Roses are stunning.
They transform your garden and make it more colorful and fragrant. That’s why everyone loves roses.
But can you grow roses in the hot tropical climate of Florida?
YES! Roses grafted on Fortuniana rootstock do pretty well in Florida. To deal with challenges like black spots, maintain good air circulation and avoid long periods of wet foliage.
Let me explain all this to you.
Is It Possible to Grow Roses in Florida?
Roses are not a big fan of humidity.
Therefore, the hot and humid climate of Florida brings a major problem for roses:
Pests (insects + fungal diseases).
So to have success with roses, we will be growing them in five main steps:
- Select a suitable variety: Roses grafted on Fortuniana rootstock do well. Some excellent options include Savannah, Plum Perfect, Bordeaux Rose, Belinda’s Dream, and Pope John Paul II.
- Plant them at the right time and spot: Select a sunny location with well-draining soil. Protect from the blazing afternoon sun during summer.
- Defeat the pests: Avoid long periods of wet foliage to prevent black spots.
- Fertilize and water properly: Start fertilizing in early spring and follow the label directions.
Let’s dive into these tips in more detail:
Step 1: Select a Suitable Variety For Florida:
In Florida, our roses are grafted on Fortuniana Rootstock.
What’s unique about that?
The Fortuniana rootstock is resistant to the soil nematodes and is great for our sandy soils in Florida.
With that being said, let’s talk about some great options for Florida:
- Savannah (breeder name: Kordes) → Amazing fragrance + Disease resistance
- Plum Perfect → Beautiful color + Great resistance to black spots or powdery mildew
- Bordeaux Rose → Good heat resistance + Drought tolerance + Repeat bloomer
- Belinda’s Dream → Nice raspberry fragrance + Withstands hot temperatures
- Pope John Paul II → Fragrant white rose + Very attractive
Let me tell you why I love them.
This is one of the most fragrant and disease-resistant, making it ideal for Florida.
They thrive in the heat of Florida on the Fortuniana rootstock.
Although this rose will take some time to grow and establish, it will be worth the wait.
A fantastic addition to your garden!
Its unique rich lavender-red plum color is stunning.
This rose performs exceptionally well in hot climates and against black spots.
It has a mild yet sweet fragrance and can be a great addition to your Florida garden.
This adorable red rose is an excellent addition to the garden.
Its heat resistance and drought tolerance make it a great choice for Southern gardeners.
The Bordeaux rose is a deep red floribunda with a citrusy scent (little fragrance).
This takes us to the next variety.
One of the best for South Florida!
This variety, bred in Texas, has excellent heat tolerance.
With light pruning, you can improve its gorgeous appearance and blooming frequency.
Pope John Paul II:
If you are looking for a white rose for South Florida, look no further than the Pope John Paul II rose.
Although it has good disease resistance, you must spray it at the correct times for the best results.
This variety also has a fresh citrus fragrance.
Where To Find Them?
You will find a few rose nurseries in Florida.
|Rose Petals Nursery||Newberry, Florida|
|Angle Gardens||Alachua, Florida|
|K&M Roses (for Fortuniana grafted roses)||Mail order rose seller|
This takes us to the second step.
Step 2: Plant Them Properly
It’s spring – a great time to plant your roses.
We want to give our roses enough time to establish before the hot summer months.
Another great time is early fall. This way, you also give them ample time to establish a deep-root system before frost.
To plant our roses, we will be doing seven simple steps:
- Select a sunny location with well-draining soil.
- Dig a hole slightly wider but equally deep to the rose’s root ball.
- Add a handful of bone meal and compost (or other organic matter).
- Thoroughly massage the root ball to loosen the roots.
- Place the plant in such a way that the graft union is above the soil.
- Fill the hole with soil and top it off with a layer of pine bark mulch.
- Water until the soil is moist.
Planting at the right spot is essential because roses need sunlight. But they should get shade from the hot afternoon sun in the summer.
This takes us straight to the next step.
Step 3: Dealing With Diseases
- Black spot – a nightmare for rose gardeners.
Black spot is the most common fungal disease for roses in which round black spots form.
Eventually, the leaves will turn yellow and fall off.
What’s the cause?
The extensive wet weather or when leaves are wet for more than six hours leads to this problem. To deal with this problem, you should use:
Neem acts as a pesticide, fungicide, and miticide, making it multi-purpose.
You will find it at most garden centers.
You mix it with water according to the label directions. Then, spray the top and bottom of foliage and stems.
Caution: NEVER apply on hot sunny days, as it will burn your plant.
This takes us to the next disease.
- Powdery mildew
This fungal disease will display a white powdery substance on upper leaf surfaces.
However, it can also appear on other parts, such as stems or flower buds.
To deal with this, you must ensure proper air circulation.
For that, do not plant your roses too close to each other. If you can walk in between them, that’s a safe distance.
In short, these are some steps that you should take to prevent these diseases:
- Avoid long periods of wet foliage.
- Spray (if needed).
- Avoid watering your roses in the evening and night.
The next thing is to prune to open the spaces between canes.
That said, it is time to move on to the next step.
Step 4: Fertilizing and Watering
Here’s a fact.
Roses are heavy feeders and need to be fertilized throughout their growth season.
So, let me break down their fertilizing schedule.
- Start fertilizing in early spring as their foliage starts to grow.
- Fertilize every 4-6 weeks throughout the growth season.
- Stop fertilizing 6-8 weeks before the first frost date.
You might be confused as to why fertilizing differs for rose gardeners.
Some fertilize every two weeks, while some do it once a month. What’s the deal?
Just keep things simple.
Start fertilizing in early spring as your roses come out of dormancy. Then, follow the schedule as recommended by the fertilizer you use.
You May Like:
Now, let’s talk about watering.
|Age of rose bush:||How often should I water?|
|First month||Every day|
|Second month||Every other day|
|Third month||Twice a week|
|More than three months||Consistent watering thereafter|
Now, it is time for the bonus tip.
Bonus Tip: Pruning
This step is simple but essential for bigger blooms.
We prune our roses two times a year. Once we hard prune in late February. Then, we light prune in the season as well.
We usually tend to cut back the bush to half its size for the hard pruning.
We remove the dead, diseased, and weak branches for light pruning. This maintains good airflow and improves overall health.
You should also deadhead throughout the season.
So, yes, you can easily grow gorgeous roses in Florida.
To grow roses successfully, select varieties grafted on Fortuniana rootstock. Also, take proper measures to prevent diseases like black spots and powdery mildew.
As long as you follow the above-mentioned tips, your roses should thrive, regardless of how hot Florida’s summer may get.