When one thinks of an antique, a rose might not immediately come to mind. But antique roses have been around for centuries. Shakespeare used the word ‘eglantine’ when speaking of the rose in his sonnets and plays. Eglantine is described in the dictionary as a European rose with sweet-scented leaves and pink flowers.
If you aren’t familiar with the word ’emporium’, it means a large store with a wide variety of things for sale. There are antique rose emporiums to delight rose growers. You can buy an antique rose already rooted from a rose emporium.
How does one prepare to grow an antique? First choose an area that allows for several hours of morning sunlight. It is best to give the plant room for healthy air movement as the bush will grow and develop. Break the soil well; a tiller is helpful should you desire to plant many plants in one area. It’s better to have rich soil in which to grow your antique. The antique will do better if you add good quality organic material and if the soil has proper drainage.
When does one prepare the area for planting the antique? It’s best to prepare in the spring or summer if you live in a southern climate. When you are new to planting, it is an easy assumption that all planting should be done in the spring. But it depends on the climate of the area where you live. If you are buying seeds, there are usually helpful maps on the back of the seed packets to use as a guide. If you are buying from a nursery, be sure to ask there. Of course, you could always try looking it up online or going to the local library or enlisting the advice of an established gardener.
How long can you keep an antique in a container before planting outdoors? If needed, you can keep an antique in a container for several months. You’ll want to give them more attention than once you get them established outdoors. Remember to fertilize and water frequently—and don’t forget proper drainage and air flow around the plants!
Should you add mulch to your antique roses? A true-blue gardener would gasp at the neglect to add mulch! It cuts down on weeds. This may seem strange since it aids the growth of one type of plant and inhibits the growth of another. Mulching also means less stress to your roots from the heat.
How often would one water an antique? It helps to deep-soak your antique once a week—that means saturating the ground in which you have planted your rose. Several hours or overnight should do the trick. This is where it is extremely helpful to have a soaker hose for soaking more than one plant at once.
An antique rose is not disease free, but it is disease resistant. It’s still important to watch for insect or other damage. Should you spray, it is preferable to use a mild fungicide. If in doubt, read the labels on the product carefully. Prune your antique lightly and respectfully. It won’t bloom well if the new growth has to endure damage from heat or frost.