Who doesn’t love roses? They are not only fragrant, but come in so many different varieties and colours that there’s sure to be at least one that’s for you. Roses have long been used as centrepieces in the garden and the tall standard rose is an increasingly popular option.
What are standard roses?
Essentially, standards are grafted onto tall stems, usually between 75 and 85cm. A typical flowering height for a full standard is around 1.2 - 1.5m, whereas the Patio standard grows between 45-60cm.
Typically, the central cane, onto which the hybrid rose is grafted is made to a rootstock at the bottom of the central cane. Another graft is made at the top of the cane to form the hybrid. The central cane (or standard) is usually supported by a stake.
Standards work to add height to plantings, define pathways, and their straight single stems give a sense of order to gardens.
Some of the standards available include Iceberg, Seduction, Gold Bunny, Friesia, Fruitee, Madame President and Bonica
Pruning standard roses
Pruning standard roses is very important, especially when changing the natural form of a plant or tree. Pruning standard roses incorrectly can worsen the case of pests and disease and removing too from the wrong areas can also cause the central cane to snap.
As you can tell, pruning standard roses requires more attention that the usual bushes. More focus must be placed on their symmetrical shape. Ideally, you want to maintain a rounded framework and only prune the head of the rose, not below the graft. Thin out the plant, removing thin growth unless. Cut down the stems to a quarter to one third of their original size. Cut to a bud which points in the right direction.
Remember to also check the stakes and ties that will support the weight of the rose for the coming season. On some hybrids, it may be necessary to provide two or three support stakes until such time as the central cane becomes thick enough to support the weight of the grafted rose. In spring you should be rewarded with a beautifully shaped plant.