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Aug 16, 2013 1:28 PM CST
|Actually, if you find the roses that are suited to your climate, they are weeds. It's a myth that they need to be pruned every year. Just prune out the dead or diseased wood when you see it. Any other pruning is just to shape the plant. After they are established, they really don't need any more care than any other plant in your garden. They just need water and feeding about three times a season. The repeat bloomers need deadheading, but so do other plants.
The only time a rose really needs a lot of work is if the plant is not suited to your climate. Then you end up coddling a plant that will never thrive. I have a no-spray garden and tolerate some disease. I did get rid of a lot of roses I brought with me from SOCAL when I moved to the mountains. It took too much work to keep them happy.
It is the hybrid tea rose class that has the reputation of being a lot of work. That's true if you follow the ARS guidelines on how to grow good roses, but they are growing roses for exhibition purposes and you don't need to do that much work to just grow garden roses. There are many classes of roses that are not nearly as fussy as the HTs. The only HTs I grow in this garden are the ones I can neglect.
'Don Juan' is readily available and has certainly passed the test of time since it was first introduced in 1958. Since it is a climber, you can train it horizontally across your fence and it would look stunning.
Here's a link to a friend of mine who has a listing of the roses she grows on HMF. She's green up to her elbows. You can send her a private message (PM) and she may be able to help you with some suggestions of roses that do well in your area.
Rick, roses need about 6 hours of sun to be solid roses. As long as you are growing the plant in shade, it will reach for the sun, have fewer blooms and never thrive and be the rose it has the potential to be. You'd have the same problems with any other kind of sun-loving plant sited in shade. Give the rose what it wants and you'll have a healthier plant.
OK... I'll get off of my soap box.