Brilliant orange Marmalade Skies rose is an easy-to-grow option

June 16, 2021

Some of the most creative ideas come from kids. When most 3-year-olds draw a picture of their friend, it ends up on the refrigerator. But when Julian Lennon showed his dad his picture of his friend Lucy O'Donnell, he called it “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and his songwriter dad made it the title of one of the best tracks on the Sergeant Pepper Album. “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” has the imaginative lead line of “Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.” Since it was during the psychedelic era, many speculated that the first letter of each of the title nouns intentionally spelled "LSD."

Now you can have marmalade skies right in your garden. The brilliant orange Marmalade Skies rose is an easy-to-grow, compact floribunda rose with a very light scent. This rose, like all floribunda roses, blooms in clusters of flowers rather than a single flower like hybrid tea roses. 

A single stem of Marmalade Skies will have several perfectly formed roses in a cluster for a stunning display in the garden or as a cut flower. A single stem with up to six flowers will be an instant bouquet in a vase.

This is a hardy rose that grows well almost everywhere in the United States.

At a mature height of a smaller rose bush, Marmalade Skies is perfect in low borders, along a walk or as a stand-alone single specimen in your yard. 

Because of its smaller size you can even grow it in a large pot for color on the patio or balcony.

Best of all, Marmalade Skies is ever-blooming, and will give you fiery orange blossoms right up until frost.

You need not worry about pruning, as this floribunda just needs a bit of cutting back in the spring, right when it is beginning to grow again. Prune out any dead wood or stems that cross each other. 

Like all roses, try to keep the bush a bit open so that air can easily circulate through it. Keep your roses a good three to four feet away from other plants.

Plant floribunda roses where they will get at least six hours of sun every day. The soil should be rich with added compost and have good drainage. To increase drainage, you can add sand to your soil.

Roses drink a lot of water, but cannot tolerate swampy or wet soil. If it doesn't rain, be sure to water them thoroughly every week.

When first planted, water the bushes a couple times every week.

Never spray the rose leaves with water because this can encourage disease. Instead, carefully water at the base of the plant.

As a grafted rose, be sure you leave the graft union above the soil line. The graft union is a knobby growth near the base of the rose bush. The plant beneath the graft is the rootstock and the plant above it is the Marmalade Skies variety.

For an easy-to-grow, trouble-free rose that will bloom its head off, try Marmalade Skies. The brilliant orange colors and nonstop blooms will carry you off to a peaceful, magical place. No LSD needed.

  • Paul Barbano writes about gardening from his home in Rehoboth Beach. Contact him by writing to P. O. Box 213, Lewes, DE 19958.

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