Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Training Roses

Training Roses

Training Roses
By Bob Leland

Roses have a number of potential uses in a garden or home. They can provide flowering plants for gardens as well as key elements in front yard landscaping ideas. They make beautiful decorations or even borders to prevent other flowers from spilling out of their designated areas. However all of these uses require that your roses be trained to a certain degree.

Training Flowers
Training flowers, you say? Impossible! They're not pets, after all. But, of course, in a way, they are! Many rose types can indeed be trained through careful application of positioning and your pruning shears, growing where and how you want them to grow and in the positions you want them to grow in. You are forcing the roses to fit your ideal for the space, rather than their natural inclination. And, if you're careful, the result will be well worth the effort!

Direction, Height and Width
Training roses is all about three things: direction, height and width. You are attempting to control the direction your roses grow in, the height they grow to and the width they spread out in a given area. Essentially, you are attempting to train your roses to fit the space you've provided them. In the case of some types, climbing roses for instance, you could also be training them to spread over a given area, filling it. Remember that you'll be working within the limits of the space provided, so it's a good idea to keep those limits in mind when you begin your training of your roses.

Pruning
Different methods of pruning yield different results in regards to your roses. Cutting your roses into a particular shape will encourage your roses to grow in certain directions, pruning climbing roses to grow upwards for instance, or rambling roses spread evenly across a given area. Too, like most flowers, roses will inevitably grow towards the sun, so placing them in an area where the sun will shine straight down on them, as opposed to at one angle or another is probably a good idea.

Landscaping
If you're training your roses in order to use them for landscaping purposes, consider planting them at strategic intervals and using garden stakes to encourage spreading or curling in the stalks or branches. Any good landscape plant guide will recommend ways of planting flowers. Garden stakes are also a good method of controlling where your roses grow in relation to walls or walkways. Trellises and archways are good training grounds for climbing roses, as they give the plant a sort of 'road' to follow in its growth. Prune stalks that seek to spread away from the trellis and set it in the sun to encourage speedy growth and you'll have a wonderful garden adornment in no time.

Training roses is a simple matter in most cases. A pair of shears and a little sunlight and you have all of the tools you need to encourage your roses to grow where, when and how you want them to grow. Remember too that it's an ongoing project. Training roses will take time and patience on your part, and it's good to have an idea of what you want the end result to be before you start.

Bob Leland is a rose growing enthusiast. He owns and maintains About the Care of Roses, a resource for front yard landscaping ideas [http://www.aboutthecareofroses.com/LandscapingRoses.xhtml] using roses, and for rose lovers and hobbyists.

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