Giving the gift of living roses

Everyone loves to receive a bouquet of roses as a gift, but an even better gift is one that keeps on giving for years to come. Why not give a beautiful rose bush instead of a bouquet of flowers? Whether for birthdays, holidays, the birth of a baby, a house warming or even as a hostess gift, it’s a wonderful show of appreciation and sentiment to share the beauty and fragrance of roses with loved ones. With the right selection and a few simple pointers, you can be sure those recipients will remember your special gift long after cut flowers would have perished.

Roses are excellent gifts that can deliver messages to recipients as well. There is a lot of significance behind the color and name of a rose to indicate love, friendship, passion or even innocence. Whether you give a cousin the same variety of rose that grew in Grandma’s garden or select a rose named “Angel Face” for the birth of a baby, the sentiment behind the rose is often just as important as the gift itself.

Here are some pointers on how to give the gift of roses:

* Climbers, miniatures, groundcovers or shrubs? Whether you’re giving a rose to be planted in the garden or one already potted in a beautiful container for the patio, remember to choose according to the recipient’s outdoor space. Roses generally require full-sun exposure, or at least six to eight hours of direct sun per day. If the recipient has only a tiny patio or balcony for flowers, try a miniature variety in a lovely container. For those with ample sunlight and a bare fence or trellis, choose a climber. For a nice impact near the front door, select a shrub, and for a great way to fill in bare spots around taller sun-loving plants, try a groundcover variety. Although most roses will survive well in cold or warmer climates, always check the growing region for the varieties you’re considering, just to make certain the plants will survive.

* Purple, orange, white, yellow, even blue or bi-color – roses aren’t just red or pink anymore. Whatever your favorite color is, there is most likely a rose to match. They also come in a variety of sizes and shapes from hybrid tea roses to antique roses. Choose large roses that are great for cutting and bouquets or smaller, more open flowers that can cover a trellis or fence with a brilliant wave of color. Aromas vary too from spicy and sweet to fruity or even with a slight hint of chocolate. Walk around the nursery and experience all there is to offer in your region, then choose the one that seems to fit the person you have in mind. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the experts at the nursery for suggestions.

* Type up some simple instructions to include when gifting a rose. Here are some basic tips for planting and growing roses:

– Keep in mind roses like full sun, although they will tolerate partial shade.

– Along with good sunlight, roses also like lots of water but, make certain the location or container has good drainage, to prevent the roots from sitting in standing water. To help prevent diseases, concentrate your watering to the base of the plant, to avoid getting the leaves wet.

– When planting in ground, use a good quality soil like Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Roses to give your plants a nutrient boost when they are planted in the garden or around the house. In containers, be sure to use a specialty potting mix that allows proper balance between drainage and water holding, such as Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix.

– Roses can be susceptible to insect feeding. To keep those critters from devouring your beautiful plants, use Ortho Rose & Flower Insect Control Plus Miracle-Gro Plant Food Granules. This can be used immediately when planting, or for established plants, when pest damage is spotted on your roses. Repeat application every eight weeks during the growing season to help keep your roses insect free.

– To keep your roses blooming all summer long, deadhead wilted flowers above the first leaf, and trim back any dead branches. This will help air to circulate throughout the bush and prevent plant diseases. For northern climates, prune the rose bushes in the spring, after the threat of frost has passed.

– Many rose varieties will survive winter in the northern climates, but the roots and lower branches may need to be protected by building up a mound of soil or mulch around the plant to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. Additional protection can come from straw or dry leaves, as well as wrapping the plant in burlap.

Roses are beautiful in any setting. They can create elegant bouquets and centerpieces and, most of all, make memorable gifts. Share the gift of roses with friends, neighbors and loved ones by giving them one of these beautiful plants and some simple tips on how to get it started growing. Each summer when the roses bloom, they’ll be a beautiful reminder of your sentiment, allowing your gift to be enjoyed for years to come.

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