How to Grow Julia Child Roses

Julia Child rose in bloom


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The Julia Child rose is known for its luscious blooms and licorice-like scent. It is a smaller rose variety and is often grown in containers. Its three-inch double blooms are dense with soft yellow petals.

This rose is a floribunda variety, meaning it produces plentiful flowers in tight clusters. Deep green, leathery foliage creates a beautiful contrast against the yellow roses.

Developed in the United States in 2004 and introduced to the market by Weeks Roses, the common name of this plant comes from the famous chef Julia Child, who personally chose this rose to bear her name. These eye-catching blooms attract bees, butterflies, and birds and make great cut flowers.

Botanical Name Rosa ‘Julia Child’
Common Name Julia Child roses
Plant Type Perennial
Mature Size 2-3 ft. tall, 2-3 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full, partial
Soil Type Loamy, sandy, moist but well-drained
Soil pH Acidic
Bloom Time Spring, Summer, Fall
Flower Color Yellow
Hardiness Zones 6-9, USA
Native Area North America

Julia Child Rose Care

This rose variety is a perfect choice for gardeners who desire a luxurious rose in their garden without having to constantly tend to it. The Julia Child rose is low-maintenance and disease resistant. Its compact size allows this rose to be planted almost anywhere, from garden beds to containers. 

Well-draining soil is key, as the Julia Child rose likes plenty to drink but dislikes soggy soil. Placing these roses in an area with good air circulation will help keep them healthy and free of moisture-related diseases. This variety is not often plagued by pests. 

Light

The Julia Child rose likes a lot of sunshine and thrives when receiving 6-8 hours of sun exposure each day. Morning sunshine is best, as this allows the plant to dry early in the day and helps avoid moist conditions that can cause fungus or disease.   

Soil

Well-draining soil is key for healthy roses. The Julia Child rose likes moist soil but never soggy soil. It prefers slightly acidic soil pH and can tolerate a wide range of soil types including sandy, clay, and loamy conditions. 

Water

Ample water will keep these roses healthy and blooming. Water thoroughly and deeply, but be sure that the soil drains well so the roses do not sit in water. Water again once the soil begins to dry. You may water as little as once a week, but this rose's watering needs will depend on your location and climate conditions.

When watering Julia child roses, it is best to water heavily in the morning to allow the soil to drain before nighttime. Soggy soil during the night may increase the likelihood of problems with fungus or disease. 

Temperature and Humidity

Julia Child roses are tolerant of heat and cold and can overwinter in freezing temperatures. They prefer moderate humidity, as high humidity can lead to fungal or disease problems. 

Fertilizer

Because these roses are continuous bloomers, providing extra nutrients with a well-balanced fertilizer will help ensure healthy, plentiful blooms. Start in the early spring when the leaves begin to appear. Feed again in early summer to encourage healthy blooms.

Depending on your location and the length of the growing season, you may wish to fertilize again in mid-summer. Stop fertilizing in late summer to allow younger growth to harden before winter.  

Pruning Julia Child Roses

Heavy pruning of floribunda roses is best done in the early spring before any leaves appear. Trim away any dead or damaged branches. Since this type of rose produces abundant growth, don't be hesitant to eliminate any branches that look weak. Shape your rose bush by pruning branches that overlap. This will eliminate any competition for sunlight once the leaves grow in.

After shaping the rose bush, trim about one-third of the remaining branches to encourage new, healthy growth. You may wish to prune the bush throughout the growing season to keep its shape. 

Propagating Julia Child Roses

The Julia Child rose is patented, which means that propagating and creating more of this patented plant is, in fact, a form of stealing and is considered illegal. If you want to add more of these beautiful bloomers to your garden, return to the nursery or garden center where you purchased them.

Potting and Repotting Julia Child Roses

Because of their compact size, Julia Child roses are wonderful container plants. Be sure to choose a container with plenty of drainage holes since these plants are sensitive to excessive moisture. Potted roses will need more frequent watering than those in the garden, making adequate drainage very important. When the soil begins to dry, water thoroughly until the entire root ball is soaked, then allow all excess water to drain out of the pot.

Julia Child roses do well in large patio pots and enjoy ample room for the roots to grow. If the rose bush outgrows the pot, gently loosen the rose from the pot and move to a larger pot. Amend the soil with compost or fertilizer before filling it in. Early spring is the best time to repot roses.

Overwintering Julia Child Roses

Apply a heavy layer of mulch around the base of this plant to protect it from the cold. Remove this layer in the early spring, being sure to clean away any dead plant debris. Dispose of this to remove any overwintered pests.

To overwinter roses grown in containers, either bring them into an unheated garage or shed or cover them with mulch and wrap the pot in burlap.