Portland, OR has been known as the City of Roses since 1888. Portland, OR is ideal for growing roses outdoors due to its location within the marine west coast climate region. This region gives us warm, dry summers and rainy but mild winters. Peninsula Park became the city’s first public rose garden in 1909. The garden was designed by Emanuel L Mische, and has over 8,900 plantings featuring 65 rose varieties. The Madame Caroline Testout, the official rose of Portland, was grown at Peninsula Park.
If you’re planning to grow some of these iconic petaled beauties in your yard, here are some tips!
Find the Right Location – Rose bushes enjoy receiving 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. They do best when they are protected from the hot afternoon sun, so placing them in a spot with morning light is best.
Choose the Right Soil – Roses thrive best in well draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Be sure to mix in compost, peat moss, and other organic matter to improve drainage.
Time It Right – The best time to plant roses is either in the spring after the last frost, or in the fall at least 6 weeks before the first frost. Also, plant your roses on a mild weather day – planting on a hot sunny day can stress the plant.
Dig Deep – When planting roses dig a deep, wide hole that allows for proper drainage and leaves room for root growth. If planting multiple roses, space them at least 3 feet apart to allow for growth.
Out with the Old – Roses do best when you cut off the old growth (some would say it’s a metaphor for life.) To prune, remove all dead and damaged canes (any that look brown.) Then cut back a third to a half of the previous year’s growth until you find healthy, white centers inside the cane. In Portland, it’s best to do a major prune in the early spring, and then lightly prune throughout the year.
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