The Iceberg Rose: Growing Guide

An absolute beauty of the rose family, the iceberg rose is one of the more popular selections for the garden, and for great reason! 

The iceberg rose is notable for its nonstop blooms, winter hardiness, and easy care compared to other roses. Let’s take a deeper look into this stunning variety and how you can have this beauty in your garden as well.

iceberg rose

Botanical Info

The Iceberg Rose was originally bred by Reimer Kordes.

They first were released publicly in 1958 and have been a staple of many gardens ever since. Iceberg roses are considered a “floribunda,” meaning that they belong to a family of roses that are bred by crossbreeding hybrid tea roses with polyantha roses.

The iceberg rose is most notable for its strong floral aroma as well as its ability to resist most diseases.

Iceberg roses are well-known for being hardy and resistant to cool weather, which is one of the factors that led to its great popularity.

This rose variety is hardy to USDA zones 5 through 9.

You can expect blooming from late spring all the way until the first frost. Many gardeners fall in love with the iceberg rose due to its long blooming season.

The flowers that bloom are typically white in color, though the iceberg rose has different varieties that produce colorful blooms such as purple, pink, and yellow.

These roses can either grow as a shrub or as a climber. If you’re planting shrub iceberg roses, you can expect the roses to grow to about 4 feet tall, perfect for bordering the side of your home.

As for climbing roses, they can reach up to a whopping 12 feet tall.

Can You Grow From Seed or Cutting?

While growing roses from seed is not impossible, it is extremely time-consuming and often not recommended among the average gardener. Most home gardeners who would like to add these roses to their home opt to purchase bare root roses, or propagate via cutting. In addition, iceberg roses are extremely popular and you can certainly purchase a transplantable rose bush from your local nursery.

If you have a friend who owns an iceberg rose bush, you can ask them for a clipping to propagate your own roses. Select a stem that is in between the base of the rose plant and a withering rose bloom. Cut off the bloom and the stem tip at a 45 degree angle and place the cuttings in water immediately. Roots should form from the cutting after 7 to 14 days.

Planting Bare-Root Roses

Bare-root planting is another, more popular, method of planting roses. These are more readily accessible and can be purchased from any accredited nursery (they can even be shipped in the mail from an online retailer). The best part is that this is the easiest way to introduce an iceberg rose bush into your garden.

Follow these simple steps to plant bare-root roses:

  1. 1
    Rehydrate your roses - take a large container of water and soak for at least two hours.
  2. 2
    After your roses are properly hydrated, place your plant in its final destination (the hole should be about 12 to 18 inches deep and 24 inches wide).
  3. 3
    Start burying the roots about 2/3 of the way.
  4. 4
    Add water to the soil and wait for the water to be fully soaked up by the soil.
  5. 5
    Continue adding the remaining soil, and then water once more.
  6. 6
    After your rose plant is successfully transplanted, inspect the plant. Take your pruning shears and clip off any broken or dead stems to encourage new growth. By clipping these dead stems, it allows your plant to focus its energy more into developing new and better growth.

Growth Environment

Soil

Iceberg roses prefer a rich soil that is well-draining, yet can still retain an adequate amount of moisture. An ideal soil pH for these roses is around 6.5 and 7.0.

Water

Iceberg roses require an average amount of water. It is best to give your roses about 1 inch of water weekly.

Light

While the iceberg rose is tolerable of partial shade, it is recommended to give the roses full sunlight (6 to 8 hours a day). Planting your roses in full sunlight encourages flower development and deters diseases.

Fertilizer

Iceberg roses enjoy a rich soil, so a strong fertilizer regiment is necessary to make the most out of your roses.

Prior to planting your roses, work some organic fertilizer into the soil before transplanting. When the plant is mature, you can continue to fertilize. It is always recommended to follow the individual instructions on whatever fertilizer you purchase.

Pruning

Pruning is a fantastic way to make your roses look bushier and encourage new
foliage and flower growth. You can prune your rose bushes in either the fall, spring, or
summer. You’ll primarily want to target any dead blooms or yellowed leaves.

Just prior to the winter season, prune back a lot of your rose bush to encourage new growth and blooms when the spring returns.

Companion Plants

Some examples of companion plants planted in proximity to the iceberg
rose are lavender, catmint, and tall growing pinks/Dianthus.

These plants make good companions because they act as “living mulches.” They get this name because of how they grow lower on the ground, therefore covering up the bare legs on the rose bush.

Closing

If you don’t own an iceberg rose bush in your garden, then you are certainly missing out. Not only are they beautiful, but you can enjoy a long blooming season and easy care.

I would definitely consider making a run to your local plant nursery and getting an iceberg rose to see what the hype is about. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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