Almost everyone loves roses, but many people don’t grow them because they think roses are difficult to care for. Not so. They do require some care, but new disease resistant varieties are much easier to care for than the roses our grandparents grew. Here are some basic tips for growing this “Queen of the Garden”.
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS: Roses perform best in bright sunny areas. Choose a location where access for pruning and maintenance is easy and where the plant is not likely to be exposed to too much overhead watering, (such as lawn sprinklers) which could result in continual fungal problems.
PLANTING: Once you have chosen a location, plant your rose carefully to ensure a healthy start. Use a quality soil mix to blend 50/50 with your existing soil. Dig a hole 1.5 times as big as the container size you are planting. Use your soil blend in the bottom of the hole and handle the root ball carefully, using two hands to place it inside the hole. Next, using your soil blend, fill in around the sides of the root ball, water the root ball thoroughly and let the soil settle naturally. Remember to water daily as the rose gets established. You can begin fertilizing in 2-3 weeks. Once the first blooms fade, what is your next step? Deadhead, water, fertilize and mulch. Pretty darn simple.
DEADHEADING: Deadheading encourages your rose to grow more secondary canes that will give you the next bloom cycle. So, unless you like to grow rose hips, then cut off the blooms. Make your cuts just above (1/4 “) an outward facing 5-leaflet. How far down the cane? That is your choice. During the bud/bloom time, cut some long stems to take into the house. Cut back others to shape and maintain a certain size to the bush throughout the season. Cut off cross canes or any canes coming up below the graft union (those are suckers from the root stock).
WATERING: Roses love water. Keep the soil moist but not with standing water.
FERTILIZING: Roses love to eat, wouldn’t you, after working on all those blooms! Just a quick product note: If you use a systemic food with pesticides, it will kill not just the rose pests but beneficial insects as well.
MULCH: Cover the soil with 2-3 inches of Marcum’s (coca mulch, small or shredded bark) surrounding the rose bush. Keep mulch away from the main stem/graft area. Mulch will keep weeds down, moisture in the soil, and increase the health of your soil.
We look forward to strolling with you through the rose section of our garden center and helping you with the best selection of roses for your garden.