If you have ever walked past the League City Library on an early spring day, you are familiar with the wonderful fragrance and beauty of antique roses. These gorgeous red and pink stars of the garden are in bloom year round and are a testament to how hardy antique roses can be. They thrive in our hot Texas summer heat and sometimes drought like conditions. Antique roses have a fragrant old fashioned rose smell that is absent from the modern hybrid tea roses.
There are several different types of antique roses. Some do better in our zone 9 climate and humidity than others. The roses we carry at Maas are especially suited for our area. Most of our antique roses come from the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas. There are 3 groups of rose titles at the Emporium. All of the roses are classified as old roses. Old or antique roses are defined as rose varieties that were introduced prior to 1867. Antique roses can also be defined as roses that have been in cultivation for at least 75 years and that have old rose qualities such as flower form, color, and fragrance. Some of the antique roses have the EarthKind designation. EarthKind roses are screened by the Texas Agrilife Service through Texas A & M University. These roses are selected for their durability and ease of care. They go through a rigorous testing program before they are rewarded the EarthKind label. Texas Pioneer Roses are roses that have been rescued by the Texas Rose Rustlers.These rose enthusiasts have traveled Texas taking cuttings from abandoned old homesteads and cemeteries. These roses have survived on their own with no care for years proving their toughness.
Antique roses are in these classes: Gallicas, Musks, Centifolias, Damasks, Chinas and Teas. Crosses of these classes of roses produced other antiques such as the Noisettes, Bourbons, Portlands, Hybrid Perpetuals, Polyanthus and Hybrid Musks. Further crosses produce the more modern but still antique Old Hybrid teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras. All of these rose types vary in form, size and appearance. Antique roses can be 2 to 3 feet tall to over 20 feet tall. They can be small to very large shrubs, climbers or ramblers. Antique rose colors tend to be muted or pastel. There are some vibrant pink, red or yellow colored blooms. The soft colors of antique roses blend well with any type of garden. All antique roses have a fragrance although some are stronger than others.
Caring for your antique rose is very easy. Roses need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. They need well draining acidic soil and regular watering when first planted. Plant your roses above soil level as explained in the Maas Planting Guide. If you do not have one of these guides ask for it at your next visit to our store. Mulch is the secret to happy roses. Mulch your roses to 2 to 3 inches deep. This will keep the water in and the weeds out. Fertilize your roses every 6 to 8 weeks during their bloom period with a good organic fertilizer for acid loving plants. When first planted, water roses regularly. A good, deep watering 2 to 3 times a week is preferable to watering shallowly every day. Deep watering promotes deep root growth and helps with good drought tolerance. In February around Valentine’s Day cut your roses back to your desired height. Roses benefit from a good pruning. I prune my roses in August also. This promotes a fresh flush of fall blooms. Now, sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful blooms and the fantastic fragrance of these old fashioned roses.They are definitely my favorite flower of my garden.
Here at Maas we get most of our antique roses from the Antique Rose Emporium. The roses we are getting this year (2015)are:
Cecile Brunner Climbing
Don Juan Climbing
Joseph’s Coat Climbing
Lady Banks White Climbing
Lady Banks Yellow Climbing
Marie Van Houtte
Old Blush Climbing
Republic of Texas
Souvenier De LA Malmaison