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The name “ground cover roses” is something of a misnomer. They are an increasingly popular and hardy type of rose, yet they do not act as other types of ground cover plants do. They do not completely cover an area of soil, nor do they do much to halt erosion. On the plus side, however, they are relatively care-free and the few tips a gardener needs to know when planting ground cover roses apply to most roses: six hours of sun daily, applications of plant food and some pruning when needed. Some ground cover roses may do well if planted in a space that does not receive full sun, but they won’t flower as much as their counterparts that are situated in a sunnier spot.
Ground cover roses are easy to grow and are suitable for experienced gardeners as well as beginners. Gardeners who have experience in growing ground cover roses in their home gardens find that they are not prone to many of the problems that roses typically suffer from. Some other types of roses, which suffer greatly when blackspot rears up. Like most roses, ground cover roses require about six hours of sunlight a day.
A lot of pruning is not required, but gardeners who want to keep the bush in its place may want to prune it because ground cover roses can grow to about 2 feet (0.609 meters) tall. Shorter types also are available. Pruning will prompt the rose to become fuller, but gardeners will not have to prune them often. Similar to true ground cover plants, these roses are healthy spreaders and will fill up the space around them. It’s not an unwanted characteristic, but gardeners should be aware that eventually they might have to move nearby perennials because the rose canes may spill into nearby plants’ space.
Some smaller climbing roses, such as Red Cascade, can be used as ground cover if trained that way with support. Since it is a climber, the bushes spread can reach about 6 feet (1.828 meters). Another rose that does well when trained as a ground cover is Sea Foam. This rose is capable of filling an even larger space, up to 12 feet (3.657 meters) wide.
The bare canes of ground cover roses, during dormancy, look sort of gangly and unappealing. These can be offset with plantings of annuals, perennials and bulbs. The landscape will still look colorful and full of life as the rose begins to come to life at the start of the growing season.
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