Earth-Kind roses are the Valentine's gift that keeps on giving

If you don't want to spend the money on flowers that die in a week, there's a cheaper and long-lasting option
February 11, 2014 4:42:41 AM PST
A bouquet of red roses for Valentine's Day is lovely, but for the cost of one bouquet you can have a rose garden.

Roses are pricey whether you get them delivered or buy them at the grocery store. If you really want to give the gift that keeps on giving, a rose bush might be the perfect gift.

"This is the best time to plant rose bushes," said Gaye Hammond with the Houston Rose Society.

Earth-Kind roses, or what Hammond refers to as plant them and forget them roses are the best bet for experienced gardeners or those with a beginner's green thumb.

"It is scientifically proven that those roses are the easiest to grow," Hammond said. "You don't have to worry about fungus; you don't have to worry about spraying or deadheading."

In the Texas heat, Earth-Kind roses will tolerate drought and stress with very little maintenance. Each bush usually sells for $19.99, and there are 23 varieties to choose from.

The most popular is the Knock Out rose. Hammond said it is a great choice for everyone, and one of the best choices for gardeners who are just beginning with roses.

"It's just a really hardy rose that you plant in the landscape," Hammond said.

For those looking for dwarf shrubs, the Marie Daly, Souvenir de St. Annes, and the Fairy are all great varieties to choose from.

Caldwell Pink and Cecile Brunner are a bit larger, but are still small enough for a small space.

The medium sized shrubs include Belinda's Dream, Ducher, Georgetown Tea, and Spice.

Sea Foam and New Dawn are Earth-Kind climbers.

When it comes to planting, amend the dirt with a rose soil and don't fertilize until the first flower blooms.

The Houston Rose Society has a free event Thursday. There will be a pruning demonstration, and event participants will take home a rose bush.

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