Roses aren’t always easy plants to grow and care for, but there are some tips that can help you enjoy these flowering shrubs more.
First, plant them in an area with proper growing conditions such as full sun and moist but well-draining soil. Avoid tucking roses in too closely with other plants, as this can reduce airflow and cause an unhealthy atmosphere for your plants.
Pruning roses can seem intimidating, but once you get a handle on the correct way to prune them you’ll be surprised at how much these easy-to-grow plants reward your efforts.
The key to pruning properly is to know which rose type you have. Hybrid tea, floribundas and grandiflora roses all respond well to hard pruning in early spring.
For these varieties, remove one-third to two-thirds of the overall height and 3 to 6 canes. This makes them much more resistant to disease and encourages healthier growth that will result in more blooms.
Besides trimming away damaged and weak stems, you should also cut out suckers (long shoots that develop from the base of a rose bush) and remove low-growing branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. These straggly branches can cause problems for the plant by exposing it to diseases or pests, and they can also be a safety hazard.
Roses need to have regular watering in order to thrive. The amount and frequency of watering depends on many factors.
In the first year after planting, roses will need at least 10 litres of water two to three times a week. This is an important step in training your roses to send their roots deep into the soil and become more insulated from extreme temperatures.
After this, you should only need to water your roses once a week in the summer and every other day in the cooler months (depending on the weather). For a mature climbing rose or large shrub, you may need to increase the amount of water to 4 gallons each time.
To help conserve moisture in your garden, mulch regularly around the base of your roses to keep the soil moist and prevent weed growth. Mulch can also improve soil structure and add nutrients. Some of the best types of mulch to use are well-rotted horse manure, compost and leaf mould.
Roses need a complete, balanced fertilizer to grow and bloom. These plants require nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium along with several secondary and trace elements to stimulate strong root growth and healthy foliage.
Amend the planting hole with rich organic matter before adding the fertilizer to help your rose establish a strong base and encourage the roots to develop. Work in a slow-release granular or liquid fertilizer according to the package instructions.
Water the rose thoroughly before and after applying the fertilizer to prevent root burn. The water helps the plant absorb the nutrients more effectively.
Stop feeding about eight weeks before your average first frost date, which will give the plant a chance to harden off and avoid damage from winter cold.
Fertilize with worm castings, compost or other 100 percent organic fertilizers like manure, fish emulsion, bone meal and alfalfa. All of these organic options are easy for your roses to absorb and provide all of the essential slow release nutrients they need.
Insects and diseases can make even the best-cared-for roses wilt. To minimize these problems, plant the right variety in the right spot.
Roses need full sun to thrive, and their soil should be slightly acidic (pH 6.2 to 6.8), which makes it less likely to attract pests. Avoid fertilizers that are high in salt or that contain animal manures.
Keeping your roses healthy requires frequent maintenance and careful attention. Diseases such as powdery mildew and black spot can cause significant damage, so it is important to take measures to prevent these problems from occurring.
Fungicides are available commercially, or you can try making your own. Just be sure to follow the label directions for mixing and applying. Spray weekly with a sulfur-based fungicide, or rotate several different ones.