics would include the wonderful fragrance that these roses offer, their ease of cultivation, and the beauty that they lend to the landscape. Many modern hybrids lack the great perfume scent that Antique Roses carry. Also, Antique Roses often make great specimen plants, holding their own in the landscape with little care. Antique Roses are known to have attractive, healthy foliage with little incident of disease throughout the year. The flowers of Antique Roses are more muted or subtle in color than those of most modern roses. We like to think that if they were an attractive woman they would flirt subtly, leaving more to your imagination, where a modern rose lays it on thick with their showy, rich colors. Should one choose to "get to know" an Old Rose better they would find that they have a lot to offer.

Selecting an Antique Rose

The hardest part of growing Antique Roses is the decision of which ones to select for your garden. Your first priority is to determine the USDA hardiness zone that you live in before  making this decision. The zones indicated by the description of the rose in our online rose  catalog are provided as a guideline to help you select roses that will perform well in your  area. The next detail for selection would be size. Often customers visiting our nursery have  several roses in mind for an area find out that one rose will more than fill the area. No  doubt, you were drawn to them by their beauty and ease of cultivation, but their historic  background is just as interesting. Because of their beauty, fragrance and form they have been  indispensable in gardens for centuries. Whether you chose a bush, rambler, climber or a  smaller specimen you are sure to enjoy your Old Garden Rose.

Growing Antique Roses

Modern rose rustlers attest to the constitution of Antique Roses by "rustling" up roses on old  homesteads and in cemeteries that have been all but forgotten. Although they will withstand  neglect, they will flourish if planted and maintained properly. Locate your Antique Rose in  a sunny location that will receive six hours or more of direct sunlight each day. If you have  to choose between morning or afternoon sun, choose the morning location. There are shade  tolerant varieties, however even they require at least four hours of sunlight daily. Keep in  mind that shade tolerant does not indicate shade preferred, roses grow larger faster and  bloom more profusely when in a sunny location. Begin by enriching your sight with organic material such as humus, peat or composted manure. Never plant your Old Garden Rose in a mix entirely of these products. A good  ratio is 3 parts of garden sight soil to 1 part organic material thoroughly mixed into the  planting area. This will continue to insure proper drainage, which is essential to good root  development. Pay close attention that the bottom of the hole does not allow for air pockets  by being concave or convex in design, a flat bottom is best. Air pockets afford burrowing  insects a home and may "hollow out" even more during periods of drought causing problems  or even death to the rose. Of course, roses can be maintained in large pots if you desire.  When planting them in containers select a pot initially twice as large as the root ball and  fill it with a premium, well draining, potting mix. We like to mulch around the base of our roses to insulate the roots from the extreme  temperatures of summer and winter. Several inches of mulch applied twice annually will help  to eliminate weeds, water stress and heat or cold stress.

Once established your Antique Rose will prove very drought tolerant. However, when  establishing your roses please water them deeply several times a week. After the first couple  weeks you may water them deeply every five to seven days or as the weather dictates. Of  course, it is always best to water during the morning hours. One of the attributes of Antique Roses is their disease resistance. This does not mean that they  are completely disease free. During the fall and early spring, when we are experiencing heavy  fog, old roses may be affected by black spot and/or powdery mildew. They rarely become  completely debilitated by disease. They usually shed any infected leaves and continue to  grow. Should you choose to spray to keep all disease in check we suggest using wettable  sulphur or baking soda at the rate of 1 ounce of sulphur or baking soda to 1 gallon of water in  a hose end sprayer applied in the early morning. Neem oil products have proven themselves  to be very effective in retarding black spot and repelling insect pests. Please pay close  attention to label instructions when using oil based products, such as neem oil, as they may burn the rose if applied improperly. 

Another way to keep Old Garden Roses healthy and productive is by feeding and pruning  them. There are many commercial rose fertilizers to choose from on the market today. Many  fertilizers are systemic and help to repel insects while nourishing your rose. Always follow  package guidelines for fertlizer application rates. Pruning is they key to a nicely shaped and  vigorous rose bush. During early spring, usually mid to late February in the Southeast, prune  back approximately 1/3 of your rose bush. Throughout the growing season roses will  benefit from the removal of spent blossoms. This process encourages more blooming and  foliage growth. Fall, being late September in the South, marks the time for another good  pruning. Again, removing a considerable amount in the fall will encourage prolific spring  growth and blossoms.

Antique Roses are so very rewarding and sure to delight anyone that chooses to include them in their landscape. Thank you for allowing us to share our roses with you and for sharing them  with others as well. Should you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us.


Seminole Springs Antique Rose & Herb Farm
34935 W. Huff Rd. Eustis, FL 32736
(352) 357-2643