Belinda's Dream Rose bushes - adding a xeriscape type (ie. gravel) planting bed

Discussion in 'Roses' started by Loutro, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Loutro


    Apr 9, 2017
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    Can anyone offer advice about growing Belinda's Dream Rose bushes in a planting bed covered with gravel instead of organic mulch? Three bushes were planted 2 years ago in a planting bed that is not raised, although there is a slight mound at each rose bush.

    There are two issues that I'd like input on:

    1. From what I've read, rose bushes really thrive from having organic mulch around the base of the plant. Will the gravel have an adverse affect on the bushes? Is a perimeter of organic mulch around the base of the bushes necessary?

    2. The planting bed is not raised, To add gravel, I would excavate about 6 inches around the existing mounds where the bushes are planted. I will probably need to add a french drain along one side of the planting bed to keep the area well drained, but I am not sure if this will do enough to keep the bushes dry.

    I would appreciate any thoughts/advice, thanks!

    location: Austin, TX
    soil: predominantly clay
    Loutro, Apr 9, 2017
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  2. Loutro


    Sep 10, 2014
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    central Texas
    I've grown Belindas about 60 miles north of you, and they do not require organic mulch. I haven't found a rose yet that does. Mulch, yes. I use grass clippings or ground up wood (cedar, mesquite, whatever falls on the ground). We have two huge rose bushes at the entrance to our drive, and they don't have any mulch at all. When we lived in town, we used newspaper with wood chips on top.
    If you planted the roses two years ago, and excavate about 6" deep around the existing mounds, you are going to encounter feeder roots.
    You and I are in Texas. When we do have a heavy rain, it generally soaks in within two-three days. No French drain is needed, even with clay soil.
    Here on the farm we don't have Belinda's Dream, or Belinda Improved. We found that with our humidity the roses tended to "ball" (not open completely and turn brown). Although it is a lovely rose with a heavenly scent, we just don't grow them.
    marlingardener, Apr 10, 2017
    Becky and Loutro like this.
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