The Honolulu Rose Society provides education for budding gardeners January 22, 2023 by Ozil Mahalo for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Myrna Cariaga, president of the Honolulu Rose Society, was once too afraid to grow roses like many because they thought they were too high-maintenance or wouldn’t survive in Hawaii’s hot climate. But that was 22 years ago. She took a chance on two prized plants—“I just wanted to see them for myself”—and was hooked when they bloomed and smelled heavenly. Carriga said she followed the instructions, but admits a little beginner’s luck might have helped. That led her to experiment with dozens of different roses and at one point she had more than 100 plants. “Some worked in my backyard, some didn’t. It’s a humbling experience,” she said of learning that while Roses had great intentions, it didn’t work out. But with thousands of varieties to choose from, it doesn’t hurt to try to see what will grow. “It’s not the failures, it’s the learning process,” she said. Now Certified Master Rosarian Carriga will teach the first of four Saturday classes at the club’s 8th Annual Rose School at the Pearl City Urban Garden Center from March to June. They are very friendly and friendly, she said. The community was invited to establish a rose garden in 2009 at the Urban Garden Center under the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, primarily to educate the public. The garden received great support from leading breeders and clubs during its inception and now the garden is stocked with over 280 varieties of over 80 species. The club’s 90-plus members, 25 of whom are lifetime, volunteer to tend the 1-acre garden. Bob Speer, who helped build the garden and is director of maintenance, said it’s a fun and challenging project to help teach the community what tricks and techniques work. Roses generally grow in colder climates, so they are more difficult to grow here, but most of the club’s plants are hybrids designed for warmer climates, he said. But because there is no frost to destroy the pests, local gardeners are fighting with bugs and diseases all year round. In the year Speer, who earned his UH Master Gardener certification after retiring from the military in 2006, said Hawaii’s heavy soil is not ideal for roses. He said it is very important to improve the soil, which makes up 50% of the club’s rose beds, with compost. Locally produced compost is great for adding carbon and improving drainage, and perlite helps soften the soil. Bone meal and sulfur are added to the mix to provide key nutrients for the roses. Carriga said the garden is constantly growing: roses that don’t do well are replaced each year with stronger varieties. The different microclimates in Hawaii, even in the same districts, are more challenging because of the desert in Pearl City, but the cooler climate of the Palisades Mountains is easier, she said. To boost their confidence, she suggests beginners start with modern breeds that are more resistant to disease and outbreaks. Top gun is very bushy, red rose is hard to kill; It grows like a weed. I like it.” The old-fashioned rose in the florists does not have curled petals, but instead has single-layered petals. Another red rose, Mr. Lincoln, has curled petals and is very fragrant. Lokelani, known as the Hawaiian rose since the missionaries brought it here, is a shrub, like a mountain. Apples smell, and turn pink to red. Carriga shared these tips for basic care: >> Place the roses in the sun for at least four hours, ideally six to eight. >> planting in pots or in the ground in well-drained soil; Add compost or other amendments as needed. >> Water only when needed. To check the moisture level, touch the soil or lift the pot to find out how much water it weighs. >> Fertilize after each bloom. After cutting the branches, use fertilizer, multi-purpose or especially for roses; Just be consistent. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label. >> Pesticides should only be used when there are real outbreaks; Commercial products work better than home formulas. The first line of defense is a strong jet of water, especially under the leaves; But if the pests are still stuck, gently wipe them with a soft brush. A detailed list of pesticides and herbicides is available on the club’s website. Carriga said, “Roses are a very responsive plant because they tell what’s happening to them. If you fertilize, they will bloom; If the plant is not protected, they will have disease. I always encourage anyone to grow roses. It is an exhilarating and humbling experience. “The simple act of caring for your roses will keep your mind alert and sharp as there are many factors that affect their growth. Plus, you’ll be proud to share the beautiful roses you’ve grown.” 8th Annual HRS Rose School Is there a gardening topic you’d like to read in the gardening column? Email Pat Gee at firstname.lastname@example.org with your question.