Roses are a beautiful addition to any garden, but they can also be tricky to grow. That’s why it’s important to know the right tips for rose gardening so your roses will be healthy and blooming well.
The first step is to choose the perfect spot for your roses. You’ll want a sunny, well-drained area.
Roses are beautiful, hardy flowers that can thrive in even the hottest climates. They are also surprisingly easy to grow, and you can enjoy the thrill of watching them bloom for weeks at a time.
Plant roses in rich soil with plenty of nutrient-rich organic matter. If you are planting in heavy clay soil, mix in a mixture of peat moss and compost.
Water roses regularly during the growing season. This will help establish the plants and ensure they stay healthy during drought.
Avoid late-evening watering, which can foster powdery mildew and other common diseases. This also encourages the moisture to sit on top of the leaves all night, making it easier for fungi to grow.
Place a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch around the base of roses to control weeds and keep the soil moist. This depth helps prevent evaporation and reduces watering frequency.
Pruning is a vital part of rose gardening to control the overall size and shape of a plant. It also helps promote blooming and improve the appearance of the rose.
Generally, pruning should be done in the spring. However, there are certain circumstances where fall pruning is necessary.
For example, if a rose will be exposed to strong winds or heavy snow loads, it is important to reduce canes in the fall.
Another reason to prune in the fall is to prevent diseased growth from causing wounds on the canes.
When pruning, make your cuts up to 5mm above an existing bud with clean, sharp garden secateurs to avoid open wounds on the stem that can transmit diseases.
This is especially important when pruning shrub roses, which are notoriously prone to thorn injuries. Be sure to wear protective gear before beginning this task, including thick gardening gloves and long pants or jeans.
Roses are heavy feeders, needing a balanced fertilizer to promote strong root growth, large flowers and blooms. They also need a combination of macronutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, as well as micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, copper, iron and manganese.
Nitrogen stimulates leaf growth, phosphorus encourages root development and potassium produces healthy stems and buds. A deficiency of any of these nutrients can result in a lanky plant with yellow leaves, small pale blooms or no new growth.
Start fertilizing established roses in early spring with a formula high in nitrogen (the first number on your package). A second feeding in June before blooming and another in July are recommended.
Roses need a regular supply of water to maintain healthy growth and vibrant blooms. However, too much water can starve the roots of oxygen causing root rot.
To encourage the development of deep roots and to protect your plants from summer heat and winter freezes, water deeply and slowly. Two inches of water per week will usually be sufficient in temperate climates.
In areas with sandy soil, more frequent soakings are required. The evaporation rate of roses in sandy soil is faster than it is in clay and so the roots may not be able to draw up enough water quickly.
For most gardens, give roses two soaks a week. This will help the plant develop a deep root system and prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged.