Roses add beauty to the garden whether creeping along a fence or climbing a trellis. For the best performance, they need 6 hours of sun a day and well-drained soil.
Roses need to be pruned in early spring to stimulate growth and blooms. When pruning, make your cuts just above an outward-facing bud. This helps to prevent rot and encourages new stems to grow from the point of the cut.
Most hardy roses require full sun, though some tolerate partial shade. Choose a spot that’s well-draining and sheltered from wind.
Protect your hands from thorny roses by wearing gloves when handling them. If you’re planting a container or balled rose, gently remove it from the pot or root ball. Then, soak bare-root roses in water for 12 hours to soften up the roots before planting.
When planting your rose, make a cone of dirt in the base of the hole to encourage the roots to grow down and out rather than straight down. When you lower the plant into the hole, check that the bud union or crown sits at the right height. In USDA Hardiness Zones 6 and below, bury the crown an inch or two below ground level. Slowly fill the hole with soil and compost, tamping down lightly to eliminate air pockets as you go. This also helps to prevent settling.
A good pruning routine will keep roses blooming throughout the growing season. This should include deadheading to remove old spent blossoms (also called faded flowers) before they can go to seed. The process of pruning will also address overall plant shape and remove diseased or damaged wood.
When pruning, use a sharp pair of gardening shears with a bypass blade. These give a cleaner cut than anvil pruners. You’ll also need gloves for your hands and arm protection. There are special gardening gloves that provide excellent protection from thorns, or you can use any sturdy long-wearing work gloves.
When you’re done pruning your roses, clean up all the twigs and cuttings to prevent diseases from overwintering in them. It’s best to do this shortly after pruning, but before rain or fog hits the ground. Also, it’s important to properly seal the cuts with a pruning compound. This helps prevent fungus and other diseases from infecting the plant.
Roses require a steady diet of nutrients to thrive and bloom their best. Whether you choose organic mulching options, such as well-rotted manure or garden compost, which can be time consuming, or a quick and convenient granular fertilizer designed specifically for roses, it’s important to know the right timing when feeding your rose bushes. Our gardening experts have the specialized information you need to ensure that you hit them just at the right moment, so they can absorb and use it properly to thrive.
When it comes to watering, roses like a deep soaking with a hose 2-3 times a week in dry summer weather. Avoid shallow sprinklings, which won’t reach the roots and can encourage fungus. As late summer turns to fall, you can apply one last dose of fertilizer to help the plant continue strong growth until it goes dormant for winter. This will also encourage the bush to start storing power for next year’s blooms.
Roses need a lot of water to thrive. However, watering them too often can actually damage the plant. So when you water, it is important to get it down to the root zone and not wet the foliage.
A good rule of thumb is to water your roses in the morning so that the soil can dry before nightfall. This will help prevent fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and blackspot.
Also, consider the weather conditions when deciding how often to water your roses. Hot and windy days will cause the soil to dry out faster than cool, calm conditions.
Mulching around your roses can help the soil retain moisture and even add nutrients to the ground. It is particularly beneficial if your garden has sandy soil that drains quickly or if your rose is in a windy exposed location as the mulch will slow down evaporation. You can use either organic or inorganic mulch for your roses.