The Jude the Obscure rose is a stunning addition to any garden, growing vigorously and showering your space with large, classic roses in a creamy apricot gold color.
Of course, before you go and buy your rose, you’ll need to know where it will grow best, how to care for it and how to treat any diseases or pests that affect it. Our ultimate Jude the Obscure rose review has all these answers – and more – for you.
What is Jude the Obscure Rose?
The interesting name of this rose comes from the 19th century novel by Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure. The rose was originally bred by David Austin, a world-famous English rose variety breeder in England.
They grow well in mixed borders as well as pots and containers, and make lovely cut flowers for vases. While every rose is special, many gardeners love this one in particular because of:
How to Plant Your Jude the Obscure Rose
Roses are not the easiest plants to grow, so they aren’t recommended for beginners. However, if you do your research and follow this care guide, you should develop all the knowledge you need to grow Jude the Obscure rose successfully.
Step 1 - Plant Location
Roses are very particular about their location, so you need to have the right spot in mind before you plant if you want the rose to be healthy and flower well.
- Sunlight – Roses need lots of direct sun, about 8 hours per day, in order to grow and flower.
- Shelter – Although full-grown roses are quite strong, it’s recommended that you plant your rose somewhere reasonably sheltered, especially if you live in a windy area.
Strong winds can snap off buds and new growth, scatter petals and even push the plant over.
- Distance – Roses like their own space, although they do grow well with companion plants. They like a lot of nutrients, so it’s recommended that you plant them about 40 inches away from other, larger plants so that they don’t compete.
- Soil – Good quality soil is essential to healthy rose growth, so a lot of work needs to go into preparing your soil. The soil should have a balanced Ph (neutral), drain well and be rich in organic compost.
Step 2 – The Planting Process
You will have probably bought your rose online or from a local garden center, so it will already be in a container and ready for planting. Here’s what to do.
- Soak – Water soil in the rose’s container well, letting it really soak in and the excess to drain out. Let it stand for 2-3 hours and no more than 12 hours, or you will have to resoak it.
- Dig – Turn your prepared soil to loosen it well and get rid of any stones or weeds. Use a garden trowel to dig a hole that is as deep as the container of your rose.
Don’t make it any deeper as this puts you at risk of burying the rose stem when planting it.
- Place – Take the rose out of the container and gently loosen the roots at the edges. This will help them spread quickly. Place the rose in the hole, checking to make sure the stem is at surface level.
- Cover – Fill in around the roots of the rose, lightly packing the soil in to get rid of any air gaps.
- Water – Water your rose thoroughly at the base, not on the leaves. Let the water run gently to help settle the soil without washing it away.
Step 3 - Caring for Your Jude the Obscure rose
This is quite a healthy and robust type of rose, and won’t require too much maintenance if you have gotten the position of the rose and the soil right. Here’s how to care for your new rose.
- Water – Roses love frequent, deep watering but they don’t like to stand in water, as this can cause root rot.
A new rose should be watered at the base every two days until established (when it starts getting new shoots), and then you can water it once a week or twice a week in hot weather.
- Nutrients – Roses are high-nutrient plants and need a lot of fertilizer if you want to see lots of flowers. Nitrogen boosts healthy green plant growth and flowers; phosphorus encourages strong roots and potassium helps fight pests and insect damage.
Use a high nitrogen fertilizer like a 5-1-2 every 2-4 weeks in the growth season, and sprinkle a cup of Epsom salts around the base of the plant at the beginning of spring.
Stop feeding 6-8 weeks before the first frost and don’t feed in the winter months. Roses also enjoy plain used coffee grounds, alfalfa meal, banana skins, used plain tea leaves and bone meal.
Roses in containers will require feeding every 2 weeks through the growth season.
- Pruning – Use a clean pruning tool (this prevents disease from spreading) to prune your rose in late winter or very early spring. Trim all overlapping and dead canes.
How Often Should You Put Coffee Grounds on Roses?
Follow a similar schedule to your fertilizer schedule. While you can pour on the coffee grounds straight, they are very effective in a mix of 3 parts coffee grounds to one part wood ash which you can mix into the soil at the base of the rose.
You can also mix ½ a pound of used grounds with 5 gallons of water and pour that mix on twice a month. Coffee grounds can also discourage slugs and snails.
How Do You Keep a Rose Bush Blooming?
The Jude the obscure rose bush is a frequent bloomer that delivers lots of cut flowers. To keep it blooming, you should follow a regular fertilizer schedule (5-1-2 fertilizer every 2-4 weeks from spring through summer).
Give the plant regular, thorough watering, and deadhead old roses as they appear with clean pruning shears.
How Often Do You Water a Rose?
This depends on your climate. In temperate climates, a thorough weekly watering is enough for an established rose (2 inches of water or 4-5 gallons).
If your garden is very hot, the soil is sandy or it’s very windy, you may have to water more often.
What Does Epsom Salt Do for Roses?
