A cross between the sterling silver rose and an anonymous hybrid tea rose, the 'Blue Moon' rose is a highly fragrant, 3- to 4-foot bush. 'Blue Moon' roses produce large blue-lavender blooms that complement glossy foliage beginning in late spring. Healthy specimens grown in sunny well-drained soils within USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9 will continue to bloom up until the first frost of winter. If you are a Massachusetts rose gardener, the 'Blue Moon' rose will thrive when grown in every area of your state except for the immediate areas surrounding Chester-Blandford State Forest, which lies within zone 4b.
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Things you need
- Soil testing kit
- Lime or peat moss
- Soaker hose
- Pruning shears
Test your Massachusetts soil prior to planting using a soil testing kit purchased from a garden centre. 'Blue Moon' roses prefer to grow in soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0.
Loosen the soil with a pitchfork, creating a fine-planting medium. Remove sticks, stones and debris from the planting area. Amend with lime if the pH of your soil is below 5.5 or peat moss if your Massachusetts soil pH is above 7.0. Mix either amendment in with the soil according to label instructions.
Plant the 'Blue Moon' rose bushes in holes that measure twice the width of their root balls, at a depth that keeps their graft unions (transition where roots meet trunk) above the soil line.
Water the 'Blue Moon' roses deeply after planting. Use a soaker hose to deliver deep weekly waterings whenever the top 2 inches of soil dries out. The average annual rainfall in Massachusetts is approximately 44 inches, which means that roses will require supplemental watering whenever the weather is dry.
Allow the 'Blue Moon' roses to die back naturally in the late fall. Spread mulch around the 'Blue Moon' roses to keep them warm during the cold Massachusetts winters. A 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch also improves drainage and prevents weed growth the following spring.
Prune the 'Blue Moon' roses in the late winter or early spring. Remove dead or wood damaged by Massachusetts frost using a pair of sharp pruning shears. Trim back 1/3 of the oldest branches on the bush each year to increase vigour. Do not remove more than 1/3 of the bush during any single pruning.
Tips and warnings
- 'Blue Moon' roses appreciate a dose of all-purpose fertiliser applied according to label instructions in the spring, before new growth develops.
- Do not over water 'Blue Moon' roses. Roses cannot tolerate standing water and can become subject to a variety of diseases. If the soil feels moist at a 1 inch depth do not add more water.
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