Here’s the Plant Pick of the Week by PennLive gardening writer George Weigel:
* Common name: climbing rose July 4th
* Botanical name: Rosa ‘WEKroalt’
* What it is: Fourth of July is a climbing rose that got its name because it reminded the grower (Tom Carruth and Weeks Roses) of fireworks with its sparkling, showy, two-tone, red and white flowers.
The flowers are semi-double, curled and carried in clusters. Plants often bloom sporadically after the main show in June. The strain has excellent disease resistance and was overall good enough to win an All-America Rose Selections Award in 1999.
* Size: Sticks can grow 10 to 14 feet tall with support. (You will need to tie or guide the sticks as roses will not adhere to the supports by themselves or tie them together).
* Intended use: Open any trellis, arbor or pergola. Or exercise to hike over a picket fence. With guidance, such climbers also meander up and down the branches of a small tree. Blooms best in full sun.
* Care: in March and June, sprinkle an organic fertilizer in granular form for roses around the base. Work compost into the soil when planting. Keep constantly moist (water the soil, not the leaves) for optimal performance, but roses can do without water, except during prolonged hot, dry periods.
From the third year onwards, at the end of each winter, you should thin out excess branches and shorten arms that are too long. Pour three to four inches of mulch around the base to isolate the crown over the winter, then pull it back in the spring.
* Great partners: Purple Salvia, Purple Allium, and Lavender are three good, color-coordinated, perennial partners. Pair it with boxwood for a more formal look.
- View the archives of hundreds of past plant picks under George’s Plant Profiles