Roses are beautiful, fragrant plants that grow well in all climates. Whether you’re growing your own or buying a rose from the nursery, follow these tips to get the most out of your blooms.
When planting, either bare-root or in a container, dig a hole twice as wide and two inches deeper than the roots. Fill in the hole with soil mixture (or potting mix for containers).
Roses are classic, gorgeous plants that add beauty and value to any garden. While they may seem intimidating to a beginner gardener, a little knowledge and time can produce stunning results.
Choosing a good planting site is key. Choose a spot with at least six hours of direct sun year-round. In the southern half of the country, afternoon shade will help protect blooms from overheating during hot weather.
To ensure your roses are growing in a healthy environment, be sure to plant them in well-drained soil. For best results, mix in rich-in-organic matter (peat moss, compost, or a combination) to help the roots of rose plants soak up moisture.
Once your roses are established, prune the canes in the spring by removing dead, crossing, or weak growth. Pruning a 45deg-angled cut 1/4 to 1/2 inch above a bud eye that faces outward can prevent compacted growth and keep roses from becoming susceptible to cane borers and rot.
Rose plants are heavy feeders that need a regular supply of nutrients to thrive and bloom in peak condition. They also need nutrients to resist disease and pests.
There are two main types of fertilizers: organic and inorganic. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Fertilizers derived from plant or animal matter (organic) have nutritional benefits and improve soil texture and support beneficial microbes. They can also increase the amount of oxygen in the soil, which helps the roots grow more deeply.
The best time to fertilize is in early spring before the new leaves begin to form. Apply a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content such as blood meal or fish emulsion.
After that, stop feeding about eight weeks before your average first frost date to avoid stimulating too much new growth that can be damaged by cold weather. Feed again in early fall with a slow-release formula such as bone meal to promote root development and next year’s blooms.
Whether you’re growing hybrid tea, floribundas, shrubs or climbers, pruning your roses is an important maintenance task. It improves the health of your rose bush, encourages better flowering, and helps prevent disease.
A good rule of thumb for pruning is to cut back any stems that look dead or damaged. You should also remove any suckers, which are long, thin stems that grow from the base of the plant and can steal nutrients when the rose begins to actively grow.
After you have removed any weakened or dead branches, prune to shape your rose bush with future growth in mind. Make your cuts at a 45-degree angle and about 1/4 inch above outward facing bud eyes (pictured above).
Remember to clean up any cuttings or leaves that are left around the bush. Leaving them around can spread diseases and pathogens to the rest of your garden.
Roses are a very thirsty plant and need watering regularly to remain healthy. In temperate climates it is usually enough to give them a drink once a week. However, in hot weather or in very dry and windy weather you may need to water more frequently to keep the soil moist.
It’s also a good idea to apply mulches around the base of your roses. These add nutrients to the soil, improve its structure and help retain moisture.
They also suppress weeds and help control pests and diseases. Use a mulch that is about 2 inches thick.
If you’re not a fan of drip irrigation, a soaker hose is another option that releases water directly onto the soil to reach your rose’s roots. It’s easy to install and a great way to control your watering.
Soak the soil in your rose’s root zone with a slow stream of water, pausing to let the water soak in. Avoid shallow sprinklings that won’t penetrate deeply and can encourage fungus.