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Are you a slave to your roses?    Send a link to a friend

[JULY 3, 2004]  URBANA -- It is not unusual for home gardeners to become discouraged when their hybrid roses fall to disease or other problems, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture specialist. However, there are varieties of roses that are not only more disease-resistant but are comparable in terms of decoration.

"Some home gardeners plant hybrid tea roses and soon find themselves worrying constantly about controlling diseases or winter protection," said Greg Stack "Basically, they become slaves to their roses instead of having roses that add something to the garden with minimal care."

Information about those hardier varieties is available through Extension's Urban Program Resources Network, in the "Hort Corner" section. The site is "Our Rose Garden," and it offers information to make the home gardener's life a bit simpler.

"It doesn't have to be a chore to grow roses if you pick the right ones -- ones that are hassle-free," said Stack. "Shrub roses, for example, are less demanding in terms of spraying, pruning and general care. And they also tend to be more resistant to diseases that affect roses."

A common misconception among home gardeners, Stack noted, is that roses must have full sunlight.


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"A recent article in the American Nurseryman magazine dealt with this by highlighting the 'shady ladies,' that is, roses that are tolerant of shady conditions," he said.

At the "Our Rose Garden" site, users will find information about selection of rose plants as well as picking and preparing a site to plant roses. There is also information about diseases, winter protection and types of roses.

"Picking the right rose can be important for a couple of reasons," said Stack. "First, you don't want to become a slave to your roses. You want to select something that will fit with the time you have to give and the conditions of your yard.

"Second, if you pick the right kind of rose, you can give color to even partially shaded areas of your lawn."

[University of Illinois news release]

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