How To Read Our Rose Signs

We pride ourselves on providing both informative signage throughout the nursery and professional advice from our staff to help you find and choose the best plants for your garden. That said, with the abundance of plant varieties available at the nursery, sometimes the hardest part is narrowing down the choices!

Our rose signage features key details that we hope, make it a little easier to choose. Our signs are designed to help steer you in the right direction, whether you're planting for fragrance, color, cutting and beyond! Below, you'll find our easy guide to help you master our signage. As always, our staff is on hand to help with any questions that may arise! 

Sample Rose-edited.jpg

1. Group Categories

Modern Bush - Refers to those roses typically used for cut flower arranging and exhibition. Includes Hybrid Tea, Floribunda and Grandiflora.

Landscape - Plants in this group have been hybridized for easy care - they rarely need to be sprayed or deadheaded. 

Climbing - These are roses that send out long canes and can be trained on a wall or over an arbor.

English Style - Roses that combine the open-flowering habit and fragrance of Old Garden roses with the continuous bloom and color range of modern hybrids. 

Miniature - Roses with little flowers and petite foliage on plants that stay 24" high and under.

Patio Tree - Floribunda and Miniature hybrids grafted on 24" stems to form a small tree.

Standard Tree - Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora and Floribunda hybrids grafted on 36" stems to create a larger tree. 

2. Fragrance

Each "f" denotes the level of fragrance. One "f" is light while "fff" is strong.

3. Good For Cutting

If the signage features a scissor symbol, this means the rose is good for cutting. This is especially important if you are planning on using your roses to create bouquets and arrangements. 

4. Disease Resistance

A "+" sign denotes that the particular variety has shown more resistance to one or more of the major rose diseases including rust, powdery mildew, black spot, etc. 

5. Rose Types

Hybrid Tea - Typical cutting rose. Long stemmed, usually one large blossom per stem.

Floribunda - Usually shorter than Hybrid Tea. Multiple smaller blossoms. Can still be used for cutting. 

Grandiflora - Usually taller than Hybrid Tea. Large, well-formed flowers in clusters. Can be cut. 

Other Types - For more information on some of the many other rose types, please ask for assistance from our Nursery staff!

6. Height and Habit

Explains how the plant grows. 

7. Petal Count

Roses with a high petal count require more heat to open fully. On the cooler side of the tunnel (Oakland and Berkeley), choose roses with 35 or less petals, on the warm (hot) Lamorinda side, roses with 30 or more petals do well. 

8. Introduction Date

Or AARS Award, and a brief description.

Bareroot 101

And she was fair as is the rose in May.

                                    - Geoffrey Chaucer

Plant a rose now and you’ll have flowers in May! Our bareroot roses, including David Austin varieties, have arrived, been potted up in pulp pots and are ready for purchase! 

A shot of our bareroot roses, and below, our nursery staff potting them up for you!

A shot of our bareroot roses, and below, our nursery staff potting them up for you!

QUESTION OF THE MONTH: How should I plant bareroot roses and fruit trees that are in pulp pots?

We plant our bareroot roses and fruit trees in biodegradable pulp pots so that they can be planted through the growing season, not just during bareroot season (January and February).

How to plant your bareroot rose or fruit trees depends on what time of year you’re planting. It’s important to take note of the root development, which denotes when to remove it from its pulp pot and plant, or to plant it in the pulp pot to keep those roots protected!


JANUARY - FEBRUARY: Remove plant from pulp pot and plant directly into the soil.

Our pulp pots will typically degrade completely within about a year. When planted early, we recommend taking bareroot plants out of the pots and planting as you would any bareroot plant.

MARCH - MAY: Plant pulp pot and plant together.

Once fully leafed out, roses and fruit trees are growing fine roots, which are easily broken. At this point, we recommend planting the pot and all to avoid transplant stress. Before planting, slit the sides of the pulp pot vertically in four places to within an inch or two of the top rim. The bottom may also be removed. Plant so that the soil in the pot is the same depth as the soil outside the pot. The rim of the pot may be removed, or you can leave it in place as a watering basin for the first year.

JUNE - AUGUST: Tear away pulp pot and plant your plant directly in soil.

Later in the season roots have developed enough that they will hold a root ball together. For best results at this stage, remove the pot by tearing it carefully away from the root ball. Don’t try to pull the plant out of the pot, as this will break roots.


“INSURANCE” for Bareroot Plants

Bareroot plants have been described as “sticks with roots”. If you’ve never planted anything from bareroot stock before, you might doubt that these leafless plants will ever amount to anything. But like a spring miracle, bareroot roses and fruit trees will leaf out and bloom the very first season (although it may take fruit trees a few years to produce a substantial crop).

Because they don’t have an established root system, we recommend helping bareroot plants by using Rootmaster B-1, which is more than regular B-1. It contains a hormone, similar to that in Rootone, that actually stimulates new white root hairs in plants. When used in conjunction with starter fertilizer, we recommend E.B. Stone Organics Sure Start 4-6-2, it gives plants a wonderful start and helps insure the health of the plant as it establishes in the landscape. Apply once a week, according to directions, for the first 4 to 6 weeks for healthy roots and shoots!

For planting roses we recommend using Pay Dirt. Formulated with chicken manure, redwood sawdust, peat moss and mushroom compost making it perfect not only for your roses but your veggie garden and flower beds too! Paydirt works to help loosen hard soils, (for all of us with that compacted clay!) and improves both water and root penetration.

For your fruit trees, plant with Gold Rush. It’s a fir bark blend with 15% composted chicken manure. And it’s also on sale for the month of January (we’re talking January 2019!) Buy 3 bags of Gold Rush and receive 1 FREE! Gold Rush helps add important long-lasting organic matter to the soil, improves soil aeration and water penetration.

Questions? Stop in and talk with one of our nursery professionals today! 

If a picture is worth a thousand words then a rose is worth two

For hundreds of years, roses have been used to convey messages without words, as each color rose has its own significance. Admired for their timeless beauty and sweet aroma, there’s no better way to express oneself than with a striking bouquet of roses. Read on to find out which color to send in any situation.

Red Rose
If you are planning to gift the coveted red rose to your significant other, then you’re in luck. Red is the color of love and the classic red rose is the hallmark of romance.

Lavender Rose
The color of royalty, lavender roses are tied to desire. While red may represent romance, lavender holds the meaning of love at first sight, making the lavender rose the choice flower to gift in a budding relationship.  

White Rose
White carries with it the connotation of purity, spirituality and is symbolic of marriage. Representative of new starts, white roses make the perfect addition to a traditional wedding bouquet. If you’re thinking of popping the question, there’s no better way than with a shiny ring to adorn the stem of a single white rose.

Pink Rose
Pink is the traditional color of femininity, but the pink rose carries additional meanings according to its hue. While deep pink petals convey gratitude and appreciation, pale shades convey admiration and happiness, making them the flower to gift just because.

Yellow Rose
Yellow roses are handpicked for good friends. Sun-colored blossoms, expressing warmth and joy, will surely brighten the recipient’s day. A traditionally gender-neutral color and representative of good-health, yellow roses are a great pick for well wishes of good health to those who are expecting. 

Visit us at the nursery throughout the month of August to find roses of all colors and meanings on sale!