Spring Care for the Easiest Roses to Grow

curbside planting

Flower Carpet Pink Supreme roses – the easiest roses to grow – are planted along a New England road and they thrive even after being covered with road salt winter after winter!

By now, most of the northern hemisphere is through the worst of the winter weather and gardeners everywhere are eager to get out and dig in the dirt!  We’ve watched snow plows bury our gardens, run over precious plants, fill the yard with road salt and worse.

Plus, this winter’s extreme temperatures – combined with ice and snow and all that go with that – caused damage to many trees and shrubs.

As the snow’s melted, we’re seeing damage of a different sort though – damage done by those cute furry woodland animals – rabbits and mice!  This often happens when there are prolonged periods of heavy, deep snow and food is in short supply. In their search for food, mice burrow through the snow and work on the lower branches of shrubs and roses while rabbits work on the branches that are above the snow.

mice damage on shrubs

The rabbits and mice have been sharing some winter food as you can see by these gnawed branches

The good news is that for Flower Carpet– the easiest rose to grow –  this is only a minor set-back.  Unlike many other easy-care roses, Flower Carpets are grown on their own roots rather than being grafted on root stock. Because of that, Flower Carpets will produce new shoots and suckers at their base from basal roots. So, although the damage looks quite extensive, your Flower Carpet roses will be just fine!

Pruning Flower Carpet roses

Flower Carpets are grown on their own root stock and so will send out new shoots, even if the tops are totally destroyed over winter.

Spring Care and Pruning in 3 Easy Steps!

If the bunnies and mice haven’t done your work for you and if you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to cut back your Flower Carpets and prepare them for the season in 3 easy steps.

  1. Cut back by 2/3 or as far back to the ground as needed, depending on how much winter kill you got. No fancy pruning required.  Just cut them back with hedge shears, hand pruners or even electric hedge clippers!
  2. Rake out any dead leaves left over from last year
  3. Add 1-3 handfuls of well balanced fertilizer – similar to 10-10-10,  with micro elements added.  Water well if you haven’t had a recent rain or snow cover.

Simple?  Yes, this is why Flower Carpet is known as the easy-care rose!  It was introduced to American gardeners in 1995 as the original eco-rose, requiring no chemicals or sprays to keep it performing!

Flower Carpet roses are also quite tolerant of road salt.  The photo below shows Flower Carpet Scarlet roses that were buried in snow and then covered in road salt over a 5 month period in 2014 in Zone 5a.   As you can see, they survived and continue to provide summer long blooms!

easy care roses

The last few winters have been tough on gardens but these Flower Carpet Scarlets bounce right back!


Flower Carpets thrive in hot areas too!

Below are photos taken of a planting of Flower Carpet that was between a hot city street and cement sidewalk in southern California. Flower Carpet is tolerant of high-reflected heat and thrives even under these harsh conditions!

easy care roses

Flower Carpet Red in a southern CA curb planting. Photo on left taken in late Feb a few weeks after being pruned. Photo on right shows the same plant thriving 3 months later!

Click here to watch a video on pruning Flower Carpet roses and to learn more about how Anthony Tesselaar prunes his roses the easy way!


Happy Spring to all our readers in the Northern Hemisphere, and best wishes for a lovely Autumn to those of you further south!



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