Roses, like many plants, love a dose of Epsom Salt. The magnesium and sulphur in the product encourage lush, bushy growth, boosts flower and chlorophyll production and helps the roots take up nitrogen and nutrients more effectively.
One cup in the spring is recommended, and it can even help keep slugs and snails away!
How Do You Prune a Jude the Obscure Rose?
Pruning Jude the obscure rosa seems complicated at first, but it’s a pretty simple process if you follow these rules.
- Prune before spring – You want to prune just after your last frost. This means in May for Zones 3 & 4, in April for Zones 5, 6 and 7, in March for Zone 8, in February for Zone 9 and in mid to late January for Zone 10.
- Keep your shears sharp and clean – Your pruning shears should be clean and in good condition. Oil the center nut if your shears are a little stiff.
Clean well with soap and water before pruning a different rose bush or plant.
- Remove all leaves – First, remove all leaves so you can get a clear view of the structure of the rose bush.
- Remove dead branches – Remove all dead canes and sticks.
- Remove weak growth – Cut off any canes that look weak or stunted. You shouldn’t have any canes thinner than a pencil.
- Open up the center – The result you want is a vase shape, with canes around the outside of the bush and nothing in the center.
- Cut remaining canes – Prune the canes you are keeping down to about two foot off the ground. It seems like a lot, but the rose will spring back quickly! When cutting, position your blade at an angle ½ an inch above an outward-facing bud.
This little bump is where the new branch will grow, and outward-facing buds will allow branches to grow outward rather than inward. Cut at a 45-degree angle sloping away from the bud.
- Seal – Seal fresh cuts with a pruning sealing product. This will prevent disease or rot from entering the stem.
- Clean up – Clear the ground of thorny branches, debris and groundcover close to the base of the rose. This helps to get rid of pests and prevent the stem from rotting.
Treating and Preventing Common Rose Pests and Diseases
A healthy Rose Jude the Obscure is a beautiful one, so you need to be able to recognize and treat common rose pests and diseases quickly!
- Black Spot – Caused by a fungus called Diplocarpon rosae, black spot is a very common rose disease. While it can’t kill your rose, it is unsightly and weakens the plant, making it more vulnerable to serious diseases.
When you see black spots on the rose leaves, spray with an all-purpose rose anti-fungal treatment as per the instructions.
- Rust – Caused by a range of fungi, this causes yellow-orange marks on the rose’s leaves. The leaves will start to drop off the plant and the rose can die without treatment.
Spray with all-purpose rose anti-fungal treatment as per the instructions, and remember to keep the ground below your rose free of leaves and debris.
- Powdery Mildew – Also caused by a fungus, this looks like a pale, powdery substance on the leaves. It’s especially common in late summer and fall, especially when it’s humid.
Again, use an all-purpose rose anti-fungal treatment as per the instructions.
- Botrytis Blight – This is common in hybrid tea roses and strikes in humid, warm weather, affecting the rose booms and turning them brown along the edges. It can be treated with an all-purpose rose anti-fungal spray.
You can also limit midsummer to fall feeding if you live in a humid climate, as this will slow new growth that is especially vulnerable to this fungus.
- Cankers – These are dark marks on the rose canes, especially where pruning has taken place. To treat them, you have to remove the sections that are affected, being especially careful to clean your shears.
Follow up with an all-purpose rose anti-fungal treatment. You can prevent this issue quite easily by mulching the roots of the rose well each fall to prevent it from getting too cold in the winter.
- Crown Gall – These are ugly, round cauliflower-like growths on the rose, and often occur are the crown or soil level of the plant.
Sadly, there is no treatment for this issue, and the plant must be destroyed. You cannot plant a rose in that spot for the next two years, or it will reoccur.
- Rose Rosette – This is a disease carried by a type of mite, and it causes odd-looking red and yellow growth. As it progresses, the rose develops smaller, bright red leaves and shoots, and thorn development increases dramatically.
Good, regular pruning and insecticidal soap can prevent this issue, but if your rose is infected you have to destroy it. Bag it first to prevent it from dropping mites on the other plants, and place it directly in the garbage.
Why are the Leaves of My Rose Turning Yellow?
Rose leaves can turn yellow because the Ph of the soil is too high or because there’s a high iron content in your soil. It can also be a sign that your rose is being overwatered or that the soil is not draining properly, stressing out the plant.
If this is the case, mix in organic compost into your soil along with bark chips to help loosen the soil and improve the drainage.
Get Ready to Enjoy a Healthy, Blooming Jude the Obscure Rose!
Roses may be tricky to grow, but the rewards are worth it when your garden is filled with beautiful blooms and scents!
Remember to follow our care guide and position your rose in nutrient rich, well-draining soil where it gets 8 hours of sunlight a day and is out of the wind.
Remember to water well each week, fertilize every 2-4 weeks, deadhead through the year and prune well to create that open vase shape in early spring (always with clean, sterilized pruning shears!), and your Jude the Obscure rose will thrive.