From Bud to Bloom: The Art of Growing Roses

Ep.14: Mastering the Art of Growing Roses with Ben Hanna of Heirloom Roses


This episode of The Backyard Bouquet Podcast is all about growing roses. Join us for an inspiring and educational conversation with Ben Hanna, owner of Heirloom Roses.

About Heirloom Roses

As the custodian of a legacy that spans generations, Ben and his wife Kara uphold the cherished values of Heirloom Roses: a commitment to premier, quality roses and the preservation of unique and rare varieties. Founded in 1973 by John and Louise Clements on their own small farm, Heirloom Roses continues to thrive under Ben and Kara’s stewardship.

Kara and Ben Hanna, Owners of Heirloom Roses

With their offices still located in the historic farmhouse where the Clements once resided in St. Paul, Oregon, Ben and Kara are passionate about hand propagating each rose to ensure that customers receive the finest own-root roses available. Their dedication to quality shines through in every bloom, with roses that boast gorgeous blooms, winter hardiness, disease resistance, and true-to-variety characteristics.

Ben joins us in this episode to share the remarkable story behind Heirloom Roses and the unwavering commitment to excellence that drives their business forward. From preserving rare varieties to providing customers with the finest roses for their gardens, Ben’s insights and growing advice are sure to inspire you to add more heirloom roses to your garden.

Who Should Grow Roses?

Roses are a versatile and rewarding plant suitable for all gardeners and cut flower growers. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced gardener, growing roses can bring beauty and joy to your garden. Roses are commonly known as the “queen of the garden,” offering not only stunning blooms but also a therapeutic gardening experience.

“Roses are meant to be cut and enjoyed and experienced in the garden and in your home and given to other people.”

Ben Hanna, Heirloom Roses

Growing Zones and Rose Suitability

Understanding your growing zone is crucial when selecting roses for your garden. Heirloom Roses offers a wide range of varieties suited for different zones, ensuring that customers can choose roses that will thrive in their specific climate. Own-root roses are particularly hardy and suitable for colder zones, providing gardeners with resilient and beautiful plants.

Growing Own Root Roses vs. Grafted Roses

Heirloom Roses specializes in own-root roses, which are propagated from cuttings and grown on their own roots. This method results in hardier and more disease-resistant plants compared to grafted roses. By choosing own-root roses, gardeners can enjoy the benefits of strong, healthy plants that are true to their variety.

Propagating Roses and Patent Rules

When propagating roses, it’s essential to understand patent rules and regulations. While gardeners can propagate roses for personal use, commercial propagation may require permission or royalties to the hybridizer. Heirloom Roses values and supports hybridizers, ensuring that their creations are respected and promoted in the industry.

Tips for Growing Roses Successfully

To grow roses successfully, gardeners should consider factors such as sunlight, watering, and fertilizing. Providing roses with the right conditions and care will result in healthy plants and vibrant blooms. By following expert advice and best practices, gardeners can enjoy a thriving rose garden.

Distant Drums Rose- Available at Heirloom Roses

Fertilizing Roses for Cut Flower Production

Fertilizing roses is essential for producing abundant blooms, especially for cut flower production. Using a balanced liquid fertilizer can provide roses with the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. By understanding the fertilizing needs of roses, gardeners can ensure their plants produce beautiful and long-lasting cut flowers.

Harvesting Roses for Cut Flowers

When harvesting roses for cut flowers, it’s important to consider the stage of the bloom. Selecting roses that are slightly open rather than in tight bud can result in longer vase life. By following proper harvesting techniques, gardeners can enjoy fresh and beautiful roses in their arrangements.

Growing Roses for Cut Flowers: Timing and Tips

Timing is crucial when growing roses for cut flowers. Understanding the growth cycle of roses and the 60-day rule from prune to bloom can help gardeners plan their harvests effectively. By pruning and caring for roses with cut flower production in mind, gardeners can ensure a continuous supply of blooms throughout the season.

Pruning Roses: Importance and Techniques

Pruning is a vital aspect of rose care, promoting healthy growth and abundant blooms. The PRUNE method, which stands for Prepare, Remove, Understand, Nothing left behind, and Enjoy, offers a structured approach to pruning roses effectively. By following proper pruning techniques, gardeners can shape their roses for optimal growth and beauty.

Pruning Tips: The PRUNE Method

The PRUNE method provides a systematic approach to pruning roses for success. By preparing the plant, removing dead or diseased canes, understanding the plant’s growth habits, and ensuring a clean finish, gardeners can maintain healthy and productive roses. Following the PRUNE method can lead to a well-shaped and flourishing rose garden.

Ben Hanna’s “PRUNE” method:

Enjoying Your Roses After Pruning

After pruning and caring for your roses, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the beauty of your garden. Watching new growth, vibrant blooms, and healthy plants can be a rewarding experience for any gardener. By taking the time to care for your roses, you can reap the benefits of a stunning and thriving garden.

Handling Pests and Diseases on Roses

Pests and diseases can sometimes affect roses, but with proper care and attention, gardeners can manage these issues effectively. By monitoring for signs of pests and diseases, practicing good garden hygiene, and using appropriate treatments when necessary, gardeners can keep their roses healthy and disease-free.

Beneficial Insects and Heirloom Roses Guardians of The Garden Program

Heirloom Roses is dedicated to promoting a healthy and sustainable approach to rose gardening through their Guardians of The Garden Program, which emphasizes the importance of beneficial insects in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. By encouraging the presence of beneficial insects such as lacewings in their gardens, Heirloom Roses aims to reduce the reliance on chemical pesticides and foster a natural pest control system. The program educates gardeners on the role of beneficial insects in protecting roses from harmful pests and diseases, highlighting the importance of biodiversity and ecological balance in rose cultivation. Through the Guardians of The Garden Program, Heirloom Roses empowers gardeners to create thriving and resilient rose gardens while supporting the health of the environment.

Learn More About Heirloom’s Beneficial Insect Program:

Ready To Grow Your Own Rose Garden?

Growing roses can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience for gardeners of all levels. By following the expert advice of Ben Hanna, understanding the needs of roses, and implementing proper care techniques, gardeners can cultivate beautiful and thriving rose gardens. For more in-depth insights and tips on growing roses, be sure to listen to this full episode on the Backyard Bouquet Podcast.

Happy gardening!

In this episode, you’ll hear about: 

  • 00:05:30 – Ben Hanna’s Journey to Heirloom Roses Ownership
  • 00:12:08 – Shipping and Planting Roses
  • 00:16:26 – Planting Roses in Different Seasons
  • 00:17:02 – Who Should Grow Roses?
  • 00:17:58 – Growing Zones and Rose Suitability
  • 00:18:49 – Own Root Roses vs. Grafted Roses
  • 00:20:08 – Propagating Roses and Patent Rules
  • 00:23:35 – Tips for Growing Roses Successfully
  • 00:26:02 – Fertilizing Roses for Cut Flower Production
  • 00:27:56 – Harvesting Roses for Cut Flowers
  • 00:29:21 – Growing Roses for Cut Flowers: Timing and Tips
  • 00:32:35 – Pruning Roses: Importance and Techniques
  • 00:40:13 – Pruning Tips: The PRUNE Method
  • 00:45:34 – Enjoying Your Roses After Pruning
  • 00:47:01 – Handling Pests and Diseases on Roses

Learn more about Ben Hanna & Heirloom Roses

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